English Department » English Department

English Department

Language has the power to define and shape our experience with the world.


The English Department at John Hancock College Preparatory High School is dedicated to broadening students’ worldview by creating opportunities for them to have informed, critical ideas and to communicate these ideas with clarity, intentionality, and creativity. Throughout the curriculum, students learn what it means to read and think critically, practice methods of interpretation and research, analyze the formal qualities of text structure, approach texts from various perspectives and critical lenses, and place texts in historical and cultural contexts. Students will read a wide range of texts representing the socio-cultural diversity of our world and have access to all types of literacies --written, oral, visual, and digital--  in order to become well-rounded, critical, and thoughtful consumers of information and create a positive impact on their lives and the lives of others.


While doing so, students are exposed to relevant, rigorous, engaging, and innovative curricula throughout their four years at Hancock. The English Curriculum provides a two-year base for students to develop foundational disciplinary skills, English I and English II, then offers a variety of options in the final two years, including Advanced Placement courses and Dual-Enrollment courses through the City Colleges of Chicago. Students also have the opportunity to take electives such as Gender Studies, Journalism, and Film Studies.


Ultimately, by the end of their senior year, a Hancock graduate should be able to:

  • create effective, sophisticated, and original pieces of writing for a variety of audiences
  • analyze and evaluate the literary devices within and the rhetorical structure of a variety of texts
  • use a collegiate vocabulary and precise academic language to discuss texts
  • present their ideas using appropriate and thoughtfully-selected evidence in a variety of contexts
  • independently gather information from multiple credible sources and synthesize for new understanding
  • be critical consumers of information
  • be confident about their ability to write, speak, listen, read, and think in situations they may encounter in the academic community and the world
  • be actively engaged and affect positive change in their multiple worlds:  at school, at home, at work, and in their communities
  • be aware, tolerant, respectful, and understanding of other people
  • know their personal contexts and how their critical lens influences their reading of a text