Communication, Rhetoric and the Literary Arts (CRLA)

It is the aim of the Department of Communication, Rhetoric and the Literary Arts (CRLA) to develop students' ability to use and appreciate the English and Arabic languages, both orally and in written discourse, to cultivate their facility for verbal analysis and persuasive writing and to introduce them to the major forms of literary expression. During their years at King's Academy, students progress systematically towards these goals by writing regularly for their courses and by participating periodically in formal declamations that will help them express themselves confidently in public speaking situations and prepare them for a life of cultural interactions, academic pursuits and political and social engagement. Students extend their knowledge of the grammatical and literary complexities of language as well as of its development, structure and beauty. Students study both English and Arabic in separate year-long courses for four years each.

Because King’s Academy attracts and welcomes students from around the world, for many of whom English is a second or third language, the CRLA department seeks to ensure that all students entering the school have the opportunity to receive any additional support they may need. To this end, the regular four-year English program is supplemented with an additional series of English courses (English Language and Composition) which students may be asked to take before embarking on the study of a third language. Similarly, students with limited exposure to the Arabic language and who need to develop a firmer grounding in the fundamentals of Arabic are required to enroll in an intermediate program. This is offered at three levels and prepares students to join the regular (language and literature) Arabic program. In addition, the language and literature program has an honors stream.

CRLA courses emphasize clarity of thought and expression, logical analysis and a close reading of literary texts, including fiction, essays, poetry and drama. Students study a broad array of writings and perspectives from a variety of traditions and historical periods. Class discussions encourage students to develop their own thinking skills, interpretations and voices. Because the student body is diglossic and bilingual, it is imperative that students are well prepared in both languages. Hence, the two departments are housed together and have regular meetings to discuss shared curricular materials and academic concerns.

Courses in this department for 2016-2017:

CRLA-Arabic: Introduction to Literary Genres (Regular)

This course introduces students to the various Arabic literary genres through exposure to a variety of works. Students encounter poetry, fiction, epistles, speech, dialogue, essays and biographies from different literary periods of Arab history. Specific focus is directed at the pre-Islamic age and its famed Mu’allaqat, as well as the main literary figures and characteristics of that era. Students also analyze contemporary short stories by Mikhail Naymeh, Mahmoud Timor and Ne'mat Buhairi, the play The Elephant, Oh King of the Times by Sa’adallah Wannous and the biography The Princess and the Foal by Stacy Gregg. Finally, students refine their writing skills while working with “Al Khatera,” persuasive and topical essays developed around an idea or a thought. Language skills, integrated through context, include spelling and grammatical/syntactical applications.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new 9th grade students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students.

CRLA-Arabic: Literature and Literary Appreciation (Regular)

This course offers students exposure to a wide variety of literary texts with the aim of cultivating their abilities in literary analysis, criticism and appreciation. Students experience a variety of readings that cover several genres: the rich heritage of gnomic literature with its proverbs and aphorisms, philosophical essays, selections from Arab narrative poetry and the epistolary tradition. Emphasis is placed on the Ummayad age, through the study of the spinning parthenogenesis as well as some outstanding writers from that epoch. Additionally, three contemporary literary works are analyzed: Joseph Qaeed ’s novella  Al-Harb fi Baar Maser, Muhammad Maghout’s play The Clown, and Ghassan Kanafani’s novella Men in the Sun. Finally, students hone their skills in persuasive and topical essays, literary response and story. Language skills, integrated through context, include spelling and grammatical/syntactical applications.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students

CRLA-Arabic: Literary Analysis — Arabic 11 (Regular)

Delving deeper into newer, more modern literary forms, this course introduces students to autobiographical works, oration, extended critical literary essays, poetry, fiction and epistles. Students learn the basic elements of these genres and refine their analytical writing skills. The course focuses on expanding students’ knowledge of major poets and authors of the Abbasid age, including the Fatimi, Mamluki and Ayyoubi literary periods, with readings of the Maqamat and their comparative and contrastive verse. Students also analyze three contemporary stories: Mikhail Nuaymeh’s Abu Patah, Tayeb Salih’s novella Ors al-zeen and  Abdasameea Omar Zinedine’s play Al-sultan yastakbel al- sabah, the study of which may culminate in a stage performance.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students

CRLA-Arabic: GCE Advanced Arabic (A-Level)

