English

The English curriculum at EPCHS proudly supports critical and creative thinking. The department emphasizes real-world application by developing written and verbal communication, digital literacy, and reading skills. The focus of the English curriculum includes: strengthening reading comprehension and writing skills, facilitating student learning toward college and career readiness, examining and analyzing fiction, nonfiction, and historical texts, and offering collaborative and project-based learning. Our English teachers encourage student growth through the most current research-based teaching strategies. English teachers utilize differentiated instruction to engage all learners.

Courses Offered

English 1-2

Level: Regular, Academic 9

Length of course: One year

Department: English

Text: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes (Gold Level) Prentice Hall 2004

Prerequisite: Regular – MAP score of 219 or lower; Academic – MAP score of 220-236

Course Description:

This course is a study of both composition and literature. Students learn the foundational skills they will need to be successful throughout their years in high school and college. English at the high school level includes all facets of writing development, research skills, literary analysis and comprehension, speaking skills, and grammar proficiencies. Students will write one research paper as well as responses to literature, analyses, and creative pieces. The main literature freshmen discuss includes Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, and various other short nonfiction and fiction pieces.

Enriched English 1-2

Level: Enriched 9

Length of course: One year

Department:English

Prerequisite: MAP score of 237 or higher and required writing/prompt score of 26 or higher

Course Description:

This course is a study of both composition and literature. Students learn the foundational skills they will need to be successful throughout their years in high school and college. English at the high school level includes all facets of writing development, research skills, literary analysis and comprehension, speaking skills, and grammar proficiencies. Students write several short research papers as well as responses to literature, and analyses. The main literature freshmen discuss includes Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and various other short nonfiction and fiction pieces.

Regular English 3-4

Level: Regular

Length of Course: One Year

Department: English

Text: Illinois Prentice Hall Literature Grade 10 Penguin Edition Prentice Hall 2007

Prerequisite: English 1-2

Course Description: This course is a study of both composition and literature. In addition, vocabulary study will be continuous throughout the course. The objective of this class is to improve skills related to: reading, comprehension, writing, listening and speaking. Emphasis will be placed on reading and writing. The literature units will include: short stories, poetry, novels and plays. The writing units will include: narrative, creative, descriptive, and persuasive. Grammar will be an internal focus through the writing units.


Academic English 3-4

Level: Academic 10

Length of Course: One Year

Text: Illinois Prentice Hall Literature Grade 10 Penguin Edition, Prentice Hall, 2007

Prerequisite: English 1-2

Course Description:

This college preparatory course is a study of both composition and literature. In addition, vocabulary study will be continuous throughout the course. The objective of this class is to enhance the reading, comprehension, listening, and speaking skills of the students. Emphasis will be on writing as a process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing. The literature units will include: short stories, poetry, novels and plays. The writing units will include: narrative, creative, descriptive, and persuasive. Grammar will be an internal focus through the writing units.


Enriched English 3-4

Level: Enriched 10

Length of Course: One Year

Text: Illinois Prentice Hall Literature Grade 10 Penguin Edition, Prentice Hall, 2007

Prerequisite: English 1-2; MAP Reading score of 239 or higher

Course Description:

This college preparatory course is a study of both composition and literature. In addition, vocabulary study will be continuous throughout the course. The objective of this class is to enhance the reading, comprehension, listening, and speaking skills of the students. In the enriched course, students are expected to display above average grammar, comprehension, and composition skills. Work ethic is also a strong characteristic to possess for this class as the rigor and pace is accelerated. Literature units will include: short stories, poetry, novels and plays. Since this is considered a writing-intensive class, emphasis will be on writing as a process and the students will compose many essays. Narrative, analytical and persuasive essays will be a focus, as well as literary responses. The importance of fluency, coherence, and cohesion will be stressed.


Regular English 5-6

Level: Regular 11

Length of Course: One year

Text: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience, Prentice Hall, 1999

Prerequisite: English 3-4

Course Description:

This course provides the student with a background in American Literature. The required reading, vocabulary study, and writing will help the student to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. This course further develops student writing ability through the process of writing a formal research paper. Literature units will include short stories, poetry, novels, and drama.


Academic English 5-6

Level: Academic 11

Length of Course: One year

Text: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience, Prentice Hall, 1999

Prerequisite: English 3-4

Course Description:

This course provides the college preparatory student with a background in American Literature. The required reading, vocabulary study, discussion skills, and writing will help the student to develop analytical and critical thinking skills for college. This course further develops student writing ability through the process of writing a formal research paper. Literature units will include short stories, poetry, novels, and drama.


Enriched English 5-6/American Studies

Level: Enriched English 11 and Enriched U.S. History

Length of Course: One year

Text: English: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience Prentice Hall, 1999

U.S. History: A History of the United States, Boorstin and Kelley, Prentice Hall, 2004

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Enriched English 3-4 or a B or better in Academic English with teacher recommendation

Course Description:

What is unique and important about America? American Studies is designed to give students opportunities to explore and challenge the underlying values of American culture. A team-taught, interdisciplinary course which emphasizes American literature, history, art and popular culture, this academically rigorous, co-curricular approach to English and history will combine classic texts with current issues in a student centered, experiential environment. The course may also include field trips to historical sites of interest, museums, and performances. This course is double blocked, English and History together.

