English / Language Arts

Grade Level

Sequence Option #1

Sequence Option #2


English Language Arts I

English Language Arts I Honors


English Language Arts II

English Language Arts II Honors


English Language Arts III

AP English Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition


English Language Arts IV

AP English Language and Composition or AP Literature and Composition

These are typical routes taken by students. Movement between courses/sequences is possible from year to year based on student performance, teacher recommendation, and potential summer coursework. Many of our schools have additional courses specific to their school/theme, which are not included in the above chart. Refer to individual school course of study manuals for further information/prerequisites for these courses.


English Language Arts I/English Language Arts I Honors*

“American literature has never been content to be just one among the many literatures of the Western World. It has always aspired to be the literature not only of a new continent but of a New World.” - Christopher Dawson

Typically, English Language Arts I will focus on the study of American Literature as an essential experience for any high school student. In this course, students will read and respond to a broad collection of works from revered American authors and examine how these texts answer questions of American identity, American history, and the American dream. Students will examine major literary movements that have defined American literature, such as romanticism, realism, environmentalism, modernism, and postmodernism and the conditions that gave rise to each. Throughout the course, students will analyze how critical issues in our nation’s history (i.e. race, identity, war and gender) are reflected in and continue to shape the American literary landscape. 

English Language Arts II/English Language Arts II Honors

“…the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” - Walt Whitman

This course centers on the study of the human voice and its potential to impact change. Understanding the capacity of the human voices lends itself to greater understandings of power, authority, and social advancements within societies. Power is gained, maintained, and often restricted through language and the expression of individual and collective voices.  Along with the power of voice comes responsibility: the obligation to act justly and the spirit to better the world. When used properly, strong voices have given rise to leadership, activism, empowerment, and liberation. Unfortunately, the responsibilities of voice are not always fulfilled. Too often, corrupt voices and the abuses of associated power lead to oppression and injustice. In this course, students will read a broad survey of works in which voices positively and negatively yield impact and create change, be it characters’ voices and effects upon the textual worlds in which they reside or authorial voices and their influences upon the world we share. In addition, students will use their own writing to discover and harness the power of their own voices as instruments to shape the world around them.   


English Language Arts III*

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” - James Baldwin

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with important literary figures and works from around the world.  Covering variant writings from continents and cultures near and far, the course will allow students the opportunity to study literature as an art form that reflects human experience, emotion, need, and identity at both universal and cultural levels. In this course, students will examine how and why cultural and literary archetypes exist as well as how literature passes on cultural values and explains natural events. Students will read and respond to a variety of works from the ancient, developing, and modern world as they work to broaden their own perspectives, awareness, and tolerances.  Through this exploration, students will develop an appreciation of richly variant world authors as well as a heightened awareness of different cultures.

English Language Arts IV 

“One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas — and you have to work through it all.” - V.S. Naipaul

Students entering grade 12 are prepared for deeper considerations of written expression, ready to tackle social issues through a variety of lenses and to situate their own identities and voices in the larger world of text. Students will analyze, critique, and compose written expression as a vehicle for identity formation, challenging norms, impacting change, and possibly transforming the world in which we live.  This course focuses on characters’, authors’, and students’ responses to social constructs and the establishment of identity through writing. Consideration is given to the real or imagined societies in which individuals exist and how these worlds define, create, and demand space for reaction and response. Social Constructs and the Individual’s Response requires students to consider themselves as individuals within larger societies whose abilities to think critically and impact change make their stories and arguments worthy of being heard.


College and Creative Writing

College and Creative Writing is a course designed to help students further their capabilities as writers who can effectively and innovatively make their voices heard. Focus will be given to the development of the personal narrative and memoir (including the  college essay), research skills and strategies required for informative and argumentative composition, as well as grammatical and rhetorical techniques that both clarify and enhance the written word. Students will have opportunities to both read and produce writings from a wide variety of textual genres as they push their own conceptions and previous boundaries of written expression. Because good readers make good writers, students will continue to pursue texts whose authors are renowned for their ability, technique, originality, and impact. As part of their coursework, students will maintain writing portfolios, important collections of their own work they will use to regularly reflect upon and assess their continued development and success as writers. 

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition 

The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods. (from The College Board)

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition 

The AP English Literature and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level literary analysis course. The course engages students in the close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works. (from The College Board)

See individual program of studies courses for additional English language arts courses offered at a specific school. 

 * American Literature and World Literature themes are offered at each school, but may vary in sequence

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