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English Course Offerings


A-G: P and AP English courses qualify for UC/CSU credit in area ‘a’.

English 9 P  (9) UC/CSU A-G    Area B

Freshman year English provides an introduction to literature. The reading list speaks to a maturing reader, and is broad in scope and deep in thematic richness. Students are not only exposed to a number of classics but also to a variety of newer texts that explore perennial themes in a changing cultural landscape. From this study of literature, the student will also learn to write, practicing the rules of English grammar and usage. The reading, writing, and oral skills learned in this course will serve the student as a foundation to any sequence of English courses at Terra Linda.

English 10 P  (10)     UC/CSU A-G    Area B

Focusing on a mix of classic and modern literature, the sophomore student will explore the human condition. What makes up our identity? Are we governed by fate or free will? What determines how we treat others? How are we impacted by the society in which we live? Students will continue to sharpen their reading comprehension, writing, listening, and speaking skills in order to strengthen self-expression. Reading selections are approached through a variety of lenses and may include Golding, Shakespeare, Sánchez, Butler, and others. 

Explorations of Short Fiction and Nonfiction P  (11-12) UC/CSU A-G Area B

Explorations of Short Fiction and Nonfiction is a year-long course that explores the importance of storytelling in both fiction and nonfiction.  The course is split into a series of 4-5 week “explorations” in which students read, discuss, and write within a specific genre in an effort to answer a driving question. For example, in our Exploration of Existentialism, we seek to answer the question: How does a person pursue happiness? To do this, we compare and contrast advice columns, the world happiness index, and existential authors such as Hemmingway.

The objective is to provide students with the expertise to communicate creatively (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and theater) to include vivid settings, believable characters, engaging plots, and meaningful themes. Students will write several short pieces, participate in writing workshops in which they will learn to provide and receive useful feedback and utilize the writing process to revise and improve their work. Additionally, students will read texts about the writing process and learn to critique and analyze professional short pieces from a writer’s perspective. 

Additionally, in their expository writing, we seek to help students develop an awareness of audience and purpose and the features of different genres, including travel writing, science fiction, sports, and literary fiction. Students will read works by contemporary and historical authors, and write essays that demonstrate advanced literary analysis and critical reading skills. 

Essential questions include: What makes literature compelling, how do writers balance their own creative missions with the needs of readers or audiences, what effective methods for creative writing exist and how can we make them our own?

This course is designed for students who are interested in developing as creative writers, appreciate unique stories, and want to craft their own, or for students who want to grow their skills and knowledge of effective writing. 

Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice P  (11-12) UC/CSU A-G Area B

Literature of identity and the Search for Social Justice is a year-long course that is broken into two thematic semesters. The first semester is designed for students who are interested in how the arts and social sciences can identify limitations in society and to advocate for positive social change. This course teaches advanced reading, writing and analytical skills.  The semester theme focuses on identity and inclusion; students will explore readings from authors traditionally underrepresented, including female, minority, and other marginalized voices.

The second semester examines the field of social justice in order to grapple with essential questions about human relationships, moral decision making and justice.  It focuses on social justice issues that include racism and criminal justice, socioeconomic status, and gender to examine issues of participation in democracy.  The course includes extensive reading of a variety of literary genres, in depth discussion, and substantial practice in writing to encourage a critical examination of human behavior and choice.

Essential questions include:  how do individuals define themselves, how does the definition affect interactions within the larger society, what is the role of voice and language in general in identity construction, and what is our collective and individual responsibility to the individuals around us?

This course is designed for students who are interested in reading literature by underrepresented and diverse voices in order to complicate what it means to be American.

AP English Language  (11-12) UC/CSU A-G Area B

Prerequisite: A or B in previous English course, or a C with a conversation with the teacher first.

AP English Language and Composition emphasizes the importance of rhetoric (the strategies and tools of language), argument (ways to pose positions and ask questions), and how writers must adapt their language to meet the needs of their audience. Through reading a variety of nonfiction texts that are both written by and focus on a range of voices and perspectives especially on those subjects that directly impact our schools, community, and shared human well-being. Students study rhetorical tools and techniques that authors use within their texts to achieve their purpose, how the historical context of a text influences its style, argumentation that encourages productive discussion despite contrasting positions, and writing using sources and experience. 

The course prepares students for the AP English Language and Composition exam in May while also refining critical reading, thinking, and expository writing skills for college-level study and beyond. Although the reading lists changes in response to current events and the needs of the students, the class usually includes writers like James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Bill McKibben, Ta-Nahesi Coates, David Foster Wallace, Brent Staples, Edwidge Danticat, and Terry Tempest Williams.

Essential questions include: how can we disagree productively, what makes a piece of writing effective and interesting, what is the effect of the audience on a text, how do we inform and persuade in a fair way, and what duty does the scholar have to their community?

This course is designed for students who want to read a wide range of nonfiction texts, understand the argumentative and rhetorical tools the authors’ use to convey their purpose, and want to develop their own skills and abilities as writers and speakers through collaboration with their peers. 

 AP English Literature  (11-12) UC/CSU A-G Area B

Prerequisite: A or B in previous English course, or a C with a conversation with the teacher first. 

AP Literature and Composition focuses on literary analysis of both canonical and contemporary poetry, fiction, and drama. Through reading a wide range of texts representing the full range of literary voices from around the world, students hone skills in reading, writing, analysis, and critical thinking as they learn to recognize the meaning of works as a whole. Students study the skills of character, setting, structure/plot, narration, figurative language, and tone, and develop an understanding of how these skills function and make meaning in the text.  In this class, students will frequently practice writing in depth about the texts they read, considering both surface features and their place in literary history. 

The course prepares students for the AP English Literature and Composition exam in May while also honing critical reading, thinking, and expository writing skills for college-level study and beyond.  Although the reading list changes from year to year, students typically study writers like Mary Shelley, Margaret Atwood, Henrik Ibsen, Percy Shelley, Tommy Orange, Tony Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and other American and international authors who speak to the universality of human experience. 

Essential questions include: what makes a work of literature compelling, what strategies do writers use to convey emotion and meaning, in what way do texts from a previous time speak to our current moment, and what is the nature of identity? 
This course is designed for students who want to participate in close and careful reading of poetry, fiction, and drama; students who appreciate thinking and writing about art and literature; and students who enjoy collaborating and discussing with others.


A-G: ELD courses do not qualify for UC/CSU A-G eligibility. 

ELD 1A & ELD 1B Newcomers

These are introductory courses for students starting English language acquisition. The courses cover basic interpersonal communication skills, English sound-symbol correlation in reading and writing, reading comprehension strategies, basic academic vocabulary and basic writing structures. Additionally, these courses include a critical literacy component to support students with interrupted formal education.

ELD 2A & ELD 2B Beginners 

These are courses for students in their second year of English language acquisition and provide continued emphasis on oral communication, reading and writing. Through these courses students begin to explore presentational speaking and learn more complex grammatical structures.

ELD 3 & ELD 3B Intermediate

These courses build on previously learned skills and further develop reading comprehension and writing proficiency. Students read and analyze literature and are expected to write short compositions and engage in academic discourse.

ELD 4A & ELD 4B Advanced 

This is a sheltered English literature course that prepares non-native English speakers to enter a mainstream English classroom the following year. The students are introduced to a structured, standards-based curriculum while continuing to receive language support and scaffolding as needed. 


For more information (including any updates since this information was posted) please check our Course Catalog