Online English Reading and Writing Program | Penn Foster Career School

Online English Comprehensive Skills Course

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Develop your reading and writing skills with Penn Foster Career School’s Online English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading and Writing Program. Learn by reading, writing, and using reference materials, and learn about sentence structure, the writing process, and how to properly use parts of speech.

With Penn Foster Career School, you train at home on your own time, and at a pace that’s right for you. And you can complete this program in as little as three months.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

Penn Foster's English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading and Writing Certificate Program improves students' communication skills by developing grammar skills, the ability to write complete sentences and coherent paragraphs, library research skills, and vocabulary.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Use reading techniques such as context and scanning to determine the meanings of unfamiliar words and information
  • Identify features of writing such as topic sentences, supporting details, and other organizational features of paragraphs
  • Recognize elements of writing such as parts of speech and sentences, simile, metaphor, imagery, inference, bias, and the elements of fiction
  • Recognize nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, and other parts of speech
  • Identify correct usage of words and parts of a sentence such as plurals, prepositions, and punctuation
  • Differentiate between independent and dependent clauses, and identify correct use of sentence structure
  • Compose a unified and fully-developed paragraph free of common errors
  • Write a three-to-five paragraph factual composition with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, and a formal business letter on the topic of a complaint
  • Comprehend the skills necessary to write an effective essay, such as correct word usage, avoiding run-on sentences, and professional tone
  • Write a coherent, well-organized personal essay of between 750 and 2,500 words that is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors

Course 1

Comprehensive English

Learn the comprehensive English reading skills you’ll need in business and everyday life.


  • Select main ideas and interpret what you read.
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions.
  • Distinguish fact from opinion and detect bias.
  • Use imagery, similes, and metaphors in your writing.
  • Understand and analyze characters, setting, plot, conflict, and theme in fiction writing.

Course 2

Practical English

Practice and improve your writing knowledge and skills.


  • Identify basic parts of speech.
  • Describe the writing process.
  • Compare poetry and prose.
  • Compose unified, coherent, and effectively structured paragraphs.
  • Write an essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Write courtesy letters and formal invitations.
  • Create business letters and interoffice memos.
  • Write a factual report, a letter of application for a job, and a resume with a cover letter.
Additional Course Material

Supplement: Winning with Words

Course 3

Written Communication

Learn to communicate more effectively and interpret writing and speech.


  • Recognize and use both formal and informal English for letter writing.
  • Use effective and appropriate vocabulary.
  • Express your feelings, thoughts, and ideas easily and accurately.
  • Talk to others and write with more confidence.
  • Interpret and understand what people say and what you read.
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Word Power Made Easy

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an English: Comprehensive Skills sample lesson, click here.

English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading and Writing Program Details

In the Penn Foster Career School English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading and Writing online course program, you’ll learn how to:

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Online English Reading Writing Program

The English: Comprehension Skills in Reading and Writing Certificate Program helps you learn to read and write effectively in English. You will learn at your own pace through writing, reading, and using reference materials. Here are a few qualities that effective readers and writers have in common:

  • Independent: You are self-motivated and work best on your own.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Patient: You understand that good work takes time, and you work well despite obstacles.

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

I really liked that the Penn Foster programs are so systematic. Each lesson builds on what you have learned and it all works together. I also liked the feeling of being part of a class, even though I did all the classes online. Thank you, Penn Foster for being there for me. I am proud of myself for graduating.

- Miriam S., Penn Foster Graduate

I would like to say that enrolling with Penn Foster Career School was the best choice that I ever made. I would recommend Penn Foster. I just have to say 'Thank You' to Penn Foster for achieving my goal.

- Francisco C., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Learning aids
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the English: Comprehensive Skills in Reading and Writing Certificate academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Are writing students at Penn Foster Career School required to start blogs?

Writing students are not required to start blogs, but are absolutely encouraged to find any opportunity or medium to help practice and improve their writing skills.

More FAQs >

The completion of a certificate-level program does not typically qualify a student for employment. Completion of this program may assist students who have previous academic or work-related experience improve their chances for promotion or entry-level employment.

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