Department Resources: English

Sophomore Curriculum

Sophomore English Curriculum


The sophomore program continues the introduction to literary genre that is begun in freshman year.  Although much of the literature is drawn from British works, other national texts may be included.

            Textbook: Pearson English Tradition e-text

            Excerpts from Beowulf;

            Excerpts from The Canterbury Tales --Geoffrey Chaucer;

            Optional: excerpts from Morte D’Arthur --Malory; excerpts from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

            Macbeth --Shakespeare

            A 19th c. British novel: either Frankenstein --Mary Shelley; Dracula --Bram Stoker; Great   Expectations --Charles Dickens; Jane Eyre --Charlotte Bronte; Wuthering Heights -Emily Bronte;    Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen.

            Lord of the Flies, William Golding

            An additional novel/play of the teacher’s choice.

            A significant selection of prose fiction and non-fiction, including articles, which reinforces the        literary terms the students learned in freshman year.

            Poems which emphasize the poetic devices the students learned in freshman year.  These poems  cover the forms of the sonnet and may include other forms that developed as part of the  English tradition, such as the ode, the ballad, the elegy, and the dramatic monologue.

            Common Core Readings


Formal instruction in grammar rules and usage. The curriculum covers and reinforces the following topics which the students cover in freshman year: consistency of tense, fragments, forms of sentences (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex), clear pronoun antecedent, apostrophes, run-on sentences, active and passive voice, agreement in number of pronoun and antecedent, singular verb with singular indefinite pronoun, prepositional phrases, pronoun case. Every sophomore takes grammar assessment exams.

            In sophomore year, students improve their analytical skills by focusing on the expository essay.  The students come to understand the differences between the literary and non-literary essay and receive formal instruction in the literary essay and focus on improving their skills in writing this type essay. The writing curriculum covers the following: essay structure, transitions between paragraphs, using appropriate diction, tone, proofreading, topic sentences in body paragraphs, adhering closely to a topic, supporting a position, writing for a particular audience.

            The class of 2019 will sit for the PSAT and SAT.   English teachers are committed to giving sophomores the foundation skills in reading comprehension and grammar and essay writing which the students need to produce excellent results on the college entrance examinations. 


            Completion of the words in the Sadlier vocabulary e--text, Level E.  In addition, students are encouraged to be aware of their responsibility for the vocabulary in the written texts.  Sophomores come to understand the importance of vocabulary development in taking the verbal section of the PSAT and SAT.

Study Skills

Emphasis of basic skills: academic responsibility, note-taking, outlining, studying, reading comprehension, time management.