All students at Thomas Jefferson will take four credits of English.  All courses are taught at the honors level and provide students with a solid foundation in reading, writing, critical thinking, and communication.

As freshmen, students take English 9 as part of IBET (Integrated Biology, English, & Technology).  In addition to an investigation in literary genres, students participate in integrated research projects,, during which they learn the basics of scientific writing and research that they will need throughout their TJ career.

As sophomores and juniors, students first take English 10 as part of Humanities 1 (world literature teamed with World History & Geography 2), and then English 11 as part of Humanities 2 (American literature teamed with either AP US History or honors US/VA History).  These teamed courses emphasize connections between history and literature while continuing the emphasis on analytical writing, responsible research, and critical thinking.

Seniors have several options in English, including either AP Literature & Composition or AP Language & Composition as stand-alone courses, Senior Seminar (AP Literature teamed with AP US Government), or Global Studies (AP Language teamed with AP US Government). 

AP Literature & Composition vs. AP Language & Composition

Because we are committed to students having a comprehensive Humanities education, several elective English courses are also offered, including Journalism, Photojournalism, Broadcast Journalism, and Film Studies. We also offer advanced English-language support to students who are non-native speakers of English (including current ESOL and Formerly Limited English Proficient students) through our Academic Language program.


Below are the courses offered through the English department.

  • English 9 (IBET)
  • English 10 (HUM1)
  • English 11 (HUM2)
  • English 12
  • AP Literature & Composition
  • AP English Literature (Senior Seminar)
  • AP English Language & Composition
  • AP English Language / Global Studies
  • Journalism 1
  • Journalism 2
  • Journalism 3
  • Journalism 4
  • Photojournalism 1
  • Photojournalism 2
  • Photojournalism 3
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Film Study

The department chair for English is Virginia Pendleton 

The department administrator for English is Volita Russell

English Department Faculty