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English Language Arts

Language is fundamental to thinking, learning, and communicating in all cultures. In academic, business and social contexts, language enables us to communicate with precision, clarity, and artistry; apply the conventions of language; gather and organize information and ideas; and use communication forms and styles that suit our abilities, specific purposes, and the needs of the audience.

All students must successfully complete English Studies 12 for graduation in British Columbia. The pathways for Language Arts are designed for students to reach their individual potential. We recommend that students choose courses to match strengths, interests and goals. An additional consideration is that the post-secondary institutions in BC have different entrance requirements with regard to high school English courses. Students should consult university and college calendars to determine entrance requirements for the faculties or programs they wish to pursue.  Most universities and colleges require English Studies 12 for entrance.  English First Peoples 12 may be substituted. Certain English courses are available as SHIFT courses.  


The English Language Arts 9 curriculum is designed to empower students by providing them with strong communication skills, an understanding and appreciation of language and literature, and the capacity to engage fully as literate and responsible citizens in a digital age. Students are guided in learning to think critically, creatively, and reflectively; to construct a sense of personal and cultural identity; and to be respectful of a range of perspectives and worldviews. The First Peoples Principles of Learning are embedded in the ELA curriculum.

Composition 10 & Literary Studies 10 (2 credits each)

Composition 10 and Literary Studies 10 allow you to further develop the language skills you developed in grade 9. Correct usage of language at a more sophisticated level, as well as the use of complex sentences, is stressed. You will explore more deeply the various forms of English literary expression, including novels, short stories, drama, poetry and the media with a greater emphasis on analysing texts. Written work will focus on a transition from the basic paragraph and essay format to a more sophisticated writing style required for the upper grades. English 10 focuses on the increasingly sophisticated development of skills in:   

• explaining, arguing, and entertaining 

• responding to texts personally, critically, and creatively 

• demonstrating understanding of diversity 

• conveying and deriving meaning through oral language features 

• identifying the influence of historical and cultural factors in texts and on texts 

• analysing and evaluating literary, informational, and visual texts 

• explaining and supporting personal connections to texts 

• constructing meaning using text structures and features 

• creating a variety of personal, informational, and imaginative texts 

• creating thoughtful personal responses, evaluating ideas, and synthesizing and extending thinking 

• using elements of style and form appropriate to purpose and audience 

• using conventions of language that enhance meaning and artistry 


Students will take one focus area for English 11 (4 credits). In addition to exploring novels, short stories, drama poetry and nonfiction, students will be provided opportunities to study English Language Arts with a course of study emphasizing one of the following:

Composition 11 

Composition 11 is designed for students who are interested in using writing for self-expression and various creative purposes. The course provides students with in-depth opportunities to become better writers through the exploration of personal and cultural identities, memories, and stories in a wide range of genres. Within a supportive community, students will collaborate and develop their skills through writing and design processes. Creative Writing 11 is grounded in the exploration and application of writing processes, inviting students to express themselves creatively as they experiment with, reflect on, extend, and refine their writing.

English First Peoples Literary Studies/New Media 11 

EFP Literary Studies and New Media 11 is designed for students who are interested in studying First Peoples literature and examining the evolving role of technology in today’s society, especially the increasing importance of digital media in communicating and exchanging ideas and engaging in social advocacy.  Students delve deeply into First Peoples oral and written literature in a range of media to explore various themes, authors, and topics. Students examine the increasingly complex digital world and have opportunities to demonstrate understanding and communicate sophisticated ideas through a wide variety of digital and print media.

Literary Studies 11 

Literary Studies 11 allows students to delve more deeply into literature. Students can explore specific themes, periods, authors, or areas of the world through literary works (fiction and non-fiction) in a variety of media. Giving students the choice of a range of literary topics allows them to follow their passion and at the same time:

  • increase their literacy skills through close reading of appropriately challenging texts 

  • enhance their development of the English Language Arts curricular competencies, both expressive and receptive

  • expand their development as educated global citizens

  • develop balance and broaden their understanding of themselves and the world 

  • further develop higher-level thinking and learning skills

English Studies 12 

This course focuses on the experiences, values, beliefs, and lived realities of First Peoples as evidenced in various forms of text -- including oral story, poetry, song, performance, film and prose. 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). While EFP 12 showcases First Peoples' voices in B.C. and Canada, students will also engage with texts that reflect First Peoples' perspectives from across the globe.

Literary Studies 12

Literary Studies 12, (formerly English Literature 12) is for students who love a good story. Here, we get to delve deeply into the past and explore how our language and literary heritage developed over the course of 1,200 years from the Anglo-Saxon and medieval period, through the Renaissance, and up through the Romantic and Victorian ages to our modern time. Vikings slaughter dragons, knights go on quests, monks commit sins of the flesh, damsels are in distress, children get eaten, and Percy Shelley drowns at sea. In the meantime, we engage in philosophical class discussion, read some exquisite poetry, create some biting satire, come to appreciate the best works that our language has to offer, and learn to write the best essay we ever have.

This course is a must for anyone considering a career in writing, journalism, advertising, marketing, teaching, law, art history, fine arts and dragon slaying.

This is an elective course specializing in literature. English Studies 12 must still be taken separately as a requirement for graduation.

English as a Second Language

This series of courses is designed for English as a Second Language (ESL) students who need ongoing support and instruction in basic English skills. The focus is on improving oral and written communication, and comprehension skills to aid in academic success. Units of study include: English language use in  problem solving, reading, writing and speaking. This course embraces and celebrates all cultural origins as part of its content.

Creative Writing 12 (SHIFT)

Creative Writing 12 is designed for students who are interested in creating a body of work reflective of a sophisticated breadth and depth of skill. The course provides students with opportunities to specialize and publish in real-world contexts. Students engage in the exploration of personal and cultural identities, memories, and stories, in a wide range of genres. Within a supportive community, students will collaborate and develop their skills through writing and design processes, celebrating successes. Students will refine their ability to write in complex, controlled styles with effectiveness and impact.

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