Comprehensive English Skills: Reading and Writing Program Details

Penn Foster’s Comprehensive English Skills: Reading and Writing Program consists of courses that will cover comprehensive English skills, including improving your writing knowledge and skills, learning to communicate more effectively, and interpreting writing and speech.

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.

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

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.

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

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 Details

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 in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Sample English Comprehensive Lesson

Sample English Comprehensive Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a English Comprehensive course would look like.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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