I've already written about the foreign language, math, and science coursework you'll need to be a competitive college applicant. Today we look at English, a subject that doesn't require a whole lot of discussion or second guessing. Almost all colleges require applicants to have four years of English. Honors, AP and IB English classes make your application even stronger, but at a bare minimum you should be taking an English class every year of high school. To see what specific schools say about the requirement, check out this article on high school English and college admissions.
If you're not a native speaker of English, the equation can be a bit more complicated. You're likely to need a good TOEFL score or a high score on a similar exam to demonstrate your English skills.