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9th Grade

Literature & Writing

This course integrates the study of literature with instruction in the writing process. Students will explore the ideas and issues of literature while improving their writing, speaking, listening, thinking and language skills. Materials include poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction.

10th Grade

World Literature

Using works of world literature, the student will explore themes of human experience and inquiry. The literature will include novels, plays, stories and poetry by historical and contemporary authors from around the world. This literature-based program provides instruction and experiences for students to build their listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking skills.

11th Grade

American Literature & Writing

This course provides rigorous and challenging experiences for the student in the areas of critical reading, critical thinking, effective discussion, note-taking, essay test-taking, expository writing and research. The core of the curriculum is a chronological or thematic study of American literature, its literary periods and major writings. Outside reading focuses on broader philosophical ideas, encouraging wider reading including classics by American authors.

AP Language & Composition

The AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The course also shows how generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing This course uses a survey of American literature and writing from the beginning of the country to modern times with which to frame the studies of language and composition.


Sophomore students interested in taking AP LAC as a junior year are expected to take an AP LAC diagnostic exam. The exam is typically given in late January/early February and requires students to sign up. Students are encouraged to discuss readiness for this courses with their World Literature teacher to better understand course expectations.

12th Grade

European Literature

European Literature 12 is a college-preparatory course for high school seniors. Beginning with the Middle Ages, the course is organized chronologically, encompassing a wide variety of masterworks from the literary traditions of the British Isles and continental Europe. In addition to offering a rough historical survey of European literature, the course functions as a genre review that embraces epic poetry, drama, novels, lyric poetry, short stories, essays, historical accounts, philosophical works, and other informational texts. The course writing assignments will prepare students for the types of writing they are likely to encounter in college. These assignments include persuasive essays, timed responses to fictional and non-fictional readings, literary analysis essays, and formal research papers. Students will also have the opportunity to write their own poems and fictional pieces, in response to the literary examples on the course reading list.

AP English Literature

This Advanced Placement English course in Literature and Composition engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as smaller-scale elements, such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on selections that do not yield all of their pleasures of thought and feeling the first time through. Students will read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity in order to absorb its richness of meaning and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form.

English Learner Program

Literature courses are offered at each grade level and intended for our English Language Development students. All EL courses are UC and CSU approved as college preparatory English classes. Students must qualify to be placed into the English Learner program. Qualifying students are enrolled into the appropriate ELD level and grade-level appropriate sheltered Literature course simultaneously.


Grade level: any
College eligibility: Does not meet A-G requirements
Recommended Coursework: Placement determined by appropriate English Language Assessment

This course is designed for students who already have a foundational knowledge of English in academic and communicative vocabulary, sentence structure, reading of non-fictional and fictional texts, and writing. Through quality interactive instruction and activities, students will continue to build cognitive academic language proficiency in all four skill areas. Texts will be of greater length and complexity. Students will be introduced to additional expository and narrative writing genres, including persuasive, research and biographical essays.


Grade level: any
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved college preparatory English, subject area B
Recommended Coursework: ELD 2 or placement determined by English Language Assessment

This course is designed for advanced learners of English as an additional language. Students acquire sophisticated academic and communicative vocabulary, sentence structure, reading of non-fictional and fictional texts, and writing. Students read non-fictional and fictional texts of demanding length and complexity in various genres to prepare them for advanced mainstream English and courses in other content areas. Through quality interactive instruction and activities, a print-rich environment, and public speaking experiences, students will continue to solidify cognitive academic language proficiency in all four skill areas. Students will be introduced to additional expository and narrative writing genres, including full research reports and reflective essays.

Course Sequence

Grade 9

Literature & Writing

Grade 10

World Literature

Grade 11

American Literature or
AP Language & Composition (diagnostic exam strongly encouraged)

Grade 12

European Literature or
AP English Literature

Department Chair

Robert Richmond ext. 6820 English Teacher, Department Chair