On-Line for Summer 2020
Teacher: Kay Ben-Avraham
Summer Course: English Literature
Course description and goals:
During the school year, I teach an in-depth AP English Literature and Composition course for motivated high-school students in which they learn to appreciate—and, more challenging, articulate—the subtleties and complexities of language through close readings of poetry, drama, short stories, novels, and essays of the English canon. This summer course—a half-credit, graded academic course—is designed to be an abbreviated version of the school year experience, with students immersed in an interactive online classroom studying a single text deeply and, over the course of our five weeks together, developing and revising a college-level thesis paper based on that text. These papers, once completed, serve as a useful piece of each student’s personal portfolio.
Our class has avid readers and competent writers—courageous enough to share their opinions and writings with classmates, and courteous enough to respond to others in a manner which fosters intellectual exploration and debate. We enjoy a lively discussion of ideas, and we work towards the effective formulation of those ideas in written form. I encourage a great deal of peer feedback in my courses, so students complete the course having not only honed their writing skills but also those required for editing.
I generally recommend that high-school juniors and seniors apply for my courses, since coursework is designed to prepare students for entry-level college work; however, motivated high-school first years and sophomores are encouraged to apply, especially for the more abbreviated summer version of my class. (Note: This course is not designed to provide remedial instruction in English literature and composition.) Both students who are homeschooled, and students who attend traditional public or private schools, are welcome to apply! Once tuition has been paid, I will send each student the introductory material for the course.
Coursework will be asynchronous, so that students can arrange their reading and coursework around their own summer schedules. Our class uses the (free) online platform Slack as our virtual classroom space. Students need only obtain the primary course text and have access to the Internet; I supply all additional supplementary readings at no cost to the student.
Class length: July 6, 2020 – August 10, 2020 (5 weeks)
Fee: $190 per student
Course text: The Chosen, by Chaim Potok
Questions? Please do send them my way! misskayAP@gmail.com
Instructor Qualifications: I substitute taught portions of the full version of this course in the past while Ruth Green was the (superb) head teacher, and for the past two years, I have taught it as the head instructor; the 2020-2021 school year will be my third. I graduated with high honors from Messiah College, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Since graduation in 2008, I have run my own freelance writing and editing business (you can take a peek at my business website, www.forwantofanail.net, and theoretical bonus points if you get the reference!). This means I’ve had the pleasure of editing many different types of writing, from poetry collections to science fiction to autobiographies to PhD dissertations, and more. I am also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature through Signum University, where I help run their Signum Symposia series; and I have presented academic papers and creative writing selections at several of their regional conferences. I published my first novel, The Flower of the Cedar, in podcast form in 2019, with hard-copy publication scheduled for 2021 (www.kaybenavraham.com).
Note: Course sign-ups must exceed three (3) students total for the course to proceed. In the event of course cancellation due to a low student census, families will be notified ASAP and will receive a full refund for the course fee.
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