English Department

  • The Radnor High School English curriculum consists of full-year grade-level courses for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (See below for specific requirements.) In addition to courses carrying “English” credit, the English department offers students opportunities to take courses carrying “Elective” or “Humanities” credit. (See Graduation Requirements). Essential elements and specific requirements of Radnor High School’s English program are listed below. Technology is integrated whenever possible. Students should examine individual course descriptions carefully for their prerequisites and grade-levels.

    1. Requirements for All Students

      1. Students must take one credit in English each year.
      2. All students are required to take the appropriate grade-level course. Students who fail a grade-level course will be required to repeat that course in the following year.
      3. English department members will assist students in choosing courses that match their abilities. With teacher recommendation, students can move from one level to another.
      4. Students who are English Language Learners may take English for English Language Learners instead of one of the above courses for their English credit. They may also take ELL for credit in addition to one of the above courses.

    2. Students of exceptional ability may be recommended for grade-level honors classes. Integrated Interdisciplinary Courses are designed to be suited to the needs of the gifted-identified learner; however, a student who is not identified as gifted may be enrolled in the class with a teacher recommendation. Please see your guidance counselor for more information.

    3. In all English courses, students do a variety of writing assignments on a regular basis. The frequency, length, and specific nature of writing assignments vary from course to course in order to meet the needs of individual students and the aims of the course as outlined in course descriptions.

    4. The following electives offered by the English department may be taken in addition to required English courses but do not count toward the required four credits in English.

      1. Battle of the Books
      2. Creative Writing
      3. Film Analysis I and II
      4. Journalism H (Semester 1: Reporting and Distribution, Semester 2: Voice-Driven)
      5. Journalism: Radnor Publications H
      6. Public Speaking, Speech & Video Performance
      7. Topics in Philosophy & Writing

RHS English Department Courses

9th-Grade Offerings

  • Integrated The American Experiment (05990010) (formerly Int. Gov. & Econ.)


    2.0 Credits; Weighted

    Length: Year; Format: Double Period, Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 9
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation or Gifted Identification

    This team-taught course, first in a sequence of four interdisciplinary courses, provides students with an opportunity to study the key concepts of government and economics accompanied by a fusion of legal thrillers, dystopian novels, and classical political treatises. Government topics include: the components of citizenship, the constitutional basis of American democracy, federalism, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, elections, campaigns, the role of interest groups, the media, individual rights, and the structure of U.S. government (Congress, presidency, the courts, and bureaucracy). Economics topics include: economic theories; the global economy; macroeconomic concepts such as monetary policy, fiscal policy, the Federal Reserve, money, and banking; and micro-economic concepts such as supply and demand, competition/monopolies, business organizations, entrepreneurship, and the stock market. Students are engaged in a number of activities designed to foster acquisition and understanding of social studies concepts: reading primary and secondary sources, Socratic discussion, frequent written expression, analysis of propaganda and other visual media, creative projects, and simulations. This two-period course requires students to be active and independent learners capable of making connections across themes and time. The Parallel Curriculum and Understanding by Design models allow for analysis of works of varying genres and media, including a challenging level of analytical writing. Higher-level thinking and writing skills are emphasized through the use of synthesis, analysis, and evaluation. (S)

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  • Ninth Grade English: Literature and Composition H (05010110)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 9
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course focuses on various themes in literature, as well as on literary genres, and seeks to develop the ability to find meaning by asking and answering critical questions. Students are taught to demonstrate an awareness of the principles of literary analysis through individual and group activities and presentations. Opportunities for exploring creative expression and developing critical thinking skills are integral parts of students’ study of literature. As students learn to write effectively, they focus on developing their vocabulary as well as on improving the structure of entences, paragraphs, and essays. Projects also require the growth of library and research skills in addition to speaking and listening skills.

