Division of English and Humanities

Division of English and Humanities offers 9 courses based on National Chinese Curriculum Standards (NCCS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Advanced Placement (AP), two of which are AP certified.

Humanities education provides an integral foundation in a complete education. The ability to think, express, and explore are built on language, knowledge, concepts, and skills through disciplines of language, literature, history, philosophy, and arts. The study of humanities teaches learners ways to interpret texts, assess sources, make value judgments, and form and analyze arguments. Written expression enables learners to share their ideas as part of the 「Great Conversation」 — the dialectic and dialogue of human growth and development through the engagement of human thinking. Language is the creator and conveyer of beauty, and, through writing, this aesthetic experience is endowed to future generations. Ultimately, the integration of the Humanities curriculum into classes at Moonshot Academy with exhaustive learning of these key skills and knowledge will allow learners to, in Maslow's words, 「self-actualize」or to become 「fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens」 as the school motto of Moonshot Academy.

As an integral part of human development, we emphasize step-by-step language learning as a tool to explore the cultural inheritance of humanity, to collaborate as a global citizen, and to present ideas and art that can change the world. We recognize the value of Mandarin as our students' native language with its natural access to cultural treasures and English as a medium to bridge learners to the rich context of Western Tradition. As the global language of education, business, science, and technology, English facilitates learners' abilities to thrive in the modern world.

Literature allows learners to imagine a world of possibilities. Cultivating the faculty of imagination enables us to see things with the mind's eye that we can then work to build. The ability to empathize with others' feelings and see the world through their eyes—a competency inherent to great literature—is an essential part of being human and improving our society. Poetry, plays, and stories give us forms to understand the heart as well as the mind.

History allows us to understand our collective experience as human beings. Through historical inquiries, we learn that human societies move through cycles. But we also learn that agency is key in molding human activity. This course highlights the power of individual decisions and the ways that individual choices aggregate collectively into our shared human experience. Knowing how the past informs the present and allows us to evaluate future possibilities and pitfalls is prioritized than focusing solely on the memorization of facts and dates. History courses, including World History, US History, History of Mathematics, Asian Studies, and Human Geography, provide learners with deeply enriching content as well as opportunities to develop the appreciation of the history, an invaluable skill encompassing critical thinking, inquiry & research, analysis & synthesis, and argumentation.

Philosophy inspires learners in a thoughtful exploration of the human mind. We value the ability to develop the innate capacities to connect, reflect, and analyze are developed through thought exercises. The course is committed to fostering an ethical perception of the world through reflecting on our place in the universe. It is hoped that as we inform learners of important concepts such as justice, truth, and being, they will gain a greater understanding of the limitations as well as possibilities of human beings. As a Moonshot Featured Course, Western Philosophy is a required credit for all MSA learners.

Core Beliefs

At Moonshot Academy, we believe students are life-long learners who will excel with the freedom and support to pursue their own passions.


We promote learners' development in reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar/mechanics with the adaptive learning program IXL as a part of our blended learning approach. This comprehensive online curriculum offers learners individualized instruction and practice according to their own level and pace. We use IXL's high-quality analytics to inform our teaching and offer targeted, personalized learning experiences aligned with Common Core standards and deeper learning of 21st-century competencies. At the same time, we provide systematic and individualized grammar classes through the employment of Grammar in Use (Cambridge) series throughout ESL to ELA4 to better support learners' mastery of necessary grammar and mechanics.

Through project-based learning, learners will apply and extend knowledge in a process of deeper learning. Rooted in the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions, these projects are often hands-on, collaborative, and interdisciplinary platforms for learners to present and celebrate their learning. 

ENGL 1001: Introduction-level English

Why do people come up with stories to explain things we don’t understand? How do we decide what’s fair? What do the lives of the minority look like? What is your relationship with the world, our society and yourself?... Questions like this will be discussed in this course, and you are going to develop deeper insights on topics related to the meaning of life after you pop into the classroom and interact with your smart peers.


This class is designed for learners to build basic English language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) as well as introduce learners to the fundamental concepts of literary studies. In this course, narrative writing skills and argumentative writing skills will be focused on scaffolding learners to tell their own personal stories as well as addressing their own opinions with strong arguments. Speeches, books, and films will be applied to hone learners' speaking and presenting skills. The aim of this course is to guide learners' development of expressing their own using basic English appropriately by reading and imitating different genres of texts.

ENGL 2001: Pre-intermediate-level English

This Pre-intermediate-level English course consists of ESL and ELA learning, designed to develop learners' English language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) through engaging and complex units of study. There will also be a focus on explaining and applying grammar and vocabulary related to the topics in each unit. This year's course is designed around the themes of "Personal Awareness and Intimacy". Learners will read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, engage in classroom discussions and out-or-class reserch, and learn to effectively communicate ideas in writing from personal, informal journaling to rigorous academic essays. Each unit integrates reading and writing with digital tools, multimedia, and fine & performing arts. Learners will have multiple opportunities to deliver presentations and performances. This course contains a blended learning component, IXL, which allows learners to work at their own level and pace through a comprehensive online curriculum. This course will culminate with a major PBL performance and a portfolio of learner writings.