Seniors and advanced juniors read and write in preparation for the GCE Advanced Level Arabic exam. The course places special emphasis on literary text comprehension, translation from and into Arabic and English, using grammar to supply diacritical marks to texts and the study of issues related to Arab history, culture and art. In addition, students read three novels: The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz, Kalilah Wa Dimna by Ibn Al Muqaffa’ and The Lamp of Um Hashim by Yahya Haqqi. It is the expectation that those enrolled in this course will sit for the British A-Level examination.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 10th grade Honors Arabic, or successful completion of Literary Analysis with a minimum average of B+, or having passed the placement exam

CRLA-Arabic: Arabic Language and Literature I (Honors)

This course introduces advanced 9th grade students to the various Arabic literary genres through exposure to a variety of works. Students encounter poetry, fiction, epistles, speech, dialogue, essays and biographies from different literary periods of Arab history. Specific focus is directed at the pre-Islamic age and its famed Mu’allaqat, as well as the main literary figures and characteristics of that era. It also focuses on the Ummayad age through the study of the spinning parthenogenesis, and the outstanding writers of that epoch, in addition to issues of literary criticism in both periods. Students also analyze three contemporary literary works: Ibrahim Nasrallah’s novella Safe Weddings, Anaam Kjh G‘s novella Tashari and Sa’adallah Wannous’ play Ras Al-Mamlook Jaber , the study of which may culminate in a stage performance. Students refine their writing skills while working with “Al Khatera,” persuasive and topical essays developed around an idea or a thought. Language skills – integrated through context – include more complex spelling and grammatical/syntactical applications, plus some metrical exercises in poetry.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: An excellent mark on the placement test for new 9th grade
students.

CRLA-Arabic: Arabic Language and Literature II (Honors)

This course offers the distinguished 10th grade students exposure to a wide variety of literary texts with the aim of cultivating their abilities in literary analysis, criticism and appreciation. Students experience a variety of readings that cover several genres: the rich heritage of gnomic literature with its proverbs and aphorisms, philosophical essays, selections from Arab narrative poetry and the epistolary tradition. Emphasis is placed on the Ummayad age through the study of the spinning parthenogenesis, ‘antithetical verse’ (Al Naqa’id) and issues of literary criticism, as well as some outstanding writers from that epoch. In addition, students analyze three contemporary literary works: Joseph Qaeed’s novella Al-Harb fi Baar Maser, Amin Maalouf’s novella Orient Ports and Muhammad Maghout’s play The Clown, the study of which may culminate in a stage performance. Students hone their skills in writing persuasive and topical essays, literary responses and stories. Language skills – integrated through context – include more complex spelling and grammatical/syntactical applications, plus some metrical exercises in poetry.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: An excellent mark on the placement test for new
10th grade students or a minimum average of A- in previous Arabic Honors courses, or an A in standard grade Arabic, in addition to department consent.

CRLA-Arabic: Arabic Literature I (Honors)

This course is designed to introduce students to a range of texts from different periods, style and genres, develop their power of expression both in oral and written communication, develop their understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and develop their ability to form independent literary judgments and to support those ideas. The course focuses on expanding students’ knowledge of major poets and authors of the Abbasid age, including the Fatimi, Mamluki and Ayyoubi literary periods as well as contemporary Arab literature, focusing on literary forms such as Maqamat and their comparative and contrastive verse, the Andalusian lyrical stanzas and issue of free verse, overseas or emigrant literature, poetic drama, and literature in translation. Students also analyze four contemporary literary works: Ibrahim Nasrallah’s novella Shorfet Al-Aar, the biography of His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal My Career as a King, a collection of stories by Mohammad Tomaliah, Enthusiast Villains (Al-motahamsoon Al-Awghaad), and Tawfiq Al-Hakim’s play Al-Sultan al-Ha'ir, the study of which may culminate in a stage performance. This course also aims at providing students with the skills to write comprehensive comparative literary essays on various themes, as well as persuasive essays and literary responses, while linguistic issues will be addressed through contextual applications that respond to the levels of linguistic skills that students have reached, including some stylistic information that serves their writing skills and some metrical exercises in poetry.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Juniors and seniors who have completed the requirements of the GCE Advanced Arabic (A-Level) course and its external exams.

CRLA-Arabic: Intermediate I

The Intermediate Program is a bridge between the Elementary Program (part of the Department of World Languages) and the Language and Literature Program. is designed for students who have completed the Beginners Program and for newly enrolled students who did not achieve a sufficient degree of proficiency in multiple language skills at their previous schools; it is also useful for new students who have lost contact with their Arabic language learning prior to coming to King’s. It consists of three levels that are set by language proficiency at different skills rather than by age.

