Language Arts


In our classes, we function as a community of learners. During their junior and senior years at School for Advanced Studies, all students are enrolled in Advanced Placement Language and Composition and Advanced Placement Literature and Composition. Since we come from diverse experiences with literature, our ability to delve into the intricacies of writing and interpretation of sophisticated text relies on a common understanding of the elements and vocabulary of literature. Each member of the class has a voice. We read our writing aloud, work collaboratively on revisions, and share our thoughts, ideas, and observations with one another. Through close reading of selected works, we deepen our understanding and appreciation of literature and language. To achieve these goals, we study the individual work, its language, characters, historical context, and structure. Writing assignments, both timed and extended, focus on the critical analysis of literature and language. Through the writing assignments, students demonstrate their ability to:

  • understand what the writer is saying;
  • articulate a lucid understanding of the writer’s purpose;
  • explain how the purpose is achieved;
  • make logical and convincing arguments to support their analysis of the work and the underlying values.

“An AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.”

(taken from Course Description, The College Board)

In other words, this course asks students to evaluate words – how words are used, why they are used, and the implication of their use…

“The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit…Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of literature and include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Although critical analysis makes up the bulk of student writing for the course, well-constructed creative writing assignments may help students see from the inside how literature is written. Such experiences sharpen their understanding of what writers have accomplished and deepen their appreciation of literary artistry. The goal of both types of writing assignments is to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do.”

(taken from Course Description, The College Board)

In other words, we analyze and model the techniques authors employ to create a work of literature that resonates in all times and cultures.

For the full Advanced Placement English Course Description, please visit