The faculty, across all disciplines, is focused on improving reading, writing, and speaking skills. We work together to ensure our students are building the skills and knowledge to be prepared for the rigors of communications in today’s world. We believe the foundations we build In English will serve them at the college level and throughout their careers. 

Academic Approach

Much of our teaching is theme-based, and we pride ourselves on guiding students to discovery and enhancing higher level critical thinking skills with “Essential Questions” that tie in personal experiences, current events, and societal issues within literature. This approach engages and motivates teenage boys to improve their communication skills and apply learning to real-world applications (e.g. emails, texting, research papers, creative writing, manuals). 



English 7

7th grade – Full Year

English 7 will introduce the Cadets to the fundamentals of grammar, usage, mechanics, and the writing process. Reflective of the California standard in the instruction of written composition, the process writing paradigm of pre-write, draft, revise, edit and publish is reinforced and fully implemented. Cadets will study the techniques of informative, persuasive and creative writing, and demonstrate proficiency through written responses to literature and nonfiction texts. Cadets will learn to use academic language to express their ideas with maturity. Reading comprehension strategies will emphasize the identification and use of key plot elements, characterization, and story structure to enhance the comprehension process.

English 8

8th grade – Full Year

English 8 will encourage Cadets to see themselves as writers. The finer points of English grammar are instructed through the use of activities related to the revise and edit steps of the process writing paradigm. Through analysis of their own compositions, Cadets are introduced to the rhetorical patterns and grammatical tools necessary to write clearly. As Cadets gain confidence in writing across the narrative, expository, descriptive and persuasive genres, they will learn to develop the organizational focus and supportive detailing necessary to quality written composition. Speaking and listening skills, poetry study, rhetorical analysis, and other supplemental units are also offered throughout the course of the academic year. Reading strategies are also sharpened. While continuing to target plot element and characterization as keys to comprehension, the focus begins to expand to other literary devices, building the bridge to the inferential comprehension of authors’ implied, underlying meaning.

English 9

9th grade – UC Approved Course Full Year

The chief objective of English 9 lies in the development of greater writing skills and higher-level reading comprehension strategies. Writing activities target a variety of narrative and expository compositions while emphasizing the use of academic language to elevate the writing and add depth of thought. In developing reading comprehension strategies, students work toward identifying main idea, interpreting authors’ inferential meaning, and recognizing literary vocabulary and devices. Beyond the vocabulary and grammar inherent in the reading and writing portions of the class, cadets study grammar and SAT preparation vocabulary. They regularly engage in open-ended, Socratic discussions that center on the big ideas represented in the texts they read and write.

English 10 and English 10 Advanced*

10th grade UC-Approved course Full Year

The objective of English 10 is to develop skills in reading comprehension, composition, and oral communication. The course exposes Cadets to all forms of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and novels. Cadets learn how to read actively in order to improve comprehension and retention of their readings.

To prepare for the written portion of the SAT test, students learn the strategies of rhetorical analysis, focusing specifically on what an author does to build an argument. They will formulate their own arguments, making claims, selecting evidence, and explaining their reasoning.

Writing will be taught as a process, focusing specifically on both the idea-generating and proofreading stages. Weekly speaking and listening activities round out the curriculum.

*For those cadets seeking fuller academic opportunity, advanced courses offer a more challenging learning experience through an increased depth of curricular content at an accelerated pace. Heightened student expectation requires teacher recommendation.

English 11 and English 11 Honors*

11th grade UC-Approved course Full Year

The objective of English 11 is to further the skills developed through English 10 and to provide Cadets an overview of American literature, examining the human experience through the lens of various, diverse texts. Cadets will read a variety of essays, short stories, poems, and novels from the American literary canon. Writing skills will focus on argumentation and the necessary use of specific examples and evidence embedded within the content of any well-developed essay. To better prepare the Cadets for the essay portion of the SAT test, there will be a shift from literary to rhetorical analysis. Specifically, Cadets will examine how writers craft their text intentionally to influence the audience’s thinking. Targeted critical thinking skills encourage Cadets to form educated, individual opinions on the assigned subject matter while taking an active part in-class discussion.


*For those cadets seeking fuller academic opportunity, advanced courses offer a more challenging learning experience through an increased depth of curricular content at an accelerated pace. Heightened student expectation requires teacher recommendation.

English 12

12th grade UC-Approved course Full Year

The objective of English 12 is to further the skills developed in English 11 and to prepare students fully for an entry-level college English class (without the necessity for remediation).

Students will survey the breadth of British literature by reading essays, short stories, poems, plays, and novels from the Anglo-Saxon period of epic poetry up through the Modern Age of literature.

For writing skills, students will move beyond the imposed boundaries of the five-paragraph essay and will learn the difference between opinion and fact. They will write essays covering the skills of description, comparison and contrast, analysis, argument, and detailed research.

For thinking skills, students will be further encouraged to form educated, individual opinions on the assigned subject matter, while taking an active part in class discussions.

ESL (English as a Second Language)

9th through 12th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year

This literature based course is designed to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the English Language. Emphasis is placed on the active reading strategies, study skills, and academic language functions needed to access the English Language Arts Standards and the content curriculum. This class is designed to facilitate the transition into mainstream English. One unit of an ESL course may be taken which satisfies a cadet’s English curricular requirement. ESL courses may also be taken within a cadet’s course of study to better support his learning.

AP English Curriculum

AP English Language & Composition

12th grade UC-Approved Honors course Full Year

Pre-requisite: An “A” or “B” in English 11 Honors or an “A” in English 11 with instructor approval.

The objective of AP English 11 is to guide the highest-achieving students to become better writers and more critical readers.

Through extensive reading and discussion of primarily non-fiction, and a wide variety of writing exercises and formal written assignments, students will gain rhetorical skills necessary for success in any college discipline.

Students will focus on how individuals write within a particular situation and make strategic writing choices based on that situation. They will learn that writers make claims about subjects, rely on evidence that supports the reasoning that justifies the claim, and often acknowledge or respond to opposing viewpoints. They will also examine how the rhetorical situation informs the strategic stylistic choices that writers make.

This course is meant to replace a college writing and rhetoric course.

During the second semester, the class will include extensive preparation for the AP Language and Composition exam in May.

Extensive outside reading, discussion, and written assignments will develop thinking and language skills in preparation for AP English 12.

This course differs from English 12 in both breadth and depth, requiring more reading, more writing, and more higher-order thinking skills in all work.