High School Literature, High School Vocabulary

by Gyan
(New Delhi, India)

In most high schools, the study of English literature focuses on the proper use of language, both for personal and public requirements. It also requires the student to develop an appreciation for the various types of literature e.g. poems, fiction, essays, letters, drama etc. The high school literature is divided into four years and each year students develop on the basics of a particular part of English literature and build on it in future years. For examples, the first year, students learn the foundation to the writing process through construction of thesis statements and writing essays. They study the rules of grammar and begin building their vocabulary. They are encouraged to look closely at the style of each author who is prescribed for study along with the plot and theme of the book. By way of debates and extempore, they also learn to speak in public.

In year 2, they build on the principles of year 1 and devote their time expanding the formal and informal forms of written expressions. They learn to make a synopsis of their writing through drafts and find ways to polish their writing into their own personal style. The books for the high school literature explore the whole gamut of literature from the earliest writers like Chaucer to the contemporary poet e.g. Emily Dickenson & T S Eliot. Each English language author or poet and the characters within their writings is analysed and students are expected to complete a research paper along with other presentations. World literature is also introduced and analysed.

Some of the literary works that are a part of the high school literature are � Death of a salesman, the great Gatsby, heart of darkness, invisible man, a passage to India, Wuthering Heights, Romeo & Juliet, Diary of Anne Frank, the Crucible, and Animal Farm etc. An oral interpretation of a poem wherein different students will interpret the meaning of the poem differently is useful. Along with this, it is possible for students to reflect over their responses to the poem or text under discussion to describe how they have been influenced earlier. Through classroom discussions, the high school literature can be made a team effort when each student is encouraged to develop his own style and be critical about the author under discussion. Drama can be used to foster interpretation.

Everyone, from learners to veteran journalists is sometimes frustrated when they are unable to recall the right word when they require it. It is also equally frustrating when you come across a word you did not know. This is where building a high school vocabulary that is adequate to the needs of one�s reading and self expression is essential. It should become a personal goal for every writer and speaker. Most bookstores have books that help in building a more powerful high school vocabulary and books that group words according to what is common among them are very useful.

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