The AP® English Language and Composition course is devoted to the study of argument and persuasion or what has traditionally been called rhetoric. The course is intended to help students become effective readers and writers. The goal is to understand how messages are conveyed and arguments are structured. Because most media is at some level rhetorical, that is it has a point of view the reader, viewer, or listener is expected to accept, it is important to recognize how our view of the world is being shaped by what we read, view, or hear. It is also important that as writers we understand how best to communicate our own point of view in a way that others will find reasonable even if they do not agree. The purpose of this course is to allow students to explore how to express reasonable points of view and to communicate views effectively.
The AP® Language and Composition test assesses a student's ability to recognize how arguments are made, the audiences to whom they are made, and the author's purpose in making those arguments. The test also expects that students will be able to recognize the rhetorical tricks of the trade an author employs to convey the argument and make it more agreeable to the reader. It is expected that the student will be able to identify the stylistic devices that characterize a writer's work, at least in a given passage. Stylistic analysis is probably the aspect of the Language and Composition course that is most like traditional literary analysis; this is where students focus on elements in a text such as imagery, metaphor, and allusion. It is important to remember that style is often a writer's fingerprint. Instead of looking at the literary devices employed by a text to understand how they help to tell a story, we will be looking at them to understand how they define a writer's unique style and how a writer uses style to shape an argument. The test also asks students to construct their own argument defending a point of view in regards to an issue.
This AP® English Language & Composition course is a virtual course, which meets through threaded discussion, as opposed to “real time” discussions/meetings. Students work independently, collaboratively in small groups, and as a whole class, as well as one on one with the teacher, all through discussion threads devoted to these activities. The course is 33 weeks long, with a Wednesday through Tuesday course week. The syllabus is divided into quarters, with overarching themes for semester one and semester two.
Students enrolled in Advanced Placement VHS courses are required to take the AP exam, and are required to report their AP examination scores to VHS (note: students who are failing their AP class are not required to take the exam). Upon receipt of the student's exam score, each score will be recorded by VHS and assigned an anonymous tracking number to ensure student anonymity and confidentiality. By enrolling in an AP VHS class, the student authorizes their school site coordinator and school administration to report AP examination scores to VHS. Exam results will not affect the student's VHS grade or future enrollment in VHS courses.
This course has recommended summer reading. All summer work for AP English Language can be found here: AP Summer Work