ENGL 3002: Intermediate-level English

This intermediate-level course is designed to enhance students' English language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening)to a level appropriate for higher-level study through rigorous units of study. This year's course is designed around the themes of "Humanity in times of war" and “Law and Justice.” Students will explore these topics through a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, learning how to analyze the works of others and to effectively communicate their ideas to an audience in order to achieve their desired outcome. Each unit integrates the four components of English skills and thematically connects them across various text types. Students will have multiple opportunities to produce written works as well as to deliver presentations and performances. This course contains a blended learning component, IXL, which allows learners to work at their own level and pace through a comprehensive online curriculum. This course will culminate with a major project/presentation and a portfolio of student writings.

ENGL 4001: Upper-intermediate-level English

Upper-intermediate-level is an ELA course designed for learners working on their English language and literature knowledge and skills through the study of works of literature and advanced writing exercises. We will also aim to improve learners' overall English proficiency, but limited time will be allocated to vocab and grammar. This course delves into literature around the themes of "identity" and “equality” with various memoirs, prose, stories, dramas, and poems written by authors of different backgrounds. We hope learners can better understand Western culture, think critically about their own Chinese identity and its stability, and dig deep into the relationship between equality and rebellion as well as family and gender. Close reading of texts and the development of critical thinking will be key skills in developing learners' language and argumentation abilities in this course. Meanwhile, the experiential learning part will add color to the deep conversation between literature and humanity.

ENGL 4002: Performance and Public Speaking/ Public Speaking and Drama

This course is an introduction to the performing arts and oral communication, placing a focus on the ‘real world’ applications of these skills. Students will develop the practical skills of verbal and non-verbal communication whilst developing their ability to present their ideas and opinions with confidence. The course is project based, encouraging students to take charge of their learning and work with others to achieve success. Students’ will also develop an understanding of purpose, audience and context, as well as research, time management and organization.

What concepts the students will learn:

  • Persuasive language
  • Impacts and importance of audience, purpose and context
  • The creative process
  • Application of feedback
  • Script analysis and crafting
  • The art of performance


How students will be assessed on that learning

  • Short/extended writing tasks
  • Projects
  • TED Talks

ENGL 5001: Advanced English Literature and Composition (AP)

The Advanced English Literature and Composition course is designed and taught thematically with an emphasis on core readings along with modern and contemporary selections that illuminate and expand upon a variety of themes. Advanced English Literature and Composition closely follows the requirements described in the AP English Literature and Composition Course and Exam Description (CED), including the fundamentals of literary analysis and introductory college composition.

Learners engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, learners consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, and symbolism. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require learners to analyze and interpret literary works.

ENGL 5002: Advanced English Language and Composition(AP)

The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition course Prepare for college-level success and foster a lifelong love for language and expression in our AP English Language and Composition course is a dynamic and engaging class is designed to equip students with essential skills needed for academic excellence, critical thinking, and meaningful civic participation. Through a blend of inquiry and project-based learning, students embark on a transformative journey to become astute readers, perceptive writers, and effective communicators. The curriculum is tailored to ignite curiosity and nurture critical thought by delving into a diverse array of texts from various genres, time periods, and cultural backgrounds.

In this course, students develop the art of rhetorical analysis, understanding how written language strategically shapes ideas and influences perceptions. By dissecting and interpreting arguments, learners hone their ability to thoughtfully deconstruct and construct persuasive discourse. With an emphasis on writing for diverse audiences and purposes, students refine their skills in crafting compelling narratives, informed opinions, and persuasive essays. Your captivating educational journey will blend textual exploration, critical analysis, and creative expression. Through a combination of rigorous academics and interactive projects, participants will develop skills needed not only for success in college, but also for a lifetime of effective communication and informed engagement.

ENGL 6001: English World Literature: Life Through a Global Lens

Our College-level English World Literature is designed for learners who are looking for an opportunity to explore literature from around the world at an advanced level. Over the course of the year, we’ll cast a large net: in terms of literary genres, we’ll look at novels and short stories, as well as drama, poetry, and a range of literary-nonfiction texts. Through a comparative and thematic approach, we’ll look at literature from a diverse range of cultures including Turkey, Japan, Canada, Germany, and England. Temporally, these works will range from the 17th century to contemporary works.


This course will give learners front-row seats for insights into how people think and experience the world. It will expand our imaginative and emotional vocabularies and it will give us reference points for understanding the people around us. Academically, learners taking this course will become more sensitive and articulate writers and more perceptive readers, and these skills will transfer into and support learning in other academic disciplines and help make for a smooth transition into university.

ENGL 6002: College-level Academic Writing and Research

Academic writing serves a dual purpose, encompassing not only the presentation of research findings but also the skills in gathering information, refining content, and analyzing specific topics with coherence and structure. Now, a pertinent question arises: In a scenario where AI can outpace humans in collecting information and potentially excel in syntax, can traditional academic writing persist unchanged? Succinctly put, no, but our intellectual faculties remain essential. In this course, we will explore the untapped potential of our intellectual faculties, cultivating their capacity to conceive ideas and translate them onto paper. In the first three units, we will engage in drills covering logic, creativity, and composition. While their wide-ranging scope might not immediately seem connected to academic writing, as we progress to narrative essays, persuasive essays, literary critiques, science reports, and research papers, the foundational role of these drills will hopefully become evident in shaping your future academic and professional careers.