Regular English 7-8

Level: Regular 12

Length of Course: One year

Text: Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition Penguin Edition, Prentice Hall, 2007

Prerequisite: English 5-6; MAP score of 221 or below

Course Description:

This course provides students with a background in British and other literature. The required reading, vocabulary study, and writing will help the student to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Units will include the Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf, British poetry, satire, Jane Eyre, Shakespeare, Writing in the Workplace, and The Wave.


Academic English 7-8

Level: Academic 12

Length of Course: One year

Text: Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition Penguin Edition, Prentice Hall 2007

Prerequisite: English 5-6; MAP score of 222-242

Course Description:

This course provides the college preparatory student with a background in British Literature. The required reading, vocabulary study, and writing will help the student to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Students will write a formal research paper on an approved topic. Literature units will include short stories, British poetry, novels, and drama, including Shakespeare’s Macbeth.


AP Language and Composition

Level: Enriched 11-12

Length of course: One Year

Department: English

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Academic or Enriched English 5-6

Course description:

An AP Language and Composition course requires students to become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their reading and their writing should make students aware of interactions among a writer’s purposes, reader expectations, and an author’s propositional content, as well as the genre conventions and the resources of the language that contribute to effectiveness in writing.

At the heart of an AP Language and Composition course is the reading of various texts. Reading facilitates informed citizenship and thus increases students’ capacity to enter into consequential conversations with others about meaningful issues. Also contributing to students’ informed citizenship is their ability to gather source materials representing particular conversations and make their own reasonable and informed contributions to those conversations. Students’ ability to engage with outside sources in their reading, writing, and research is an important measure of their intellectual growth.


English 110 (Dual Credit/Early College 3 college credits) ICC tuition and fees apply

Level: Enriched 12

Length of Course: One semester

Text: As dictated by ICC

Prerequisite: Accuplacer of 90 or 259 Next Generation or ACT reading score of 18 or SAT Reading 480 or higher.

Course Description:

The students progress from writing expressive compositions (expressing the ideas of the writer) to writing referential compositions (explaining or analyzing the subject matter for the reader) to writing persuasive compositions (persuading an audience), through critical reading, discussion, exercises, conferences, and revisions. The majority of the writing is referential. Included in the course will be various readings throughout the semester.


English 111 (Dual Credit/Early College 3 college credits) ICC tuition and fees apply

Level: Enriched 12

Length of Course: One semester

Text: As dictated by ICC

Prerequisite: A student must take Eng 110 class for college credit. If the student does not take Eng 110 class for college credit, Eng 111 cannot be taken and another course needs to be selected for second semester.

Course Description:

This is the second course in the writing sequence offered through Illinois Central College. In this course, students will progress from writing analysis and inquiring about issues to writing argumentative and persuasive compositions using research, through critical reading, discussion, exercises, and revision. The majority of the work is argumentative in purpose. The course has been designed to achieve an understanding of the relationship of language to logic, which should lead to the ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas.


Yearbook (Elective)

Level: Academic 11-12

Length of Course: One Year

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 1 & 2, and English 3 & 4 with a C or higher.

Course Description:

The yearbook class is a year long class in which students will be responsible for all aspects of the publication of the EPoCH. This class develops and enhances skills in copywriting, editing, interviewing, and making computerized layouts of the yearbook pages on the Yearbook Avenue website. Students who enroll in this course will be responsible for making goals for themselves (in regard to page and picture assignments), meeting all deadlines and attending assigned school sponsored activities to take pictures. Assessment will be based on student writing, creating interesting and appealing layouts, and meeting all goals and deadlines.


Intro to Communications / Speech (Elective)

Level: Enriched 10, 11, 12

Length of Course: One year

Text: Projects in Speech Communication, Perfection Learning

Department: English

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Academic and/or Enriched English 1-2

Course Description:

This course will develop and enhance the oral communication skills (speaking, listening, interpersonal) of students who are college and career bound. This course will not only strengthen a student’s communication skills, but also enhance a student’s critical thinking. Demonstration, informative, persuasive, and group speeches will be studied, practiced, and given for assessment. The class will also explore and study verbal and nonverbal messages, listening techniques and skills, and interpersonal communication through class discussions and group projects. Students will incorporate technology through the use of PowerPoint and Prezi presentations. In order to give effective presentations, the research and organization skills of the students will also be developed and enhanced. Voice and body control (nonverbal communication) will also be developed and enhanced. Organization and filming of Inside The Tribe, participation.


