High School English Courses

There are a wide range of English courses offered to develop students' reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. For complete course descriptions, prerequisites, and applicable grade levels, please see the course description handbook.

Rhetorical Skills

This course helps establish competence in the skills of English which are needed in a college preparatory program. Reading focuses on work in vocabulary, comprehension, and literary appreciation. Formal grammar and effective written communication emphasize sentence revision, paragraph formation, and the organization of essays. Effective speaking skills are learned through a variety of individual and group formats. Research techniques are developed through the completion of a large project.

Literature & Composition


The literature program integrates and builds critical thinking a and reading skills by asking students to analyze the styles and techniques of different literary genres, including short stories, drama, poetry, and novels. Writing assignments are done in collaboration with the literature assignments. Students write expository and creative pieces as well as a research paper which uses their library skills.

American Literature & Composition 


This course offers a survey of American literature which is organized within dominant themes. Major authors, significant literary movements, and multicultural perspectives are highlighted. Composition and speech are integrated with the reading program, and students do a variety of writing, from informal reading responses to one formal research paper as well as creative writing. Writing focuses include proofreading for grammatical and mechanical perfection, development of ideas, and revision techniques. Students will need to complete a formal research paper to pass the class.

American Studies: English


This survey of American literature draws mainly from works written since 1885 and parallels the American history part of the course, thereby establishing historical context (e.g. Prohibition) for the work being studied (e.g., The Great Gatsby). As in other junior English courses, major writers, significant literary movements, and multicultural perspectives are highlighted. Composition and speech are integrated within the reading program. Student writing ranges from informal journal writing to literary analysis to research projects. Our major research project will be the history of STA, local, state, and U.S. topics placing them within their full historical, literary, and artistic context. Discussion, individual and small group presentations, tests and both creative and analytical work provide a means for student expression and proof of mastery of the material covered.

Honors Critical Reading & Writing


This course is designed as preparation for AP English with emphasis on reading and writing with critical awareness. Both American and world writers are included. Specific analyses include textual interpretations of varied genres. Assignments center on analytical papers, including a research paper, creative work, and a variety of oral presentations. Focuses on writing improvement include proofreading for grammatical and mechanical perfection, development of ideas, and revision techniques. Students will need to complete a formal research paper to pass the class. To register for AP English, students need instructor’s approval and a B+ or better at registration and thereafter.

World Literature & Composition*


Course material consists of important literary works selected from various cultures.  In-depth study of one major work per quarter refines the student’s ability to analyze a text closely. Traditional writing assignments on topics in literary analysis focus on developing the student’s writing skills.  Students write a research paper as a major portion of their grade to bring their research and writing skills to the college level.

Advanced Placement English*


AP English is intended to prepare seniors for the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam. Students may receive college credit or placement in advanced levels of college English. The primary emphasis in AP English is to provide students with rigorous academic experiences similar to those found in a college English course.  Students read and discuss novels, poems, plays, and philosophical essays in order to hone their literary insight and develop higher-level writing skills. Formal papers prepare students for college writing; timed essays and multiple-choice tests provide them with extensive exposure to the types of questions encountered on the AP Exam. 

*The senior speech requirement is fulfilled as part of these courses’ objectives.

HIGH SCHOOL ELECTIVE



Creative Writing

This elective course is open to juniors and seniors interested in varied types of writing. The class is conducted as a writer’s workshop wherein students share their writings and work towards a polished portfolio of their best work. Students actively write for the purposes of creating finished works including, but not limited to, poetry, short stories, essays, memoirs, and drama. Students study models of good writing and varied literary selections.  Course can be offered as independent study.