Academics - Curriculum » Literature


IB English Higher Level (HL) (11th-12th grade two-year course)

This course is about learning to appreciate the artistry of literature and develop an ability to reflect critically on your reading. The course is built on the assumption that literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations, and experiences of the world. As such, the course focuses on different approaches to reading literary works. It encourages close analysis of language, as well as an understanding of the different perspectives presented through literature and the ways in which these are informed by, and interact with, your own culture(s). Therefore, we will study works in their literary and cultural contexts through close study of individual texts and passages and by considering a range of critical approaches.

World Literature

This course will be run seminar style in which students engage each other as they read challenging, thought-provoking literature. The course will follow a workshop approach that emphasizes writing as a process by attending to strategies for generating interpretive ideas for essays, writing effective and authoritative essays, and revising and rewriting essays to sharpen both acuity and expression. Assignments will include informal response papers, in-class critical analyses, longer essays, and class presentations.

Utopias, Dystopias, and Other Fantastical Places (11th-12th grade course)

Together we will explore literary settings that are nothing like the places we know. When Sir Thomas More coined the term utopia many centuries ago, he purposely cobbled together separate Greek elements to make a new word meaning “no place.” Utopias have always been both marvelous and impossible, beckoning us with ideal realms whose non-existence is part of the deal. Dystopias are much the same, instead offering realms stuffed full of horror and terror. Paradise. Wasteland. Authors use such settings to explore complex ideas while building memorable worlds and achieving potent literary effects. We will investigate several versions of utopias and dystopias, along with other settings that are notably fantastical, peculiar, or bizarre, in order to consider how and why authors use obviously unreal places to add value. Works that we will study might include Brave New World , Children of Men , A Clockwork Orange , Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? , The Road , Utopia , 1984 , Island , and Childhood’s End .

**Please note that besides the IB English course, only two of the other 11 th -12 th grade English courses will be offered next year based on student interest and course enrollment.**