Students attain an advanced level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing using the right linguistic structure. They gain confidence in expressing thoughts, opinions and ideas in correct Arabic. They are exposed to simple texts of various literary genres and audio texts. This enables them to start comprehending literature and analyzing it. They are also able to grasp main ideas, write summaries and descriptive articles. The course aims to enable students to incorporate conversational and written activities by using extensive vocabulary. Students understand and interpret written and spoken language in a variety of topics, exchange opinions and hold debates.
Course length: One year or less
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students

CRLA-Arabic: Intermediate II

The Intermediate Program is a bridge between the Elementary Program (part of the Department of World Languages) and the Language and Literature Program. is designed for students who have completed the Beginners Program and for newly enrolled students who did not achieve a sufficient degree of proficiency in multiple language skills at their previous schools; it is also useful for new students who have lost contact with their Arabic language learning prior to coming to King’s. It consists of three levels that are set by language proficiency at different skills rather than by age.

Having attained an advanced level of proficiency in all basic skills and the ability to comprehend basic literary texts, students are exposed to more complex pieces of literature including poetry, audio texts, TV, printed and electronic texts and short stories.  They learn to analyze those texts and talk about them with confidence. Students also learn grammatical rules to better understand the relationship of the words in a text. They delve into historical topics about Middle Eastern heritage, traditions and regional conflicts that help them attain a fuller picture of the circumstances of the region. Students learn to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions by using appropriate language contexts in essay writings of their own.
Course length: One year or less
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students

CRLA-Arabic: Intermediate III

The Intermediate Program is a bridge between the Elementary Program (part of the Department of World Languages) and the Language and Literature Program. is designed for students who have completed the Beginners Program and for newly enrolled students who did not achieve a sufficient degree of proficiency in multiple language skills at their previous schools; it is also useful for new students who have lost contact with their Arabic language learning prior to coming to King’s. It consists of three levels that are set by language proficiency at different skills rather than by age.

Students read classical literature and listen to audio texts and they learn how to build thoughts and arguments related to these texts. They further improve their listening and writing skills to understand more complex and abstract topics. Moreover, students learn to write essays and articles using more sophisticated vocabulary in addition to discussing them in class in the form of debates or speeches. They are able to prepare and produce various media presentations on different topics.
Course length: One year or less
Prerequisite: Placement exam for new students; faculty recommendation and department consent for returning students

CRLA-English: Language and Composition

This course is designed to develop the language skills students need to succeed not only in their English literature classes, but in all the academic work that requires them to be proficient readers, writers, speakers, listeners and thinkers. Language and Composition focuses on the essential skills and understandings that students need to thrive academically: how to gather, develop, organize and express ideas clearly and effectively. An examination given at the end of the school year determines their readiness to leave the course, at which time they will have the opportunity to enroll in the other world language courses offered at the school.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Placement exam and/or teacher recommendation

CRLA-English: Introduction to Literary Genres (9th grade)

Ninth graders at King's Academy step on campus and join an inquisitive, dynamic, and formative literary community. They lay the foundation for their exploration of English literature by grappling with literary texts from a range of time and culture. They not only analyze narrative, verse and drama, but also challenge the text – and in the process, challenge the world around them. They become readers and writers with greater confidence, expression and stamina. Students review the fundamentals of English grammar and syntax, and expand their vocabularies to enhance their reading and sense of diction, building a tool box for reading and writing mastery. Texts may include, but are not limited to: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men, Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Story of Part-Time Indian, Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street and Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.
Course length: One year

CRLA-English: Arabic Literatures in a Global Context (10th grade)

This 10th grade course familiarizes students with trends and developments in Arabic literature over the late 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries and discuss genres and themes in a global context. Analyzing literary works helps students to comment on and interact with political, social and economic issues in the Arab World. The course focuses on close reading of Arabic literature in translation and texts by Arab writers written in English, and is supported by examples from other cultures to provide a global perspective. Arabic literature presents Arab and international students alike with unique intellectual and cultural challenges. Texts may include, but are not limited to Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, Hisham Matar’s In the Country of Men, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. In addition, students study poetry by Mahmoud Darwish, Ahmed Shauqi and Nizar Qabbani, as well as Shaheed Nadeem’s play Dara and Sa’adallah Wannous’ The King’s Elephant.
Course length: One year

CRLA-English: Great Works of the Western Tradition (11th grade)

In this 11th grade course, students develop the ability to read great works of literature closely, actively and imaginatively. They study not only what a text means but also how to appreciate the beauty of the written word. Students practice several types of writing, often in response to what they have read. Although they receive direct instruction in narrative, descriptive and creative modes of expression, the majority of written work focuses on developing the skills of argument, literary analysis and synthesis. Students also write and deliver a declamation to a live audience. The great works of literature include but are not limited to: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Course length: One year

