Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
1 credit 1 credit 1 credit 1 credit
English 9 or
Honors English 9
English 10 or
Honors English 10
English 11 or
Honors English 11
Senior Seminar or
Honors Senior Seminar or
UCONN ECE English Course or
Community College 3 Credit English Course

English/Language Arts

The vision for literacy in the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System is to cultivate literate and productive students who are college, career and life ready. The vision at CTECS is to develop relevant, lifelong reading and writing habits in our students that will enhance their learning pathway and prepare them for success in a global community. The English/Language Arts program in grades 9-12 promotes critical thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and researching skills that students use to analyze, evaluate and synthesize text.  The curriculum actively engages students in reading and reflecting on a wide range of texts with opportunities to develop thinking and writing skills.

Through whole class, small group, and independent reading and reflection, students in high school English/Language Arts classes develop an understanding of language and its use to convey meaning and provide insight about the world around them.  Literacy is a complex skill that must be explicitly taught and practiced across all disciplines, both academic and trade. The CTECS English/Language Arts Curriculum also supports the development of skills recommended by the CT Core ELA Standards, 21st Century Learning Standards and Career Technical Education (CTE) Career Ready Practices.

Course selections are customized per location.

Courses that are NCAA approved are indicated.

Courses that may be repeated for credit are indicated.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

The English 9 curriculum is CT Core State Standards aligned and emphasizes reading and writing across genres. Students will explore four conceptually-based units of study to develop their analytic and critical thinking skills. By the end of the course, students should be able to effectively engage with and respond to multi-modal text by interpreting, connecting with, critically evaluating diverse works and supporting their positions with relevant textual evidence and elaborate explanations. An emphasis on argumentation will require students to evaluate academic sources, synthesize information and properly cite these sources using MLA standards.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

The English 10 curriculum is CT Core State Standards aligned and emphasizes reading and writing across genres. Students will explore four conceptually-based units of study to develop their analytic and critical thinking skills. By the end of the course, students should be able to effectively engage with and respond to multi-modal text by interpreting, connecting with, critically evaluating diverse works and supporting their positions with relevant textual evidence and elaborate explanations with increasing sophistication. The course will require students to evaluate academic sources, synthesize information and properly cite these sources using MLA standards.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

The English 11 curriculum is CT Core State Standards aligned and emphasizes reading and writing across genres.  Students will explore four conceptually-based units of study to develop their analytic and critical thinking skills. By the end of the course, students should be able to effectively engage with and respond to multi-modal text by interpreting, connecting with, critically evaluating diverse works and supporting their positions with relevant textual evidence and elaborate explanations with increasing sophistication.  Students will also acquire the habits of reading independently and closely, which are essential to their future success in college, career, and life. The course will require students to evaluate academic sources, synthesize information and properly cite these sources using MLA standards.

Senior Seminars provide 12th grade students with an in-depth experience with a topic of their choosing in the field of English Language Arts. Schools may offer up to six of the following courses for students to choose from in making their Senior Seminar selection. Seniors who are enrolled in an UConn ECE English course or a College-Career Pathways Community College English course do not have to take a Senior Seminar.

This seminar will provide a multi-genre introduction to the craft of creative writing. In the setting of a writing workshop classroom, students will examine literary conventions as well as the writing techniques and tools essential to effective writing, editing and communication. Students will read and write across genres.  Communication skills will be a key component of the course, as sharing work and responding to the work of other students is essential to the workshop process. Students will complete the course compiling a portfolio with a minimum of four major pieces of finished writing including an argumentative essay, informative expository essay, personal narrative/college essay and a creative project.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

Honors Creative and Nonfiction Writing is an accelerated course for motivated readers and writers who have clearly demonstrated strong language arts ability. Students who select this class must be able to employ accurate grammatical conventions, logical organization and a sophisticated vocabulary in their writing. The focus of the course is to help students write effectively in different forms (narrative, descriptive, expository, analytical and argumentative), for different purposes and audiences. Students will improve and incorporate rhetorical strategies into their own writing. The course will require students to evaluate academic sources, synthesize information and properly cite these sources using MLA standards.

This seminar will explore universal themes central to our lifetime. Using contemporary works, students will explore the themes of modern society, cultural conflict, marginalized identities, the influence of technology, and others relevant to current student interest. Critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

This accelerated seminar for advanced learners focuses on universal themes central to our lifetime. Students will examine the intense reaction of modern writers to the perceived contradictions and restrictions of traditional thinking and writing. Students will analyze the experimental nature of form and the writers’ pessimistic view of reality. Ultimately, students will develop empathy for isolated individuals and understand them as products of their circumstances.