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  • Ninth Grade English: Literature and Composition A (05010112)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 9
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course, designed to be a transition between middle school reading and language arts and the more challenging English classes at Radnor High School, involves the study of literature, writing, vocabulary, and communication skills. Students establish effective study skills and appropriate learning behavior. Through the genre approach to literature, students read short stories, novels, drama, and poetry, emphasizing the distinct elements of each through the analysis of that type of literature. Additionally, this course helps students develop research, speaking, and listening skills.

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  • Ninth Grade English: Literature and Composition CP (05010114)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 9
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This year-long course is for those ninth-grade students who are reading on or close to grade level but whose writing shows the need for intensive practice in organization and expression. The focus is on the writing process, effective sentence construction, punctuation, other conventions, and the concept of the thesis statement. In addition, students develop critical reading skills through the study of short stories, plays, novels, and poems. Vocabulary acquisition, effective speaking, and study skills are emphasized.

     

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10th-Grade Offerings

  • Integrated Global Issues (05990020)


    2.0 Credits; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Double Period, Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 10
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation or Gifted Identification

    This team-taught seminar, second in a sequence of four interdisciplinary courses, uses a Parallel Curriculum Model to combine advanced work in international studies with intense analysis of literary works from non-Western cultures with some key additions from the English-speaking world. The focus is on the non-Western world, concentrating on area studies of the Middle East, Africa, Russia, South and Central Asia, and East Asia. Students analyze current issues by interpreting key historical events and exploring the cultural heritage of each region. Important global issues such as human rights compliance, arms proliferation, conflict resolution, and trade are also studied in depth. By combining a comprehensive social studies approach (geopolitical, environmental, economic, demographic, anthropological, and sociological) with integrated language arts (novels, short stories, poetry, art, film, and music), this course develops critical thinking about contemporary international issues and universal themes. Exercises in creative and analytical writing, public speaking, debate, and research are combined with extensive group and independent work, hands-on projects, and simulations to create an active learning experience. A research project requires that students develop an original thesis, evaluate and select resources, take notes, produce an outline, write an essay, and provide thorough documentation. At the conclusion of this project, students present their findings to the class. In the spring, students will take the Keystone Literature Exam. (S)

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  • World Literature H (05010120)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 10
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course stresses two important areas for the well-rounded English student: extensive study of world literature, and intensive practice in a variety of writing forms and styles. Units of study, organized by region or by theme, focus on literature in a variety of genres to investigate the different treatment of universal themes across cultures and time periods. Students are expected to think and read independently, as well as analyze ideas and information in mature expository and creative essays. A controlled research paper focusing on the development of an original thesis, notetaking, outlining, and basic documentation skills is required. In the spring, students will take the Keystone Literature Exam.

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  • World Literature A (05010122)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 10
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course continues students’ sequential study of literature, composition, vocabulary, and oral communication skills. Critical reading, critical thinking, and literary analysis focus on expanding students’ examination of various genres of world literature. Students produce a variety of written assignments, including a refined five-paragraph essay, as well as personal and creative expressions. A controlled research paper focusing on the development of an original thesis, note-taking, outlining, and basic documentation skills is required. In the spring, students will take the Keystone Literature Exam.

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  • World Literature CP (05010124)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 10
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course is designed to hone comprehension, writing, and study skills through an exploration of literary pieces from around the world. A directed reading approach to literature drawn from a variety of cultures and genres is stressed. Similarly, the course provides carefully-structured experiences to improve skills in speaking, vocabulary, writing, and critical thinking. A major goal is the production of the five-paragraph essay. Library work helps students improve their ability to find, evaluate, and use appropriate resources. In producing the required controlled research paper, students focus on the development of a thesis, note-taking, outlining, and basic documentation. In the spring, students will take the Keystone Literature Exam.

