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New Class Opportunity for Book Lovers: A.P. Lang

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Jocelyn Martinez '19
15 October 2018

Passaic Valley offers numerous academic courses where students can learn and flourish. This year, Passaic Valley added to its impressive catalogue with several new courses, including a new English course, A.P. Language and Composition (A.P. Lang).

Ms. Peters teaching AP Lang; photo credit: Jocelyn Martinez As an English teacher for fourteen years, teaching English III and A.P. Literature, Ms. Peters seemed to be the perfect fit to teach this new and complex course. The content of A.P. Lang is different from A.P. Literature, due to the fact that most of the reading done by the students in A.P. Lang is nonfiction, though fiction still plays a vital role to the class. "I didn't want to completely give up teaching fiction," said Ms. Peters. "So, I've written the A.P. Language curriculum to be based on thematic units that are grounded with a fictional anchor text, but with many nonfiction pieces that also address the central idea."

A.P. Lang fosters real-world applications, simulating what students can expect at the next level. "In my opinion, the skills fostered in A.P. Lang are skills that are more relevant to understanding our world and preparing students for the type of work typical of college courses," commented Ms. Peters.

The administration's motivation for offering this additional A.P. English class were to allow students to be more competitive against other high school students and to give these students the opportunity to receive more college credits.

Since A.P. Lang is a class that it is not rooted in studying narratives and plots, there are particular aspects of this course that make it slightly more complex and difficult. Annotating how writers get their point across is definitely the most demanding part of A.P. Lang. "It is really difficult to wrap our heads around the inherent bias in our media and how different speakers who talk to a very specific audience can completely warp their rhetoric to convince people of their argument," mentioned Ms. Peters.

Overall, the new course, is going very well and panning out smoothly for both Ms. Peters and the students. The class often gets into deep and insightful conversations about their analysis of the rhetoric of various speakers, which always leaves the students with fresh, captivating, and intriguing things to ponder outside of the classroom. A.P. Language and Composition is definitely a new course that will benefit the Passaic Valley Community with thought-provoking elements unique from other classes.