Course Descriptions

Grade 8 Courses

English Language Arts 8 is a foundational curriculum that equips students with the language and literacy skills they will need for success in school, community, career, and life. It provides students with the opportunity to become effective communicators, to develop and express their own ideas, and to think deeply and critically about the ideas of others.

The English 8 curriculum is designed to empower students to become thoughtful, ethical, and responsible citizens of a diverse society. As they explore texts, students come to understand the influences shaping the condition and, more specifically, Canadian society and the unique contribution of First Peoples to our country and province. Through the study of a variety of texts and worldviews, including First Nations’ literature, students gain awareness of the human condition and themes; this includes historical and contemporary contexts of First Peoples, which will lead to mutual understanding and respect.

The English 8 curriculum allows students to explore the following BIG IDEAS:

  • Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world.
  • People understand text differently depending on their worldviews and perspectives.
  • Texts are socially, culturally, and historically constructed.
  • Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens.
  • Language and text can be a source of creativity and joy.


Grade 9 Courses

The English 9 curriculum continues to build upon the curricular competencies introduced in English 8. Students will learn to express themselves through a variety of forms with clarity and depth. A variety of genres and types of texts will be explored with the aim of developing an understanding of figurative and literal expression.

The English 9 curriculum allows students to explore the following BIG IDEAS:

  • Language and story can be a source of creativity and joy.
  • Exploring stories and other texts helps us understand ourselves and make connections to others and to the world.
  • People understand text differently depending on their worldviews and perspectives.
  • Texts are socially, culturally and historically constructed.
  • Questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens.


Grade 10 Courses

The aim of English Language Arts is to provide all students with opportunities for personal and intellectual growth using all forms of communication to make meaning of the world and to prepare them to participate effectively in all aspects of society.

All students will complete 4 credits total of English Language Arts 10

They will complete Literary Studies 10 (2 credits) AND one other option 2 credit CHOSEN option (Creative Writing, Composition OR New Media). This course will be combined into one 4-credit blended-course option (either Lit Studies/Composition 10, Lit Studies/Creative Writing 10, or Lit Studies/New Media 10).

The additional two (2) credits may be earned in the following courses:

CREATIVE WRITING 10 (Human Story & Dystopic Fiction)
This is an introductory course where students will sharpen and build their tool-kit as literary artists. Through the study of key texts in specific genres, we’ll stand on the shoulders of literary giants, and look at the ways in which they’ve tackled the question of ‘what does it mean to be human?’ Students will read a range of fiction, including flash fiction, short stories, memoir, and film, from a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. One of the topics we will explore is the immigrant experience, and the tension that this creates between parents and their children. We will look at stories that explore this tenuous relationship and the tension between balancing family expectations and our own happiness. In the second half of the course, we will look at the world of dystopian science fiction and explore stories and themes in this popular genre.

NEW MEDIA 10 (Seeing and Making Meaning in Media and Lit)
In this writing-intensive course, you will read range of fiction, including short stories, memoir, and graphic text, from a diverse range of national and cultural perspectives. We will consider the relationship between word and image in texts, films, adaptations, and other formats that highlight the marriage of the visual and the textual.

COMPOSITION 10 (Identity, Heroism and Diverse Experiences)
By examining a diverse grade appropriate selection of text and media, this course builds students’ writing abilities by introducing them to varied structures, forms, and styles of composition. Students will have opportunities to individually and collaboratively study, create, and write original pieces and explore audience and purpose through a variety of thematic-based units.


Grade 11 Courses

One 4-credit Grade 11 Language Arts Course is required for Graduation.

NEW MEDIA 11 (Identity, Resistance and Resilience)
In this course, we will be exploring identity, the resistance to racial stereotypes and oppression, and resilient and hopeful perspectives in literature and film. Students will explore the ideas of resistance to and resilience found in oppression, by reading, viewing and comprehending text and showing understanding of these themes in their own writing.

COMPOSITION 11 (Struggle, Strength, Heroism and Identity)
By examining a diverse selection of text and media, we will be exploring identity, individual struggles and experiences, and learning about what it means to be a true hero. This course focuses on learning about and expressing understanding through a variety of writing styles. Students will be given opportunities to develop their comprehension and communication of skills with a variety of written forms, including literary analysis, synthesis, and personal narrative, including story telling. Students will explore theme in text and how those texts relate to themselves and the world.

