English Language and Composition (Experienced Teachers)

Course Description

This course focuses its attention on two major topics: rhetoric and argument. Under the umbrella of these two major focuses, we will delve into a variety of topics during the course of the week.  The first day will be spent examining rhetorical and argumentative theory, then applying that theory to a series of texts. In addition, we will make sure all participants are familiar with the recent course revision. The next day, we will explore the topic of reading and the teaching of it. Specific strategies and templates for learning to read well will be at the center of this day. Our next focus will be writing. We will examine how to write the three free response essays, as well as explore other salient writing issues as students build their composition skills. Samples will be our next stop, with particular attention paid to the kinds of essays students need to write for the exam as well as the kinds of writing work that makes sense in a classroom. Miscellaneous topics dot the latter part of the course: assignment design, assignment sequence, assessment, grammar,  synthesis, and paper load. Curriculum building, if needed, will complete our work for the week.

Bernie Phelan, Consultant

Bernie Phelan is an allegedly retired teacher whose career spanned 40 years of active, high school teaching, thirty of those involving teaching AP English Language and Composition. He currently consults for individual school districts and with numerous programs within College Board. He was chair of the test development committee for SAT: Writing from 2011-2015, has been a member of the committee since its inception in 2003, and is currently a member of the group which reviews multiple-choice items for the SAT. He is a long-time table leader and reader for the AP English Language and Composition exam, having read the exam since 1987. He conducts one day workshops during the school year in AP English Language. He has conducted more than 115 four- or five-day AP Institutes since 1997. From 2000-2004 he was an elected trustee of The College Board. Recently, he co-authored, along with David Jolliffe and Hephzibah Roskelly.