The English curriculum at Bridgton Academy is committed to giving each student a solid foundation in both literary analysis and writing. As students benefit from discussing literature with their peers, the courses are designed to be interactive. Grammar and vocabulary are taught as well, within the context of improving each student’s writing skills and reading comprehension.

Students may select from one of two course levels (as detailed below)—English Composition/Literature or CAP English—based upon assessment of their background, skills, and demonstrated ability. Admittance into CAP courses is by invitation only and based upon the outcome of the entrance exam.

I. ENGLISH COMPOSITION/ENGLISH LITERATURE—These courses are taught as two sequential semester-long courses; students earn separate semester grades.

Offered in the first semester, English Composition is taught fairly uniformly, with an emphasis on writing and grammar; during the second semester, the emphasis shifts to literature (please see next paragraph). During the fall semester, students will also read selections from various genres, including short stories, novels, and dramas. Class discussions and frequent writing assignments are related to the reading, and all students are required to produce a research paper.

Following successful completion of the first semester, students will choose from the following second semester electives: Public Speaking, The Hero’s Journey, Baseball Literature, Adventure Literature, Creative Non-Fiction, The Literature of War, and The Historical Novel.

A full year of college-level English (CAP is short for College Articulation Program) is available for exceptionally strong students. In the first semester, College Writing is the equivalent of St. Joseph’s College of Maine’s College Writing (EH 101). In the second semester, students who successfully complete Composition will be eligible to enroll in a literature-based course that will also carry college credit through St. Joseph’s College of Maine. As with English Composition/Literature, this level of English is taught as two separate courses.

Offered in the first semester, this course focuses on the student’s ability to develop a strong thesis, to write clear prose, and to contact and persuade an audience through the expository and critical essay forms. Research methods and persuasive writing are used in the preparation of several research papers. As in the same course at St. Joseph’s College, students write a variety of compositions, study grammar, and explore the interrelationships among writing, thinking, and speaking. In addition to weekly written assignments, the course requires long-term projects that necessitate careful planning. Successful completion of this course qualifies a student for three (4) hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College.

Offered in the second semester as part of the CAP sequence, this course explores literature through the examination of specific texts in this area. Students work to improve their abilities to appreciate, understand, and interpret literature, and are given extensive practice in reading and writing analytically. Successful completion of this course qualifies a student for three (4) hours of transferable college credit from St. Joseph’s College.