CREATIVE WRITING 11 (Writing Like a Pro)
In this course, students will have the opportunity to unpack the following essential questions: How can stories be used to make connections across time, place, and culture? How is story an effective communication tool? What makes a good story? How do writers design realistic and relatable characters? Where do writers draw their inspiration from? What function do literary devices/techniques serve? We will explore these big questions by focusing on the elements of fiction and non-fiction, narrative voice (and the difference between reliable versus unreliable narrators), and characterization through a variety of mediums (print, digital, etc.) and genres. Students will develop and hone their ability to think and communicate creatively through writing and designing original short stories, scripts, comic strips, poems, memoirs, multimodal book jackets, newspaper covers, and more.

LITERARY STUDIES 11 (Identity: We to Me)
In this course, students will explore the question, ‘How do our identities get shaped?’ By reading and viewing a variety of ‘identity-themed’ literature and texts, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry and film, students will develop their comprehension of text and their communication and writing skills. A focus of the course will be text analysis and synthesis of text. We will work on how to find meaning in text, how to show deep understanding of those texts, and understanding what those texts say about the world and our experiences.

This course is designed to build students’ skills and confidence in academic tasks across the
curriculum and ability to apply their growing range of strategies. It is meant to extend the exploration
and practice of ELL students into the four main English language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. CEL will help students gain awareness of their own identify and cultural contributions to Canadian culture and society through literature.

Cultural Empowerment Through Language 11 is a 4-credit course and counts towards graduation. This course is designed for students who:

  • are in ELL level 3/4
  • are multilingual
  • want to further practice their English speaking, listening, reading and writing in order to achieve greater academic success
  • want to share their own lived experiences to enrich a diverse Canadian culture and community


Grade 12 Courses

This required English Studies 12 course builds upon and extends students’ previous learning experiences in English Language Arts. This course provides students with opportunities to:

  • refine their ability to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and to achieve their personal and career goals
  • think critically and creatively about the uses of language
  • explore texts from a variety of sources, in multiple modes, and reflective of diverse worldviews
  • deepen their understanding of themselves and others in a changing world
  • gain insight into the diverse factors that shape identity
    appreciate the importance of self-representation through text
    contribute to Reconciliation by building greater understanding of the knowledge and perspectives of First Peoples
  • expand their understandings of what it means to be educated Canadian and global citizen

Using oral, written, visual, and digital texts, students are expected individually and collaboratively to be able to build comprehension skills and make connections.  Students will evaluate how literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning and impact text.   Building on reading and writing skills, including language conventions, is at the core of language development in English 12.

English 12 First Peoples provides opportunities for all students to engage with indigenous creative expression and enter the worlds of First Peoples provincially, nationally, and internationally. The course focuses on the experiences, values, beliefs, and lived realities of First Peoples as evidenced in various forms of text—including oral story, speech, poetry, dramatic work, dance, song, film, and prose (fiction and non-fiction). A key feature of the course is its focus on authentic First Peoples voices (i.e., historical or contemporary texts created by or with First Peoples).

In EFP 12 students will have the opportunity to:

  • examine texts grounded in a diversity of First Peoples’ cultures,
  • extend their capacity to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts
  • think critically and creatively about the uses of language
  • deepen their understanding of themselves and others in a changing world
  • gain insight into the diverse factors that have shaped and continue to shape their own identities
  • appreciate the importance of self-representation through authentic First Peoples’ text
  • contribute to Reconciliation by building understanding of the knowledge/perspectives of First Peoples

English 12 First Peoples is the academic equivalent of English Studies 12. The course is designed to enable students to develop the English language and literacy skills and capacities they must have in order to meet British Columbia’s graduation requirements.

AP English Literature & Composition is an introductory college-level literature and writing course and is designed to prepare students to successfully complete the AP English examination and receive college credit at participating colleges and universities.

As stated in the AP English Literature and Composition Course Description, “The AP English Literature and Composition course focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods. Students engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and [enjoyment]. As they read and write, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, and symbolism. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works” (7).

Writing instruction will include attention to the following core elements of the AP English Literature scoring criteria:

  • fully responding to a given prompt with a defensible thesis that presents an interpretation and may establish a line of reasoning;
  • making textual references (direct quotes or paraphrases) that are relevant to the text/thesis;
  • providing well-developed commentary that consistently and explicitly explains the relationship between the evidence and the theme/thesis;
  • demonstrating sophistication of thought and/or developing a complex literary argument;

Throughout the course students will practice both timed essays and longer out-of-class papers. Through constructive feedback from both the teacher and peers, students will revise some of their pieces into polished final drafts. Most important to success in AP English Literature is the careful reading of texts, engagement in class discussions, and ever seeking to improve as an accurate reader and effective writer.

Although there are no prerequisite courses for AP English Literature and Composition, students would benefit from having taken English 8, 9 and 10 Honours, and have a wide awareness of literature and genre. Students should be able to read and comprehend college-level texts and write grammatically correct, complete sentences.



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