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English

Our English courses allow students to develop critical reading and thinking skills, an appreciation for the power of words and an increased knowledge of themselves in relation to world cultures. Students learn to comprehensively engage essential communication and technological skills, as well as learning and research skills, while continually growing in their ability to express themselves in their oral and written work.

Passionate Readers

In the Author Study Applied Learning course, students research independently and collectively discuss their favorite authors and works of literature.

Hot off the Presses

Zeitgeist is Concordia's groundbreaking literary magazine showcasing student work and the breadth of our English program from non-fiction analysis to creative introspection.

Real-Life Journalists

Members of the Student Journalism Association have the opportunity to be published. Students write articles or submit interviews for local publications in Shanghai.

General Requirements

Humanities English

In the freshman year, English is integrated with history and Spiritual Explorations to compose the Humanities program. This Grade 9 English course offers students the opportunity to study and discuss selected works of various genres in relation to the historical and cultural forces which influenced them. The class is designed to promote academic excellence in English language arts through enriched experiences in literary analyses, vocabulary development, grammar usage and application and written and oral communication. Special attention is given to identifying and understanding literary techniques and terms. The writing process—from forming a clear thesis to submitting a final, edited draft—is emphasized in order to help students develop effective short essays and response papers. Oral skills are developed through a variety of both formal and informal opportunities. Students will compose essays under time restraints in preparation for the PSAT, ACT and SAT timed writing tests.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0

English 10 Struggle, Voice & Expression: Artistic Intention and Genre

In order to become a thoughtful, productive citizen in the 21st century, an individual must think critically, read widely with comprehension, and write from a perspective of strength, truth, and conviction. The purpose of this course is to study the techniques that make literature a powerful art form, while practicing the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that make us more capable thinkers and communicators. Another important goal is for students to strengthen their analytical skills through the close study of selected works of prose and poetry—representing different genres and various periods of literary history. This class is designed to promote academic excellence in English language arts through enriching experiences in literary analysis, vocabulary development, grammar usage, and written and oral communication. In-class and out-of-class essays are also major components of this course.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite:
Humanities English

English 11 Culture, Justice & Choice: Perspectives and Issues

In this complex age, fraught with questions, issues, and angst about the future, our grade 11 English course is designed to help students navigate their understanding of the world. Social justice, global issues, equality and identity are all themes students will explore in this course, as they consider the potential of their individual and collective agency. They will evaluate various perspectives on the future of humanity, including a variety of dystopian ideas and depictions of future worlds. The purpose of this course is to consolidate key skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language that students have learned in grades 9 and 10. As such, students will write a variety of literary, expository, and narrative essays, while executing close reading and analysis of a variety of texts. Students will also hone the oral communication skills necessary for any type of career. Students in this course will also be prepared to take the SAT II Literature test at the end of their junior year, should they desire to do so.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: 2 years of English


English 12 Reflection, Agency & Authenticity: Steps on the Journey

As students enter their senior year, they are inevitably faced with many questions and possibilities regarding their own futures. From starting the year with a unit focused on the college essay and establishing a personal sense of vision for the future, students will continue to ask big questions throughout the year about what it means to journey within (self, with others, with society) and then journey beyond (beyond high school, beyond dependence, etc.). In this course, students will build upon the skills mastered in either English 11 or AP English Language & Composition in preparation for college-level reading, writing and oral communication tasks. As such, there will be emphasis throughout this course in these areas, ensuring all students will be confident and successful with their language skills as they graduate from Concordia. In this course, students will continue to engage in close reading and analysis assignments. In the first semester, students will explore a variety of texts across multiple genres related to the journey within; they will be exposed to a variety of stories in which characters explore the psychological and philosophical questions common to most people. In second semester, students will explore a variety of texts across multiple genres focused on the journey beyond; these texts will open up questions related to what it means to live an authentic life, one that is imbued with meaning and a sense of purpose.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: 3 years of English


Students in 11th and 12th grade may choose AP or elective courses, in lieu of or in addition to, English 11 or English 12 to complete the four English credits required for graduation.

Advanced Placement Courses

AP English Language & Composition

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition is designed to represent college-level English studies and can earn students college credit. Students in this AP writing course study essays composed by writers from a variety of disciplines and periods, reading works by autobiographers, diarists, biographers, historians, critics, essayists, journalists, political commentators, scientific writers and nature writers, among others. Close reading of a wide variety of such critical, non-fiction works is encouraged in order to provide students with a solid foundation in analysis, a broad reading background and strong composition and persuasive writing skills. Extensive written critical analyses are a major component of this class. At the end of second semester, students will focus on how to write and develop a successful college essay in preparation for the application process during senior year. In addition, students will compose essays under time restraints in preparation for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP timed writing tests. The course culminates second semester with the AP English Language and Composition Exam, which will test students’ understanding of how authors use language to express views, convey meaning and affect their audiences.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: Minimum B+ in previous English class with teacher recommendation

AP English Literature & Composition

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is designed to represent college-level English studies and can earn students college credit. This AP course emphasizes the analysis of poetry and prose fiction by considering the structure, style and dominant themes of selected works as well as smaller scale elements of literary analysis such as figurative language, imagery, point-of-view and tone. Close reading of a wide variety of works of literary merit is encouraged in order to provide students with a good foundation in literary analysis, a broad reading background and strong composition skills. Extensive written critical analyses are a major component of this class. The course culminates second semester with the AP English Literature and Composition Exam, which will test students’ understanding of ideas that unite major areas of literary study.


Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite: Minimum B+ in previous English class with teacher recommendation

English Electives

Author Study*

This semester-long applied learning course provides advanced study of a significant author of the student’s choosing (with teacher approval). Individually, each student will focus on a selection of works by his or her chosen author, examining a range of issues associated with that writer's literary canon, critical reception, and longevity. Coursework will include an in-depth study of form, style, and genre; social, cultural, and political contexts; dominant themes, motifs, and structures. This close examination of one particular writer offers students the unique opportunity to hone their own critical reading, critical thinking, and critical writing skills, as they take an in-depth, scholarly look at an author of their choice. Frequent sharing of insights and researched findings will allow for a lively academic exchange of developing literary perspectives. This course is for serious bibliophiles only.

Duration:1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Two years of English credit, a conference with faculty teaching the course, and a commitment to begin reading over the summer.

Storytelling Agency*

This semester-long course provides students with authentic experiences in creative writing. The vision for this course is to capture and create stories which ultimately, celebrate the human spirit and foster a sense of global community.

Students in this course will produce high quality, marketable products for publication and also become more acquainted with the professional writing industry. Coursework will include delving into the craft of one or more genres of creative writing and storytelling, while working with editors, meeting real-world deadlines and eventually, publishing. Whenever possible, proceeds from published works will be invested in socially conscious organizations located in China and beyond.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Two years of English credit, a conference with Mrs. Furth and the submission of three original creative writing pieces for review.

*Denotes a one semester course

Explore the high school course guide and discover unique offerings across the disciplines