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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.

Facing Literature's Monsters

Don’t be frightened by the rigor of the Monster Mash course, which has students examining Gothic and horror fiction texts to unearth the deepest fears of changing cultures.

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 religion 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

World Literature

This Grade 10 English course offers students an in-depth survey of selected works of various genres in relation to the historical and cultural forces which influenced them. In order to become a thoughtful, productive citizen in the 21st century, an individual must think critically, read widely with full comprehension and write from a perspective of strength and conviction. Within this English course, students will hone the composition skills needed to meet the challenges of upper-level course work. 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. Extensive written critical analyses in the form of both in-class and out-of-class essays as well as an MLA formatted research paper are required components of this course. In addition, students will compose essays under time restraints in preparation for the PSAT, ACT and SAT timed writing tests.

Duration: 2 Semesters
Credit: 1.0
Prerequisite:
Humanities English

In addition to these required courses, students may choose AP or elective courses 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

American Literature

This English course offers students the opportunity to study and discuss selected works from various genres in American literature, to master basic skills of grammar and mechanics, to improve usage and vocabulary, as well as to develop organizational skills for the writing of short essays, compositions, speeches andresearch papers. Representative novels, short stories, poetry and selections of non-fiction are studied in chronological order in relation to their historical context and investigation of the cultural voices represented. The writing process—from forming a clear thesis to submitting a final, edited draft—is emphasized in order to help students develop effective essays and response papers. Oral skills are developed through a variety of both formal and informal opportunities.
*This course can be taken for one semester.

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

Author Study*

This semester-long 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. Along with lively and insightful class discussions, and critical evaluative essays, students will be tasked with a public dissemination of their overall researched findings. This close examination of one particular writer offers students the unique opportunity to hone their own critical reading, thinking and writing skills, as they take an in-depth, scholarly look at an author of their choice.

Duration:1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite:
Two years of English credit

Social Justice & Literature

Social Justice & Literature is designed to help students hone the language and composition skills necessary for success in college English course work. The purpose of this class is to study selected literary works of various genres in relation to the historical and cultural forces that influenced them. The class is designed to promote academic excellence in English language arts through enriching experiences in literary analyses, vocabulary development, grammar usage and application and written and oral communication. Close reading of a wide variety of works of literary merit is encouraged in order to provide students with a solid foundation in literary analysis, a broad reading background and strong composition skills. At the beginning of first semester, students will develop and write college essays to be used in conjunction with the application process. Extensive written critical analyses are major a component of this class as are MLA and APA formatted research papers on approved topics.
*This course can be taken for one semester.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Two years of English credit

Gothic Literature*

Monsters (vampires, werewolves, the wendigo and monstrous clowns) have a prominent place in popular culture. Rooted in Gothic Literature, monster stories are fascinating in terms of what they reveal about the human psyche and literary tradition. In this course, you’ll read some classic monster stories (including Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), and some contemporary tales (Coraline by Neil Gaiman as well as dozens of short stories and poems). You will hone your close analysis skills and get goose bumps, all at the same time. This course will prepare you well for the rigor of AP Literature and any college course involving literary analysis.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisites:
Two years of English credit

Creative Writing*

This class develops writers through innovative techniques and shared writing experiences. Although you will ultimately produce your own work, you will find that writing is very much a collaborative effort as we will be working as a writing community throughout the semester supporting, encouraging and helping one another. Each class you will be engaged in some kind of writing activity covering poetry, short fiction, personal narratives and nonfiction works. Students will showcase favorite works in a class anthology at the end of the course.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Two years of English credit

Literature and Film Studies

This semester-long course will allow students to critically analyze works of literature and their subsequent iterations as movies. Students will investigate specific motifs, literary devices, character development, settings, values and themes found in short stories and novels, and determine how these concepts
are conveyed through film. Particular attention will be given to dialogue, cinematography, set design, and score. Coursework will include comparative analysis essays and research on creative license, author intent, cultural values, the evolution of both genres, and the inherent role of readers/audiences. Analyzing the narrative and artistic decisions of writers and directors in order to better understand the art of storytelling and its purposes in society shapes the objectives of this course.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite:Two years of English credit

Science Fiction*

This course is designed to create discerning students who will develop a respect and enjoyment for this genre of literature. Students will be encouraged to use higher order thinking skills through conducting comparative studies, writing essays and using specific research techniques. The course will use a mixture of the written word (short stories and novels), spoken word (Radio shows and presentations) and visual literacy (television and film). Students will do outside reading and film watching within the genre as well.

Duration: 1 Semester
Credit: 0.5
Prerequisite: Two years of English credit

*Denotes a one semester course