Language Arts

Language Arts and Social Studies at Atheneum are joined in one integrated Seminar for each year of study. Every text conveys lessons in both the language arts and social studies and by its depth and complexity promotes the coherence of the Seminar. Challenging texts of prose and poetry are the basis for the study of grammar and style. Writing is emphasized as a means not only to communicate one's thoughts thoroughly and elegantly but also to deepen one's own learning. Students gain a historical and geographical foundation through the study of carefully selected original works from various cultures and historical periods. But they learn more than the particular histories of nations and time periods; they learn to explore questions and ideas that are both timeless and timely: questions on truth, justice, freedom, power, equality, love, conflict, and beauty. As students examine and discuss the reasoned arguments contained in these texts, they develop the skills of judgment necessary for full and active participation in the larger community. Supplementary texts, such as The History of Western Civilization (Chicago Univ. Press) are also used. The texts, together with the seminars, provide the indispensable basis for deepening the students' understanding and appreciation of both language and society.
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