Why You Should Take Lake Shore’s AP English Classes
Many English fanatic students find themselves longing to better their understanding of the madness behind the masterminds of classic English literatures. Others yearn to expose more of an analytical stance to their various writing styles. More want to evaluate nonfiction works and analyze critical data to unearth the facts found in the pieces and record them in depth through the use of rhetorical essays. If any of these apply to you, then Lake Shore’s AP English classes are something you should consider looking into.
Lake Shore’s AP English Language class has been taught by Sheila Titcombe for the past few years and in her words “focuses on nonfiction and rhetoric” and is “all about how do we say the things that we need to say [and] as readers and writers, why is the construction so important?” She expands on her course description by saying “We focus on more brief works like speeches, essays, satire, and because we don’t have a lot of access to nonfiction books, we will read some novels, but look at them through the scope of a rhetoric.” One of Titcombe’s past students, Evan Hazlett, Senior, states that “you will learn a lot about the world you live in through the satire unit”. Keith Lewis, Senior, is a current student in the class and says that “You get to explore a lot into stuff that you normally wouldn’t get into in the normal grade classes, and you get an understanding of the English Language.”
Lake Shore’s AP English Literature class is taught by Colleen Tharme and has become so popular, that as of this school year, it has doubled in class size, and therefore, has been split into two classes, instead of one. According to Tharme, this advanced course allows “AP Literature students [to] read, discuss, and write about Literature in depth.” She furthers her explanation of the course by saying “Essentially, students explore a variety of Literary works to reveal what ‘makes it tick’, while applying concepts to real life.” One of Tharme’s current students, Katelyn Csernyant, Junior, claims that she “learn[s] a lot by taking this class” and is “looking forward mostly to just expanding [her] knowledge on literature”. While describing the course, Sabrina Salk, junior, says that “You learn how to better understand your reading and better analyze it.” Ben Simmons, junior, adds that “We do a lot of more in depth work regarding reading and writing.” Tharme concludes her course description with “AP Lit students build critical analysis writing skills, vocabulary, and knowledge of complex literary elements.”
The AP Lit and Lang classes entail a variety of benefits outside of the expansion of literary knowledge. A huge benefit to taking the courses is the possibility of college credit. If a student scores a 3 or higher on their AP Exam, depending on their college of choice, they can earn college credit[s], which ultimately aids in financial circumstances. When discussing the possible benefit, Tharme states that AP classes “allow students to earn college credit and skip introductory classes.” She continues by saying “AP Lit students face challenging material that prepares them for college and allows them to grow as readers and writers.” Simmons admits that his main reasoning behind his decision to take the course was “because [he] wanted the AP credit”. Csernyant also lists that as a major benefit, saying “There’s an AP Exam in May and if you score good on it then you don’t have to take [certain English classes].” Tharme states that another benefit to the class is “Any AP classes will stand out when students apply for college. An AP English class really prepares students for college writing.”
One unique benefit offered by the AP Lang class is the help it gives students on the SAT, as explained by Hazlett, “It does prepare you for the SAT. You get very familiar with the style of writing that they’re looking for in your written portion.” Titcombe agrees saying, “This is parallel to the SAT test, so the structure that is a big portion of the test is just like the AP Language.” She also lists another benefit by saying, “[taking the class] can also boost your GPA because it’s an inflated grade”. Current AP Lang student, Rachel Felder, Senior, admits that another benefit is “learning from different perspectives”.
There are various aspects of the classes that both the teachers and students love. Tharme states that her “favorite thing about AP Lit, along with the nerding out about words, is the camaraderie we build up throughout the year.” She furthers her claim by explaining that another favorite part of teaching the class is “It is rewarding to see the progress they make throughout the year.” Csernyant says that her “favorite thing about the class so far has probably been all the novels we’ve read because they’re all really interesting. I really like the one I’m reading now, Middlesex, and The Poisonwood Bible.” Salk confesses that her favorite thing is “probably the essays because I’m really bad at them”. Hazlett says that his favorite thing about AP Lang “was definitely the satire unit because it’s basically just about roasting your friend and roasting different things, but it took like, our generation’s form of roasting to politicians, and grown-ups, and adults, and put into a formal writing, and political speeches, and stuff”. Felder, claims that her favorite thing about the class so far has been, “just exploring the different, like parts of literature, like satire is what we’re doing right now and I like the humor in it, and what it’s about, and what we’re learning about, like the political viewpoints and how it can add humor to them”.
While students tend to shy away from AP classes, it is important to know the advantages and fun aspects of all the various Advanced Placement courses Lake Shore has to offer. If you are interested in pursuing a more advanced understanding of Literature and the English language, then the AP Lit and Lang classes are definitely something to consider, as they are guaranteed to expand your literary and English knowledge. Comprehension of the English language is one of the most important lessons one learns in school, as communication is beneficial in any career field. Without a basic understanding of the English language, a person can never be sufficient in their field. Therefore, the AP English courses providing a substantial amount of advanced English and literary knowledge will prepare any individual to propel in their chosen field.