Critical Film Study (Elective)

Level: Academic 11, 12

Length of Course: One Semester

Department: English

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Regular, Academic, or Enriched Freshman English

Course Description:

This course will be taken as an elective in the English department as it will rely on students watching films and writing their own original critiques. Students will also learn the history of film and will have short, group projects that allow them to explore and survey major directors and films that we do not have time to cover during class time. After the course concludes, students will know how to critically think about the films they watch in the future, giving them habits of mind that can transfer to any types of media entertainment.


ICC Eng 099 - (Transitional English): PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE READING AND WRITING

Level: Academic 12

Length of Course: One Semester

Course Description:

This course reviews the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the college classroom. Students will read critically and write developed essays. Upon successful completion of this course the student will have completed the prerequisite for taking ICC Eng 110.


English Staff

Belinda Anderson - 309-698-7579 - banderson@ep309.org

Belinda Anderson was born in Peoria, Illinois, graduated from Woodruff High School, and is currently living in Normal, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Northern Illinois University and her certification to teach 6-12 Language Arts from Illinois State University. Before coming to East Peoria Community High School, Belinda taught Sophomore, Junior, and Senior English at Woodland High School in Streator Illinois, and was a paraprofessional at Kinglsey Junior High School in Normal, Illinois. She is currently teaching Freshman Reading and Writing Strategies and Senior English here at EPCHS.


Kayla Bone - 309-698-7543 - kbone@ep309.org

Kayla graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor's degree in English. She has held several jobs in the education field including a short stint teaching 6th grade and working in a grade school library- both in the Pekin area. In her free time she likes to hang out with her family and their pets, read all the books, watch cheesy reality tv-shows, make Pinterest style crafts, and travel whenever she can.


Jill Dawson - 309-698-7582 - jdawson@ep309.org

I am an avid reader, music lover, loving wife and mother, dancing fool, self-proclaimed most unathletic person you’ll ever meet, and I teach English! I have always loved reading and writing, so majoring in English was a no-brainer. English Education has been my professional life since 1998. I obtained a teaching certificate in English and speech in 1997 from Eastern Illinois University. Straight out of college, I began my teaching career at Delavan High School in Delavan, Illinois. In 2007, I obtained my Masters Degree in Reading from Illinois State University. I am also a certified Reading Specialist. After teaching English and speech in Delavan for ten years, I took an English position here at EPCHS in 2008. Currently, I teach Enriched Sophomore English, Yearbook Class, and Intro to Communications. I am one of the advisors for the yearbook, The EPoCH, and our award winning student newscast, Inside the Tribe.


Monica Falk - 309-698-7532 - mfalk@ep309.org

My name is Monica Siebenthal and I teach Junior and Senior English. I also coach the Raiderette Dance team. In 2011, I graduated from Illinois State University with my English Education degree. After student teaching at EPCHS, I was hired as a full-time English teacher in 2012. Outside of school, I read, write, and spend time with family.


Brandon Oliger - 309-698-7578 - boliger@ep309.org

After growing up in northeast Ohio and earning my Bachelor’s degree in Language Arts Education at Cedarville University, I had the privilege of moving to central Illinois. I achieved my first teaching position in 2013 at Peoria’s Woodruff Career & Technical Center, where I taught 9th grade English for three years. Because I live right here in East Peoria, I was beyond thrilled to begin teaching at EPCHS in 2016. My wife, Katie, and I were married in 2016 and recently became parents. We love being part of the community here in EP, and I personally love the impact I get to have in the classroom here at EPCHS.


Casey Pfeifer - 309-698-7531 - cpfeifer@ep309.org

My name is Casey Pfeifer, and I teach Sophomore English and Dual Credit Composition here at EPCHS. I also teach a Film class elective. I attended ICC for two years and attended ISU and obtained my Bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education. I returned to ISU for my Master's in English Studies. I began my teaching career at East Peoria and have happily remained. I began a student-staffed writing center and am interested in students collaborating through their writing processes.


Tracy Otten - 309-698-7533 - totten@ep309.org

My name is Tracy Otten. I attended ICC where I received my Associate's degree in International Business. I then went to ISU and received my Bachelor's degree in French Education. In 2009 I completed my Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Olivet Nazarene University. I began working at EPCHS in 2002. During my time here I have been involved in a variety of activities. I am currently one of the co-advisors of the EPCHS chapter of the National Honor Society and teach Spanish 1-2, American Studies 5-6, and senior English.


Justin Yang - 309-698-7546 - jyang@ep309.org

Mr. Yang was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. He graduated from Woodruff High School, received his Bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, and his Master’s degree from University of Phoenix. Currently, he teaches Academic Sophomores, Reading and Writing Strategies for Freshmen, and AP Language and Composition, which is a class for Juniors and Seniors. In addition to teaching English, he currently coaches football and has done so for numerous years at EPCHS.


Shelby Yocum - 309-698-7529 - syocum@ep309.org

My name is Shelby Yocum and I grew up in Washington, IL and graduated from Washington Community High School. I received my Bachelor’s degree in English Secondary Education and my Masters of English Literature from Bradley University. I began my career at Illinois Valley Central High School in 2007 and have been teaching freshman English at EPCHS since 2009.

English Resources

Resources coming soon!