CRLA-English: World Literature and Critical Analysis (12th grade)

Using a variety of texts and genres from various cultures and historical periods, this course demonstrates the numerous ways literature is valued. Students learn how gender, ethnicity, historical context (including colonialism) and myth are part of the interpretive process, and they learn to make personal connections with characters, experiences and ideas in literary works (including non-fiction). Students evince their progress in regular written and oral presentations. Written presentations focus on literary critical analysis but also include persuasive, narrative and descriptive essays, as well as opportunities for creative writing. Readings include but are not limited to: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Elie Wiesel’s Night, Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin, Bahaa’ Taher’s Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery, Moshin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Course length: One year

CRLA-English: Introduction to Creative Writing (12th grade)

Introduction to Creative Writing dips into four different types, or genres, of creative writing: journaling and personal reflection, short fiction, poetry, and drama/screenplays. This variety, while by no means comprehensive, is meant to inspire, giving students a short taste of a wide range of expression. While the course focuses on writing and the writing process, there is a significant amount of time spent reading, analyzing and discussing great pieces of writing, from the traditional canon, regional writers and more contemporary pieces – a good writer must also be a good reader. The class writes daily, shares weekly, and creates submission-quality pieces at multiple points throughout the semester, which culminates with a 12-15-page portfolio at the end of the year, featuring polished versions of each of the four types of writing. This course strives to instill a culture of writing in the students who partake; writing is not an obligation, but rather a necessary, engaging and dynamic form of expression. The course also seeks to push students beyond their academic comfort zone while simultaneously fostering a sense of self-confidence in regards to their personal writing.
Course length: One year

CRLA-English: Honors English

Honors English courses in grades 10, 11 and 12 are designed for students who have demonstrated the motivation, self-discipline, ability and academic readiness sufficient to read and explore more difficult texts in greater depth and complexity. Honors courses accommodate the needs of students who have demonstrated that they are ready to read more challenging texts and meet more challenging expectations, particularly in their written work.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Students must receive a recommendation from their current English teacher to be eligible to take an entrance exam intended to demonstrate their readiness to thrive in an honors course. The department will recommend students for the course based on their entrance exams, academic readiness and motivation as demonstrated by disciplined work habits.

CRLA-English: Advanced English - Literary Journalism (12th grade)

This is a college-level course that explores the boundary between literature and journalism while giving students the opportunity to craft their own pieces of writing for eventual publication in both the print and online editions of The Rexonian. Students learn the language and conventions of journalism as they apply to various ‘genres’ of journalistic writing: news reportage, opinion and op-ed, arts review and critique, investigative report and exposé, profile, cultural comment and analysis, human interest, etc. Students read both contemporary and classic selections from newspapers and magazines, as well as longer works of literature by journalists such as Dave Eggers, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Upton Sinclair and John Krakauer, among others. At the end of the year, students may elect to take the AP Language & Composition exam.
Course length: One Year
Prerequisite: 12th graders who have been recommended by their current English teacher may elect to take this course in place of either regular or honors English.

CRLA-English: AP Language and Composition

This course is designed to prepare students to develop the reading, writing and thinking skills necessary to meet the challenge of the Advanced Placement examination in Language and Composition, which tests students’ abilities to demonstrate a deep understanding of how authors use the principles and elements of rhetoric and language to develop meaning. Students enrolled in this course are challenged to read difficult nonfictional texts from a variety of disciplines, and to write for a variety of audiences and purposes in various genres.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Students must receive a recommendation from their current English teacher to be eligible to take an entrance exam intended to demonstrate their readiness to thrive in an Advanced Placement curriculum. The department will recommend students for the course based on their entrance exams, academic readiness and motivation as demonstrated by disciplined work habits.

CRLA-English: AP Literature and Composition

This course is designed to prepare students to develop the reading, writing and thinking skills necessary to meet the challenge of the Advanced Placement examination in Literature and Composition, which tests students’ abilities to demonstrate a deep understanding of how authors use language to convey meaning. Students enrolled in this course are challenged to read difficult works in a variety of genres and to develop the analytical skills necessary to develop a deep understanding of and appreciation for the subtleties and nuances of complex texts.
Course length: One year
Prerequisite: Students must receive a recommendation from their current English teacher to be eligible to take an exam intended to demonstrate their readiness to thrive in an Advanced Placement curriculum. The department will recommend students for the course based on their entrance exams, academic readiness and motivation as demonstrated by disciplined work habits.

Last updated
May 3, 2016