Course Descriptions - English


The aim of this course is to develop students' written and oral communication skills and to investigate a variety of literary genres in literature.  The course will focus on developing critical thinking skills through enjoying, understanding, and responding creatively to literature and media.  Students will continue to develop writing skills in a variety of forms and for varied audiences and purposes. These skills are taught together with learning strategies that will enable students to become stronger readers and writers.



Humanities 8 combines the naturally complementary fields of Social Studies and English, as there are many skills and processes common to both curricula.  The course focuses on the connections between history (from 7CE-1750CE), geography and current events. These discussions will be linked to the study of literature and English skills and strategies: reading, writing, speaking and listening.  The integration of these subjects will allow to student to understand that academic skills are transferable.  The inter-disciplinary approach will allow students to expand their knowledge of the world, broaden their skills and perspectives, and encourage students to become informed and educated citizens.



Prerequisite:  English 8   

The goal of English 9 is to promote "personal growth through introspection and reflection."  Students will further develop written and oral communication skills and experience a variety of genres in literature and non-fiction reading. These skills are taught together with meta-cognitive strategies that will enable students to become stronger readers and writers. Reading and writing assignments will help students to appreciate "the universality of some human experiences and the uniqueness of others" and to emphasize other points of view.  Clarity in oral and written expression is emphasized.



Prerequisite: English 9

English 10 will look quite different this year as we work towards implementing the exciting structural changes required by the redesigned curriculum. Instead of the usual 4 credit, year-long course, English 10 will now be divided into two 2-credit options. Students may then choose to explore one of these options more fully in the following year in grade 11.


Given the constraints of scheduling in a linear system, there will be two combinations of options offered. Please note that although each option has a different focus, both course will focus on the core English Language Art curricular competencies: reading, listening, viewing, writing, speaking and representing. Students must choose one of the following options:


Option 1: Spoken Language and Composition (MEN--10---SLC)

The ability to clearly communicate our thoughts and beliefs is an integral component of our personal, social and political experience. This course option focuses on developing skills in both written and spoken language. Students will deepen curricular competencies through exposure to various structures, forms, and styles of written and spoken language. Through the processes of drafting, reflecting, and revising, students will create a variety of original works, which will be shared in a supportive and encouraging environment. If you would like to improve your writing across different genres and improve your skill and comfort in spoken language, this is the option for you!


The following are possible areas of focus within Spoken Language and Composition 10:

  • narrative, expository, descriptive, persuasive, and opinion pieces
  • creative forms such as slam poetry, rap, drama, song, graphic novels, oral storytelling, readers’ theatre, recitation, podcasts, radio, vlogs
  • multimodal creative forms that combine visual, written, and oral texts
  • planning, drafting, and editing processes
  • writing for specific audiences and specific disciplines
  • analyzing and citing sources


Option 2: New Media and Focused Literary Studies(MEN--10---NML)


The ability to understand and critique ideas presented in a variety of forms is essential in our multi-media world. From published works, such as novels and poetry, through the traditional forms of media, to the world of online blogs and video content, understanding the structures of our communication is a vital skill. This course option will allow students to explore literature and text to deepen both their analytical skills and their ability to inhabit different perspectives. Coursework is aimed at providing students with skills vital for success in our complex literary and digital world by affording opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of and communicate their ideas through a variety of print and digital media. If you would like to improve your reading and analysis skills and investigate the digital world of new media, this is the course for you!


The following are possible topics within New Media and Focused Literary Studies 10:

  • genre-specific studies — poetry, short stories, novels, drama, graphic novels, children’s literature Canadian literature, and First Peoples’ texts, etc.
  • thematic studies
  • specific author studies
  • media and film studies
  • journalism and publishing
  • writing for social media, gaming, podcasting



ENGLISH 11 (MEN--11)

Prerequisite:  English 10

English 11 represents the first component of the two-year Provincial Language Arts graduation program.  English 11 focuses on the expressive and functional purposes of language in a wide variety of contexts.  This course provides students with the opportunity to study literary and informational communication, as well as the mass media and technology.  Students are expected to work more independently in the graduation program, and to experiment with more sophisticated and complex uses of language.


Students will work intensively with various forms of written, spoken, and visual communication; think critically, creatively and reflectively; and develop positive and productive attitudes toward the learning and application of language. In English 11 there is a greater emphasis on more formal levels of spoken and written communication, including significantly higher expectations in various forms of writing.


ENGLISH 12 (MEN--12)

Prerequisite:  English 11 or Comm 11*

English 12 is the second and final year of the graduation component of the Provincial Language Arts curriculum.  English 12 focuses on the expressive and functional purposes of language in a wide variety of contexts.  This course provides students with the opportunity to study literary and informational communication, as well as the mass media.  The basic assumption of the course is that language is dynamic and evolving, but also systematic and governed by rules; instruction of skills embraces both of these aspects of language.  As in all segments of the Language Arts program, students are encouraged to explore personal interests and aptitudes through a variety of reading, writing, and viewing activities.  There is a continuing emphasis on critical thinking and writing skills.

