English Language & Composition for Experienced Instructors

Course Description: 

Teachers will begin the week with a discussion of the AP Language course itself, as they have experienced it. Participants will compile a list of the literature they teach in their AP courses, discussing the various uses of those texts. Then teachers will consider various strategies they use to introduce and reinforce rhetorical analysis. We will consider the teaching of writing, including all three types of AP essays: synthesis, analysis, and argumentation. Participants will study close reading and annotation skills,  applying their knowledge to a number of excerpts, including examples of pre-20th century literature. Teachers will discuss analysis of poetry, prose, film, music, and visual text. Additionally, the group will consider techniques for teaching multiple choice. The week will also include time for writing and analyzing lessons, sharing items they have brought and generating new items. Finally, teachers will have time to share best (and worst!) practices, learn from each other, and laugh (or cry) over our triumphs and trials as teachers.

Class Preparation:

Before coming to class, participants should read the Free Response Questions for the 2018 English Language and Composition Exam. These questions will be available before the end of May on AP Central (see Exam Information.) Since participants will spend some time on lesson writing, they should bring a piece of dense text they would like to address. Additionally, teachers might bring a lesson or strategy that has worked for them, as well as a laptop, if desired.

Course Schedule: 

Day 1: Analysis Tools and AP Skills for Students and Teachers

  • College Board’s Equity and Access Statement
  • Discussion: problems in teaching AP
  • Major works and course organization
  • Copyright issues
  • The 2018 Test: an overview
  • The Analytical Toolbox and Checklist; Warrants and Terms; the Basics
  • Annotation and Close Reading: sample lessons and responses
  • Analysis is Analysis: passages, video, visuals, etc.
  • Using Claim / Evidence / Commentary as a Construction Tool

Day 2: Strategies for Teaching Analysis; Decoding the 2018 / Other Analysis Prompts; Writing Thesis Statements; Course Planning

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Argument
  • Using Templates
  • Generating Thesis Statements
  • The 2018 Analysis Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Theme and Tone as Tools
  • Discussion of Various Rangefinders
  • Socratic Seminars as an Analysis Tool
  • Close Reading as Analytical Support
  • Lesson Planning, Part 1

Day 3: Strategies for Teaching Synthesis; Decoding the 2018 / Other Synthesis Prompts; Course Planning

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Synthesis
  • Using Templates
  • Analyzing the Synthesis Format; the 2018 Synthesis Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Rangefinders
  • Analysis is Analysis: Using Videos and Visuals in Synthesis
  • Finding and Using Evidence
  • Lesson Planning, Part II

Day 4: Strategies for Teaching the Open-Ended Prompt; Decoding the 2018 / Other Argument Prompts; Multiple Choice; Best Practices and Evaluations

  • General Comments and Discussion, Teaching Open-Ended Argument
  • Analyzing Types of Argument
  • The 2018 Argument Prompt
  • Using and Modifying Old Prompts
  • Rangefinders
  • Dealing with Multiple Choice and Vocabulary
  • Analysis is Analysis: Poetry and Other Animals
  • Best and Worst Practices; Summing Up and Evaluation


Phone: 253-535-8790
Fax: 253-535-7184
Email: profdev@plu.edu.

Instructor Biography: 

A colleague told Kim some years ago that good teachers must be willing to reinvent themselves every five years. By that standard, Kim has reinvented herself many times, having taught for 39 years. She spent 21 years working with middle school students in Amarillo, Texas; she wrote the original honors curriculum for seventh and eighth grade English in Amarillo. In 1999, Kim decided she was mature enough to “graduate” to high-school teaching. She then began working with sophomore Pre-Advanced Placement and junior AP classes at Tascosa High School, also in Amarillo.  During her time in Amarillo, she received extensive training in both AP and Pre-AP teaching techniques.

In 2009, Kim moved with to the Pacific Northwest; she now teaches at Hanford High School in Richland, Washington. Kim’s current assignment includes AP Language and junior American Literature. Kim has worked as the liaison to Central Washington University, implementing the state’s revised College in the High School curriculum.  Just to make things fun, Kim has also taught English 7 – 12, choir, marketing, Latin, Texas and American History, and Career Education. Kim has been a College Board consultant since 2002, and has presented summer institutes and one-day and two-day seminars throughout the Southwest, as well as in California, Colorado, and Utah. She has been chosen to present sessions at the AP National Conference on two separate occasions. In her spare time, Kim reads, makes beaded necklaces, and rides her horse.