English Language Arts Department

English Language Arts Department Chairperson 
Ms. Hether Holmes, (512) 841-9776


English Language Arts Instructional Coach/Lead Teacher: 
Ms. Shalane Sheppard, (512) 841-9858


ELAR Dept. Supervising Administrator 
Dr. Susan Thames, (512) 841-9870


English I
This 9th grade course integrates the use of increasingly correct language skills within the writing process. Students produce a variety of compositions using technology to revise, edit, and publish. Students read a wide selection of literary and informative texts. They also make oral presentations that include the use of visual representations.

English II
This 10th grade course emphasizes reflective and persuasive forms of communication. Students use the writing process to produce effective arguments that include information from primary and secondary sources. Communication will demonstrate complex syntax, advanced vocabulary, and increasingly accurate use of the conventions of written language. Students will read widely and critically, analyzing and responding to a variety of literature including American and world authors. They will present and critique oral communications including visuals and analyze the purpose and the effect on the audience.

English III
This 11th grade course involves an intensive study of advanced usage and vocabulary including analogies. A survey of American literature including literary and nonfiction texts provides the source for critical thinking and literary essays including a documented research paper. Emphasis in composition includes reflective essays, critical essays, and research requiring the use of technology to produce error free compositions. Students will present and critique oral communications and multimedia products which will include a variety of visual representations.

English IV
This 12th grade course emphasizes composition including informative, persuasive and literary discourse. Students use technology to produce error free text and research with documentation. They read widely from a variety of genres in British and world literature, analyzing literary forms and interpreting the influence of history. Students present and critique oral communications that include visuals and other media.

English I Pre Advanced Placement
This 9th grade course provides an in depth study of the elements and genres of literature. Students produce a variety of original texts including documented research and literary analysis with the use of technology to aid research, revising, editing, and publishing. They analyze and critique their presentations and those of others emphasizing the purpose and effect of visuals on the audience.

English II Pre Advanced Placement
English II Pre-AP includes advanced mechanics, syntax, usage and vocabulary in preparation for the PSAT. It continues work on critical thinking skills. Students analyze discourse in persuasive and informative texts as well as the short documented essay. Students will also write reflectively using personal narrative and memoir. This course requires critical reading of classical, Medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary literature with emphasis on the writer’s style and purpose. Composition requires the use of technology to produce error free essays and a documented research paper. Students will use technology to produce a variety of oral and media communications. They will analyze and evaluate their own and other’s presentations in terms of the effect of media on the American society.

English III Advanced Placement
AP Language and Composition emphasizes the analysis of a variety of literary and nonfiction texts with particular attention to the writer’s style, diction, syntax, argumentation, and logic. Students reflect this analysis in compositions that use sophisticated syntax and vocabulary, effective use of proof, and control of the conventions of language. Emphasis is on wide reading and analytic response in timed essays in preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination in Language and Composition.

English IV Advanced Placement
Using college level expectations, this course emphasizes wide reading and analysis of world literature including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Students analyze literary elements and writer’s style related to purpose, audience, and theme. Literary analysis will also be a major focus of the composition strand. Students will use proof, advanced syntax, and vocabulary in compositions written on demand and using writing process. Students prepare to complete the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition.

These classes enable non-English or limited English speaking students to gain English language proficiency, build community, and master the academic standards of English 1 and 2 classes.


Other ELA Electives
  • Creative/Imaginative Writing,
  • Speech and Debate
  • Journalism/Newspaper
  • Photo Journalism
  • Journalism/Yearbook.