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11th-Grade Offerings

  • Integrated Viewpoints on Modern America/AP English Language and Composition (05990030)


    2.0 Credits; Weighted

    Length: Year; Format: Double Period, Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 11
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation or Gifted Identification

    This course is a combination of American Literature Honors, Advanced Placement Language and Composition, and American Studies Honors. This team-taught course, third in a sequence of four interdisciplinary courses, combines study of American history, politics, literature, and culture. The approach to curriculum, both chronological and thematic, reflects on essential questions about the American character. Readings include primary and secondary documents and extend into the related arts with particular attention to the genre of film. Methods used include active discussions, examinations of current political and social issues, lecture, group work, simulations, and presentations. Along the way, a variety of expository and creative writing assignments call on students to synthesize, argue, and analyze. The involvement of teachers in both delivery and assessment enriches the curriculum and increases students’ awareness of varied points of view, new ideas, and core information about their national culture. The Parallel Curriculum approach encourages students to connect history and literature as well as extend their studies into individualized areas of practice and interest.  Assessments are consistent with methods used on the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam, which is taken in the spring. (S)

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  • Advanced Placement English Language and Composition (05010128)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 11
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This college-level course is designed for students with talent and interest in composition. Requirements include a superior ability to understand and deconstruct non-fiction and fiction texts in terms of reason, structure, rhetoric, and argument. Reading high-quality, highly challenging works by American authors, along with other important historical and journalistic documents, students will closely consider how authors construct meaning through their syntactical choices and organizational decisions. Writing assignments include essays that call for synthesis, analysis, and argument on specific topics, as well as papers of broader scope and greater length. Assessments are consistent with methods used on the Advanced Placement exam, which is taken in the spring.

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  • American Literature H (05010130)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 11
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course stresses two important areas in the background of a well-rounded English student: extensive study of American literature and intensive practice in a variety of writing forms and styles. Examination of literature involves chronology, genre, and themes. Students are expected to think critically, to analyze and synthesize ideas and information logically, and to read independently. A major purpose of the course is to develop perceptive readers who enjoy significant literature and articulate writers who can control and structure language in order to express critical responses to their reading. This course helps students develop mature analytical, expository, argumentative, and narrative writing that moves beyond the five-paragraph essay. Library work culminates in a thoroughly-documented research paper in which students synthesize aspects of the American experience.

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  • American Literature A (05010132)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 11
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course continues the sequential study of literature, composition, vocabulary, speaking, and thinking skills begun in grades 9 and 10. A thematic and/or chronological approach to major American literature aims at increasing proficiency in critical reading and thinking, as well as increasing literary appreciation. An emphasis on both creative expression and effective exposition should help college-bound students move closer to the kinds of writing skills demanded by advanced study. A step-by-step approach to the research paper is included as part of the course’s aim to increase proficiency in both critical thinking and composition. Oral communication assignments further enhance students’ academic and interpersonal skills.

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  • American Literature CP (05010134)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 11
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This course continues the sequential study of literature, composition, vocabulary, speaking, and thinking skills begun in grades 9 and 10. A thematic and/or chronological approach to major American literature aims at increasing proficiency in critical reading and thinking, as well as increasing literary appreciation. An emphasis on both creative expression and effective exposition should help college-bound students move closer to the kinds of writing skills demanded by advanced study. A step-by-step approach to the research paper is included as part of the course’s aim to increase proficiency in both critical thinking and composition. Oral communication assignments further enhance students’ academic and interpersonal skills. This course relies on a directed reading approach and differentiates through the use of graphic organizers and frequent checkpoints.

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12th-Grade Offerings

  • Integrated Senior Seminar (05990040)


    2.0 Credits; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Double Period, Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 12
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation or Gifted Identification

    This team-taught seminar, fourth in a sequence of interdisciplinary courses, uses a Parallel Curriculum Model to combine history, literature,  philosophy, and science in their broadest senses. This course examines humankind’s ideas about the universe, life, and consciousness, and the struggle between the individual and society. Students focus on the philosophical idea of leadership and how leaders have affected, and currently affect, society in various cultures, including: cultural self-conceptions, the nature of progress, and elements of power. The curriculum is organized both thematically and chronologically. The “student-as-worker” approach to high-level learning experiences includes simulations; focused writing assignments, both analytical and creative; close analysis of literary, historical, and visual sources; large and small group instruction; and problem-based learning.

