“I speak a number of languages, but none are more beautiful to me than English.” – Maya Angelou

English education at Cambridge Prep seeks to develop a student’s familiarity with literatures from the United States, England, and around the world and to prepare its students for the reading and writing they will face in college and beyond. At Cambridge Prep, everyone is an author.

Cornerstone students take at least four years of English to graduate. Students take prescribed courses in grades 9 and 10 and can choose among several options including Advanced Placement courses during their junior and senior years.


Students from other countries and seeking to study in the United States should consider applying as an international student. We offer programs for students at all levels of English language proficiency, from the very beginning to the very advanced. Our programs provide students with the English language proficiency they need to be successful in our course of study and be ready to matriculate at a four-year American college or university.

Placement of students is based on the English language proficiency of our students as measured by their results on the TOEFL iBT exam:

TOEFL ScoreAcademic ProgramGrade Levels Admitted
26-40English Language Immersion classes in grammar, history, and science. Mainstream classes in mathematics and fine arts.Pre-9, 9
41-59Sheltered content classes in English, science, and history. Mainstream classes in mathematics and fine arts. English language support classes.9-10
60-79Mainstream classes with English language support class.9-11
80 and higherMainstream classes.9-11

Students are expected to continue to develop their English proficiency to remain at Cambridge Prep.

English I: The Hero's Journey
This course introduces students to the Hero’s Journey, made famous by academic and theoretician Joseph Campbell, and to the basics of rhetoric. They encounter literature from antiquity until the modern day and begin the process of evaluating the rhetorical situations they face every time they write.

English II: British Literature
From the plays of Shakespeare to the epics of Tolkien, students get a well-rounded introduction to British literature. While exploring the importance of identity in the books they read, students are also asked to construct various pieces of writing questioning, strengthening, and building their own senses of identity, which better prepares them for the advanced forms of composition they will be asked to complete after graduation.

English III: American Literature
Students investigate the intricacies of American literature, asking questions about what it means to be an American and how the literature of the United States both reflects and structures the culture around them. The Native American oral legends and long, winding prose of the Romantics allow students to cultivate a complex, evolving understanding of the world around them, and the year culminates in a major research project focusing on a topic of their choosing.

English IV: World Literature
Students read a variety of literature, including: fiction, non-fiction, historical narrative, drama and poetry, from a variety of authors from around the world. This course is reading and writing intensive and relies heavily on participation in literary discussions. Students explore and discuss diverse perspectives and experiences, develop their critical thinking skills and practice expressing their thoughts clearly and analytically. Students increase their vocabulary and development of standard written and spoken English through focus on syntax and usage. Students write coherent, grammatically correct creative, persuasive and analytical 5 paragraph essays.

Advanced Placement English Language
Advanced Placement English Language and Composition prepares students to become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and to become 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 genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. This course is typically taken during a student’s junior year.

Advanced Placement English Literature
Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit from a canon that is both wide and deep. This course is typically taken during a student’s senior year.

Directed Study in English
Students wishing to pursue advanced or elective work in the study of English may propose a directed course of study. Potential courses of study include Shakespeare, women’s literature, Asian literature, science fiction, and poetry.

We also offer sheltered content classes in English for students for students whose native language is not English. These classes offer the same content as our regular academic classes but are taught with a pedagogy designed for English language learners.