The goal of the secondary English Language Arts program is to create literate, thoughtful communicators, capable of controlling language effectively as they negotiate an increasingly complex and information-rich world. Students will refine specific skills and strategies in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing and will use these skills and strategies widely as tools for learning and reflection. Exploring a variety of texts, students will understand and appreciate language and literature as catalysts for deep thought and emotion.
The secondary English Language Arts program is founded on the following beliefs:
- Language is a powerful tool for expressing ideas, beliefs, and feelings.
- Knowledge of language facilitates thought.
- Readers, listeners, and viewers continually develop and apply strategies to construct meaning from increasingly complex and challenging texts.
- Writers and speakers strategically use language to communicate for a variety of purposes.
- Individuals need advanced literacy skills to participate actively and successfully in today’s demanding, information-based society.
- Literature reveals the complexities of the world and human experience.
Grade Level Summaries
- English 9 focuses on the fundamentals of critical reading and writing. In their first semester, students focus intensively on writing, practicing narrative, argumentative, and persuasive forms. In the second semester, students read fiction and drama and continue to practice writing fundamentals.
- English 10 is arranged thematically to introduce students to different roles literature plays for both the self and society. Students study individual narrative, oral tradition, social commentary, and genre fiction. As writers, they continue to build on fundamental skills, but learn the basics of rhetorical elements.
- English 11 builds on the basics of persuasive writing through the study of non-fiction works. While students continue to read fiction, poetry, and drama, they begin to evaluate the effectiveness of rhetorical techniques and apply them to their own writing.
- English 12 introduces students to more global works of literature; students continue to work on developing their own voices as writers. As well, they learn to synthesize multiple works and participate in a larger conversation through their writing.