English Language Development


ESL 5-6 Grades 9–12


Prerequisites: Enrollment in U.S. schools for 2 to 3 years and an Initial ELPAC performance level of intermediate and Summative ELPAC performance level of somewhat developed or moderately developed.


This course continues the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English with emphasis on the reading and writing processes. Students communicate ideas and information orally with increased confidence, demonstrating their understanding of idiomatic expressions, using different registers appropriately, and communicating comfortably in new and unfamiliar settings. Students read and write across a variety of genres, applying knowledge of language to derive meaning from text, and express themselves appropriately for different audiences and purposes. This course prepares students to succeed in the Mainstream English Cluster (grade-level English courses) by helping them develop appropriate academic language and learning strategies. Course content is based on state-adopted ELD Standards 2012 at the expanding proficiency level in tandem with the ELA/ELD Framework 2014.


Identity and relationships – Grade 9


This course, based on the themes of identity and relationships, allows students to explore their own identity as well as the different identities of those around them in their diverse communities. Fiction and non-fiction pieces by a variety of writers, will be used to promote discussion and serve as models for student writing. Students work independently and in groups in order to analyze and infer information from text, refine their writing, and use language to communicate to a variety of audiences.


English 3,4  - Grade 10 


English 3,4 is a one-period literacy course required of all grade 10 students, except those enrolled in English 3,4 Block or English 3,4 Advanced. The course content focuses on teaching the students skills and strategies for critical, independent reading and writing of increasingly complex expository and narrative texts.

Instruction in each standards-based unit of study interrelates reading, writing, oral communication, and language study. Students are provided with multiple opportunities to articulate their own ideas as well as to question, interpret, and evaluate others’ ideas. The goal of instruction is to support students in becoming independent, strategic, critical readers, writers, listeners, and speakers who communicate effectively in various forms, for genuine purposes, and to authentic audiences. The course also provides protected time for small group designated English Language Development (dELD) instruction for English Learners at all proficiency levels. This small group instruction builds critical language skills into and from the English content and is focused on the CA ELD standards.


English 3,4 Honors - Grade 10 


Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of literature and will grow in their abilities to respond to literature based on their own experiences. The writing process will be emphasized by the use of essay, research, and documentation as well as through creative writing. Students will proceed and move through all steps in the writing process. The following items will be refined and reinforced in their writing: research, spelling, grammar, and mechanics. Descriptive, evaluative, persuasive and informative essays will be developed by the students and creative and analytical thinking will be stressed.


American Literature 1,2 - Grade 11


This course emphasizes skills and strategies for independent reading of, analyzing, and writing about works of American literature, with a focus on how that literature reflects social, political, and moral issues in the United States. Instruction in each standards-based unit of study integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language study. Students are provided with multiple opportunities to articulate their own ideas as well as to questions, interpret, analyze, extend, and evaluate others' ideas. The goal of instruction is to support students in becoming independent, strategic, critical readers, writers, listeners, and speakers who communicate effectively in various forms, for genuine purposes, and to authentic audiences. 


English Language and Composition 1,2 AP - Grade 11


This Advanced Placement English course is designed to help students become more skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who can compose for a variety of purposes. By their writing and reading in this course, students should become aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience, expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effective writing.


This course (a) meets the district’s American literature graduation requirement, (b) meets the requirements for the Diploma with Academic Distinction, and (c) prepares students for the AP Examination in English Language and Composition.


Writer's Workshop 1,2  - Grade 12


Prerequisite:  Open to grade 12 students only.


This course provides students with both instruction and practice in writing for different audiences and purposes. Pieces by professional writers prompt discussion and serve as models for further writing.

Working independently and in groups, students refine their use of language. Students also learn to interpret and evaluate writing in the media as well as information conveyed by graphics. The standards-based units of study integrate all aspects of literacy: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students collect their work and reflections in portfolios.


English Literature & Composition 1,2 AP - Grade 12


This Advanced Placement English course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative 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 such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of literature and include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays as well as possible creative writing.


The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Literature and Composition. It also meets the requirements for the Diploma with Academic Distinction.


Expository Reading and Writing 1,2 - Grade 12


Prerequisites: Score of EAP Achievement Level 3 (Standard Met) on the English portion of the grade 11 Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) test.


This course is for college-bound seniors with an EAP status of “conditionally ready” based on the results of their grade 11 SBA tests in English.


The goal of the CSU Expository Reading and Writing (ERWC) course is to prepare college-bound students for the literacy demands of higher education. Students are expected to increase their awareness of rhetorical strategies employed by authors and to apply those strategies in their own writing. They will read closely to examine the relationship between an author’s argument or theme and his or her audience and purpose, to analyze the impact of structural and rhetorical strategies, and to examine the social, political, and philosophical assumptions that underlie the text. By the end of the course, students will be expected to use this process independently when reading unfamiliar texts and to provide lengthy, independently written responses.


Students who earn a grade of C or better in this course and who have an EAP status of “conditionally ready” will be considered remediated and will no longer need to take the CSU English placement test (EPT) or remedial English courses once enrolled in the CSU system.


English 101 - Grade 12 *Class is offered specifically for students planning on attending a community college in the fall

*MESA College Course


This course is designed for transfer-level students or for those who want to develop competence in college level reading and composition. Students read, analyze, discuss and think critically using a variety of works and sources. Based on these activities, students write essays, fully documented research projects, and other types of texts for various purposes and audiences. This written work, which demonstrates effective, logical, and precise expression of ideas, totals at least 6,000 graded words. Designated sections of this course may be taught from a specific cultural perspective.


English 205 - Grade 12 *Class is offered specifically for students planning on attending a community college in the fall

*MESA College Course


This intermediate-level college reading and writing course uses the principles of rhetoric to build research and critical thinking skills required for success at four-year institutions. Emphasis is placed on reading, evaluating and writing argumentative prose. Students locate, evaluate and integrate outside sources into their writing assignments, which total at least 8,000 words for the semester. This course is intended for students majoring in English and all students interested in improving critical thinking and writing skills.