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  • Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition (05010138)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 12
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    This college-level course is designed for students with unusual academic talents and interest in literary analysis. Requirements include a superior ability to respond sensitively and intelligently to literature and solid skills in writing clear expository prose. Reading works suggested by the Advanced Placement Committee in English, students closely consider selections of world literature of all genres from various periods. Writing assignments include short papers on specific and limited topics, as well as papers of broader scope and greater length. Assessments are consistent with methods used on the Advanced Placement exam, which is taken in the spring.

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  • British and Modern Literature H (05010140)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 12

    This course explores the development of British Literature from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings through the modern period. Students examine the changing image of the hero by reading poetry, dramas, short stories, and non-fiction. Concurrently, they investigate how literature from specific periods not only reflects the artistic, intellectual, and social developments of the times but also affects the development of the English language. Students will practice, in an intensive manner, a variety of writing forms and styles. Students are expected to think critically, to analyze and synthesize ideas and information logically, and to read independently. A major purpose of this course is to develop perceptive readers who enjoy significant literature and articulate writers who can control and structure language in order to express critical responses to their reading. This course helps students develop mature analytical, expository, argumentative, and narrative writing that moves beyond the five-paragraph essay. The second half of this course continues to pursue the goals and develops the skills set forth in the first semester through the study of modern literature.

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  • British and Modern Literature A (05010142)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 12
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    After an initial unit in which students write an essay to submit with their college applications, this course explores the development of British Literature from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings through the works of Shakespeare. Students examine the changing image of the hero through their reading of poetry, drama, and nonfiction. Concurrently, they investigate how literature from specific periods reflects the artistic, intellectual, and social developments of the times, and affects the development of the English language. Students become perceptive readers, articulate writers, proficient researchers, and culturally-aware learners, capable of meeting the demands of collegiate work in language and literature. The second half of this course continues to pursue the goals and develop the skills set forth in the first semester through the study of modern literature.

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  • British and Modern Literature CP (05010144)


    1.0 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 12
    Prerequisite(s): Teacher Recommendation

    After an initial unit in which students write an essay to submit with their college applications, this course explores the development of British Literature from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings through the works of Shakespeare. Students who need to hone their reading skills use a directed approach to various genres; guided practice of basic writing skills increases written fluency. Students have ample opportunity to improve their ability to speak, listen, and build vocabulary. The second half of this course continues to pursue the goals and develop the skills set forth in the first semester through the study of modern literature.

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English Department Electives

  • The following courses carry Elective or Humanities credit but do not fulfill students' credit requirements in English.

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  • Journalism H (05010180)


    Semester 1: Reporting and Distribution, Semester 2: Voice Driven
    1.0 Credit; Weighted
    Length: Year-Long
    Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
    Note(s): This course may be repeated

    Available to all students, the first semester will approach journalism through the genres of creative non-fiction and comedic writing, grounding students in the fundamentals of the personal essay and the art of conveying social commentary through satire and parody. Students will generate memoir-inspired articles and expressions that feature a range of comedic technique, from pure goofs to the intriguing fusion of straight reporting with essay. The second semester will approach journalism through exploring how to use core reporting techniques to generate content and how the use of modern distribution formats affects the way readers interact with information. Using investigative and experiential journalism techniques—fact-finding through interview, document, review, cultivating of sources, and first person observation—students will report on current cultural phenomenon. Concurrently, students will consider how form affects function in formats like radio or Internet documentaries, podcasts, graphic journalism, and the art of the zine. Note: You do not have to be in the Radnorite club to take this course.

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  • Journalism: Radnor Publications H (05010185)


    1.0 Credit; Weighted
    Length: Year; Format: Meets Daily
    or
    0.5 Credit, Unweighted, non-Honors credit (05010182)
    Length: Semester; Format: Meets Daily
    Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
    Notes: This course may be repeated.
    Prerequisite: Approval from a publication’s club sponsor (Radnorite, yearbook, Facets, TV studio)

    This course is available to upperclassmen who have attained leadership and/or staff positions in one or more of the high school’s publications: Radnorite, yearbook, Facets, TV studio. The structure of this course will allow the Radnorite to function as a modern online press by crossfertilizing the content of the high school’s various media outlets. Faculty members will mentor students as they produce works that create social opportunities through live events and interactions on digital platforms. In addition, students will be encouraged to communicate perspectives on local and youth culture relevant to the Radnor community.