This seminar will explore the themes central to the creative literary subgenres of myth, legend, science fiction, fantasy and gothic. Students will read various classics and modern works.  Critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

Honors Mythology, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature is an accelerated course for motivated readers and writers who have clearly demonstrated strong language arts ability. Students will read various pieces of literature that explore the realms of mythology, science fiction and fantasy; these will include classics and modern works. Students will question the characteristics of the genre and address concerns, themes and motifs that arise from reading the texts. The course will ultimately answer the question, “How are mythology, science fiction and fantasy writing distinctive?” The literature will allow students to understand the appeal of this genre and to become better problem solvers by stretching the mind to new possibilities. By the end of the course, students will be encouraged to create a publishable work of mythology, science fiction, fantasy or gothic. Critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

This seminar takes students on a millennial-long journey of literature to provide a survey of classic canonical texts through the ages. Through writings of the ancient Greeks, stories from the Bible, works from Shakespeare, poetry from the Romantic period and texts from the Victorian time period; students will explore the cultural impact that each work and writer made in their time period and why each work also stands the test of time to be considered “classic literature.” Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

This accelerated seminar for advanced learners focuses on universal themes throughout history. Students will examine and investigate historical writings’ place in today’s classrooms. Through study of literature across the ages, students will explore the cultural impact that each work and writer made in their time period and whether each work is able to stand the test of time and be considered classic literature. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

This seminar introduces students to the fundamentals of advertising, marketing, journalism, and the 24-hour news cycle.  Students will learn about the tools and media used to communicate with the public; the role of newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, internet, social media and television; how advertisements do more than entertain and sell more than just products; and the importance of persuasive communication in a rapidly evolving media environment.  Students will write original stories and reports and learn how to use digital tools for storytelling and reporting.  Students will also engage in critical, cultural and historical analysis of a wide variety of media including advertisements and news stories.  Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

Honors Advanced Composition, News and Media advances student knowledge of advertising, marketing, journalism, and the 24-hour news cycle.  Students will analyze and evaluate tools and media used to communicate with the public; the role of newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, internet, social media and television; how advertisements do more than entertain and sell more than just products; and the importance of persuasive communication in a rapidly evolving media environment.  Students will write original stories and reports and learn how to use digital tools for storytelling and reporting.  Students will also engage in critical, cultural and historical analysis of a wide variety of media including advertisements and news stories.  Students will produce and curate original stories and reports and use digital tools to create a school-based production.  Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

This seminar introduces students to the critical study of theater and film to deepen their understanding of the cinematic and performative experience. Students will analyze various texts including plays, screenplays, non-fiction texts and films to explore the genres of comedy and tragedy. Students will study Aristotle’s trajectory of tragedy and use that as a baseline to explore both classic and contemporary tragic heroes. Various forms of comedy including parodies, slapstick and satirical comedy will also be studied. Students will research the language of cinema in order to view films more effectively including elements of cinematography, sound, staging, editing and film directing. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection

This accelerated seminar for advanced learners introduces students to the critical study of theater and film to deepen their understanding of the cinematic and performative experience. Students will analyze and evaluate the cinematic and theatrical elements in various texts including plays, screenplays, non-fiction texts, and films to explore the genres of film and media. Students will research how directors use setting, sound effects, visual effects, and acting techniques to make us laugh and cry, to make us think and wonder. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

(NCAA Approved Course) See section XV for Honors/Advanced Level Selection Criteria

This college-level course is designed to prepare students not yet qualified to take Seminar in Academic Writing and Seminar in Writing through Literature but who would benefit from a preparatory course that carries college credit. The course focuses on the development of reading and writing skills essential to college work. The course includes revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for the Basic Writing course, ENGL1004. This course meets graduation requirements for CTECS English.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

(NCAA Approved Course) See section XV for Honors/Advanced Level Selection Criteria

This college-level course for advanced learners provides instruction in academic writing through interdisciplinary readings. Assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation and reflection as well as revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. To be successful in this course, students need to be independent, self-motivated and ready to take on the challenge of participating in seminar-style discussions as well as read and write at a college level. Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for the Seminar in Academic Writing course. This course meets graduation requirements for Grade 12 English.

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

(NCAA Approved Course) See section XV for Honors/ Advanced Level Selection Criteria

This college-level course for advanced learners provides instruction in academic writing through literary reading. Assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation and reflection as well as revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. To be successful in this course, students need to be independent, self-motivated and ready to participate in seminar-style discussions as well as read and write at a college level. Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for Seminar in Writing through Literature course (ENGL1011). This course meets graduation requirements for Grade 12 English.

The honors version for each English course will cover the same topic as the core course.

The course materials in an honors course will be more rigorous in the following areas:

  • Text selection;
  • Length of reading assignments;
  • Writing assignment prompts; and
  • Assessment types.

An honors/advanced level course will expect students to do the following:

  • Comprehend complex texts independently.
  • Contribute thoughtful commentary to classroom discussion.
  • Write effectively with attention to organization, detailed content, precise analysis and writing conventions.
  • Understand the fundamentals of the research process and execute research independently.
  • Create and conduct presentations for classmates and take a lead role in classroom discussions.

Students seeking admission into an English honors or advanced courses should meet at least 2 of the 3 following criteria:

  • Reading on Grade Level: Students seeking to take an English honors or advanced course should be reading on the same grade level of the course they are seeking entry into as demonstrated by the STAR Reading Diagnostic Test. (Example: Students seeking entry to English II Honors, should be reading on a 10th grade reading level at the time of scheduling the course.)
  • Current grade in English course:
  • If student is currently in an English honors course, h/she should have an earned 85% average at the time of scheduling.
  • If student is currently in a core level English course, h/she should have an earned 90% at the time of scheduling.
  • Teacher Recommendation: When recommending students, teachers should take into consideration the above bulleted items.

* Some courses may not be offered at every school. 

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