The Provincial Exam in English 12 counts for 40% of students’ final mark.

* Students who have completed COM 11 will normally proceed to COM 12, but in certain circumstances may be allowed to enroll in English 12.




Prerequisite:  EN 10 & COM 11 or EN 11

These courses, which satisfy the Language Arts 12 requirement for graduation, are intended for those students who plan to attend post-secondary education at the college level (**) or who plan to enter the work-force after graduation.  The course focus is on communication skills and experiences which are applicable to a variety of career choices.  Students will study a variety of genres in literature, and non-fiction writing.  Evaluation will be based on various forms of compositions; reports, letters, ads; and presentations; and reading assignments.  There will be a Provincial Exam at the end of the Communications 12 course that counts for 40% of the students' final mark.

*   Students who have completed COM 11 will normally proceed to COM 12, but in certain circumstances may be allowed to enroll in English 12.

** Com 12 is accepted for entry to BCIT (typically only trades based programs) and many programs at Langara and Kwantlen directly out of high school.  It is not accepted for direct entry at universities and some post-secondary institutions.  Students are advised to check with their Counsellor that they have the correct grade 12 English courses for the post-secondary school they wish to attend.



ENGLISH 11 HONOURS (MEN--11---H) / ENGLISH 12 Advanced Placement 12 (AELC12)

Do you have a passion for English? Do you enjoy reading and writing? Do you love to discuss challenging ideas and abstract concepts? Do you enjoy rhetorical questions? This program is for you! AP Literature and Composition is a course that goes beyond the concepts and ideas of regular senior English. It is a two-year program which follows the College Board Advanced Placement criteria and, upon the successful completion of the exam, is the equivalent of a first-year post-secondary English course.


In this program, students will study works of recognized literary merit and will use these studies as the basis for a variety of writing and oral assignments, including essays, critiques, debates and discussions. The emphasis is on literary analysis, critical thinking and reasoned, well-developed expression. There is also a heavy emphasis on thoughtful, well-reasoned and articulate discussion. Supplementary activities may include theatre and gallery visits. Due to the nature of this course, the number of sections will be limited.


The program includes the following two courses:

  • English 11 Honours (EN 11H) in place of English 11 - Prerequisite:  English 10 (recommended B standing or higher)
  • English 12 - AP Literature and Composition (AELC12) in place of English 12 - Prerequisite:  Completion of EN 11H or, space permitting, a recommended B standing or higher in English 11.

Registration in this course provides credit for both English 12 and AP Literature and Composition.


Students are required to write the provincial government English 12 examination that accounts for 40% of the final mark.  Students will also be expected to write the AP in English Literature and Composition, a three-hour exam that gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of interpretive reading and writing skills. See AP section of program planning.




Love! Death! Joy! Faith! Doubt! The creator of Narnia, C.S. Lewis, proclaims that “We read to know that we are not alone.”

Literature 12 takes students through the major works of English Literature, from the Anglo Saxon warrior epics, through the glory of Renaissance poetry and plays, to the modernist search for meaning and purpose.


The study of such literature provides a solid and thoughtful foundation for all further studies in the Humanities, while also giving us a framework to discuss the themes that are common to all human life.  This class includes critical analysis, creative writing and a great deal of discussion. Each year students discover that, as Wodehouse says, “There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.”


Open to Grade 11 and 12 students. Grade 11 students should be aware that this is a senior elective with Grade 12 curriculum learning outcomes and expectations. This course is accepted at most colleges and universities as an academic credit suitable for post-secondary entrance.



WRITING 12 (MWR--12)

Have you always wished to write a novel? Do you scribble poems in your free time?  Do you have dreams of being a journalist or blogger?  Have you fantasized about selling a script in Hollywood?  Writing 12 will strengthen the writing you wish to do in a flexible delivery format.  This course is both a survey and independent directed study.  If you want to focus on one type of writing, you may do so in this course.  If you wish to explore many types of writing from short fiction and journalism to memoirs and poetry, this course will introduce you to all of this.  Depending on course enrollment this course may run in collaboration with Richmond Virtual School and takes place after regular school hours in a semestered system.  The primary focus is on creative experimentation within a variety of styles and through the genres of short fiction, poetry, autobiography, children’s fiction, travel literature and journalism.  Students will explore both themselves and their world through the creative process of writing and the thrill of publication.  Enjoyment, appreciation, sharing, and imagination are the key elements of this course.

This course is accepted at some colleges and universities as a credit suitable for some programs.  Check with your counsellor for details.