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ASTI's English program is focused on providing students a strong foundation in literary analysis and writing to a variety of purposes.  Students work with a range of literature and informational text while exploring larger themes that include examination of social justice issues.

Examples of Themes and Essay Prompts from English 9 and 10:
  • How do our stories define us?
  • How do we persuade others?
  • How does conflict shape us?
  • How do we as writers express ideas to influence others?
  • How do we develop conscience and courage?  How can society force us to take unpopular, but moral, stances in order to promote change?
  • How do the consequences of our actions shape us?
  • How do our perceptions change when we encounter the perspectives of others?
  • How do individuals contribute positively to the community?
  • What does our common voice sound like?
  • How is 'truth' constructed, and what might be problematic or beneficial about this process?
  • Examine the relationships between oppressor and oppressed in the texts.
  • How does one's identity impact one's growth?
  • Has the state of women in America changed?  Have women found freedom, equality, and positive self-identity?
  • Where is the balance between individual need and the greater good?
  • How should our society assign value to human life?

In addition to their study of classical and contemporary texts, students are also engaged in Literature Circle projects and the Annual Alameda Citywide Speech Contest for nonviolence.
Course Materials  

Key English 1 Texts:
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
  • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
  • Selected Poems

Key English 2 Texts:
  • Selected Poems
  • Othello, William Shakespeare
  • Night, Elie Wiesel
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  • The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  • Selections from:
    • Republic VII, Plato
    • The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
    • Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. DuBois
    • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
    • The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
    • Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paolo Freire
  • Literature Circle Texts:
    • Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
    • A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah
    • Always Running, Luis Rodruiguez
    • Red Azalea, Anchee Min
    • The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
    • The Gatekeepers, Jacques Steinberg
    • The Price of Admission, Daniel Golden
    • Fat Envelope Frenzy, Joie Jager-Hyman
    • The Overachievers, Alexandra Robbins
    • School of Dreams, Edward Humes