The English Department at Keio Academy of New York challenges students to meet two primary objectives: 1) Improve everyday communicative competence in the English language, and 2) Engage in high levels of critical thinking through analysis and interpretation of literature.

Throughout a progressive four-year curriculum, our courses evolve in complexity. They not only nurture language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar, but also foster the refinement of critical thinking capabilities. Students develop the skills to comprehend and interpret authentic texts, with tailored input and output activities designed to propel them along their individual learning trajectories. Along the way, they reach new levels of understanding and improve their practical and scholarly English competencies. Real-world materials facilitate this process, coupled with independent and collaborative projects that align with the core goals of the department.

Upon entering Keio Academy, ninth and tenth graders are initially placed into English classes—either ESL or academic English—based on their assessed proficiency. However, as they progress into grades 11 and 12, students make the transition to English literature classes, immersing themselves in an academic exploration of literature that demands advanced critical thinking. In these latter years, students gain the flexibility to select elective courses within the department to further shape their educational journeys.

Leah Mortenson, Ph.D. (she/her) / English Department


Course offerings and course contents may vary year to year, depending on student numbers, instructors and/or instructor availability.

An in-school placement test, as well as semester grades and teacher recommendation, will determine whether a student should be placed in required elective courses in Grades 9 and 10. The student’s score on the TOEFL test (or other standardized tests) will not necessarily have an effect on the placements. In Grades 11 and 12, a wider variety of elective courses, in addition to Academic Extension, are offered for students to choose from.