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  • Creative Writing (05010162)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
    Prerequisite: None

    "The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new," wrote Samuel Johnson. Creative writing encourages students to develop their own unique style of writing as they express themselves and their ideas, creating poetry and prose in a workshop setting. This course is suited to all academic levels. Painting pictures with words ("show, don't tell"), utilizing rich sensory descriptions, and taking creative risks are all part of this fun and challenging elective course. In addition to focusing on the writing and appreciation of writing, this course emphasizes the notion of creativity – how unique thought is generated. Students will collectively meditate on and engage in the various stages of the creative process: generating ideas, draft writing, editing, final revision, workshopping (dynamic feedback), and defense of the artist’s ideas. As a key aspect of the process, each student will be coached on how to record observations in a journal in order to understand the relationship between raw observation and artistic expression.

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  • Topics in Philosophy & Writing (05010163)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

    If you’ve ever won an argument—or lost one, for that matter—you may understand how important it is to be able to consider, reason, and argue effectively. This course aims to introduce students to the intellectual and moral issues that have challenged people since the dawn of society, equip them to consider those issues more carefully, and teach them how to express their opinions and arguments orally and in writing. The class will consider questions like, “Should we feed the starving?”, “Is terrorism evil?”, “What is Art?”, and “Is there justice in the world?” Students will use writing to improve their ability to clarify, summarize, communicate, persuade, and read. The goal is to help students become better thinkers, communicators, and citizens.

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  • Film Analysis I (05010171)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted

    Length: Semester; Format: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
    Prerequisites: None

    Lights! Camera! Action! This course exposes students to the greatest movies, the most influential directors, and the most respected actors and actresses of the film era. It offers a behind the scenes scenes look at classic films, old and new. Classic and modern directors (who may include Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, Lee Butler, Orson Wells, Kathryn Bigelow, Mike Nichols, Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Ridley Scott, and M. Night Shyamalan) are studied, as are films representing a variety of genres and styles. The course also deals with such issues as censorship and discrimination in the movie industry. Classes involve lecture, viewing, discussion, projects, and written analysis of the films. This course is suited to all academic levels.

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  • Film Analysis II (05010176)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Semester; Format: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
    Prerequisite: Film Analysis I (0171)

    Film Analysis II provides an introduction to the concept of “film theory.” This course will concentrate on understanding film theories and other philosophical theories that can be applied to and analyzed in film. Students will need to have mastered the film terminology offered in Film Analysis I and be able to understand and evaluate film theories. This course will explore the following topics: Auteur Theory, Genre Theory, Feminist Theory, Ethical Theory, and Social Theory. This course will analyze films as a “whole” and how theoretical discourse is applied to film.

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  • Battle of the Books (05010175)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will provide students with access to Young Adult literature and the opportunity to engage in collaborative discussion. Various reading levels will be addressed through a wide variety of Young Adult genres in a reciprocal teaching format designed to foster a passion for reading.

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  • Public Speaking and Communications (05010945)


    0.5 Credit; Unweighted
    Length: Semester or Cycle Day
    Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
    Prerequisites: None

    Welcoming all students, this course is perfect for the student who wishes to pursue a career that will, or might, involve public speaking. Those students who might be considering careers in government, politics, business, medicine, law, research, journalism, teaching, etc. should consider taking this course, especially if they have had little or no experience on stage. This course is especially welcoming to those students who might face stage fright. In this course, students will study the elements of a strong public presentation. Students will engage in mock professional interviews to help prepare them for college interviews, as well as workforce interviews. Through the study of speech and oratory, students will build on their vocal skills, as well as construct a compelling speech. Students will also engage in debates. Students will present video recorded journalistic newscasts, as well as audio recorded newscasts (radio).

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