MHS ELA Program

The ELA Program at SMIC Beijing uses the Aero, or Common Core Plus, Standards.  We practice competitive grouping, meaning that we have two levels of ELA classes per grade:

A level for Accelerated Students is meant to propel those students who are able to study advanced material at an accelerated pace in order to prepare them for AP courses at the high school level.  Placement in these courses is determined based on a student’s ability to perform above the regular course average, demonstrate positive and eager learning attitudes, uphold academic honor, and demonstrate strong interest in the subject area.

B level for At Level Students is intended to enhance students’ ability to effectively communicate by guiding them through basic language skills, such as grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, listening and speaking. At the end of this course, students should be transitioning into critical readers, logical thinkers, organized writers and active participants in all areas of academic English.


Each grade level covers a variety of genres including 3-5 novel studies, assorted short stories, a poetry unit, and informational text unit.  Some highlighted differences are as follows:

6th Grade

Focus placed on characteristics of basic genres (historical fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction, science fiction, etc), character analysis, identifying conflict and theme, recognizing symbolism and foreshadowing.

Students will be able to identify end rhyme, rhyme scheme, alliteration and various types of figurative language.

Focus placed on identifying the central idea, text structure, and key claims of informational texts.

Students will be able to analyze an author’s techniques and how they effect the text as a whole, as well as provide evidence to support their analysis.

7th Grade

Students will build upon their understanding of genres and basic literary elements.  Comparing and contrasting genres, differentiating between different types of conflicts and different types of characters.

Focus is placed on making connections between literary elements and using multiple pieces of evidence to support the student’s analysis.  i.e. the author portrays this character in a certain way in order to better support the novel’s theme.

In poetry, students will begin to identify different forms and analyze author’s word choice recognizing techniques such as using allusions and extended metaphors.

Students will be able to read various informational texts over the same topic, comparing and contrasting the author’s purpose and presenting a summary free of bias.

8th Grade

Students will begin to analyze how a theme develops over the course of a text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot, as well as choose the evidence that most strongly supports their analysis.

Focus is placed on determining the impact of specific incidents, dialogue, or word choice on the work as a whole.

Students will compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

Students will analyze how an informational text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

9th Grade

Focus is placed on citing strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Students will analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Students will analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text and order
events within it, create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.

Focus is placed on analyzing a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature.


In composition classes each grade level again covers a variety of genres including expository, persuasive, narrative, and literary analysis.  Emphasis is placed on academic vocabulary in all levels of our program, using the Wordly Wise series.  Some distinctions of each class are as follows:

6th Grade

Focus is placed on basic grammar, identifying parts of speech, using correct verb tenses, and expanding adjective and adverb use to become more precise and descriptive.

Students will learn to introduce claims and organize their reasons and evidence clearly, as well as develop their topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or
other information and examples.

Focus is placed on using appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

Students will be able to conduct short research projects drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

7th Grade

Focus is placed on supporting claims with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources.

Students will be able to introduce a topic in a variety of ways, capturing the audience’s attention.

Focus is placed on using narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

Students will be able to shape their writing and redirect writing focusing on how well purpose
and audience have been addressed.

8th Grade

Focus is placed on distinguishing their own claims from alternate or opposing claims and identifying logical fallacies.

Students will be able to organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; as well as include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Focus is placed on using a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.

Students will be able to conduct research projects to answer a question drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

9th Grade

Students will be able to develop claims and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

Focus is placed on organizing complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions.

Students will be able to create narratives using dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines.

Focus is placed on narrowing or broadening research inquiries when appropriate and synthesizing multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating an understanding of the subject under investigation.

High school Tel: 67853030 Ext. 7777
Elementary & Middle School Tel: 67853030 Ext. 2108/3155
Email: Address: No. 9 Liang Shui He 2nd Street, Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, Beijing 100176