Program and Course Descriptions
Our English Language Arts Program and Goals from grades 1-5 .
The goal of the 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 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.
Why This Goal Is Important?
Students read for a variety of purposes: Reading for a Literary Experience involves reading stories, plays, or poems; Reading To Be Informed involves reading informational text, articles, resource material, and procedural material. Reading instruction involves teaching the skills and strategies to decode and comprehend texts by helping students develop effective and efficient processing systems.
Strategy-based reading instruction provides students with a plan for monitoring and problem-solving difficulties with text before reading, during reading, and after reading. Word study, which includes phonics, structural analysis, and vocabulary study, is integral to decoding and constructing meaning.
The teacher read-aloud provides a model for good reading, a model for good writing, and supports listening and comprehension instruction. The shared reading and guided reading components of balanced literacy provide support as the student becomes more confident in applying skills.
Why This Goal Is Important?
Students write for a variety of purposes. Writing for Personal Expression involves using figurative language to express thoughts and feelings in personal narratives, poetry, plays, memoirs, friendly letters, fables, folk tales, and various other literary forms. When students Write to Inform, they explain, describe, state, and organize facts about a topic, and give directions on how to perform a task. The forms they use may include articles, reports, biographies, reviews, science investigations, brochures, or speeches.
The purpose of Writing to Persuade is to convince the reader to consider the writer’s point of view. Persuasion may take the forms of editorials, advertisements, or requests.
Writing instruction involves teaching the techniques and information that are needed in developing the craft of writing. It also provides an opportunity for practice and application of grammar, usage, mechanics, spelling, and handwriting or keyboarding. Students are instructed in the writing process that provides the organizational structure for thinking about, composing, and refining writing.
Students can become competent and effective writers when guided through the steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. When students read and study how published authors craft their writing, students are able to replicate and develop style in their writing.
Using writing as a thinking tool is an important component of the language arts program and of other disciplines. It is important that teachers provide abundant opportunities for students to use expressive writing as well as transactional and poetic writing. Students should be provided opportunities to write daily.
Study Skills and Strategies
Why This Goal Is Important?
Skills and strategies for writing and reading learned in the elementary grades are further developed in the junior English language arts program. Teachers help students understand that strategies learned for writing and reading one kind of text do not necessarily work with all texts; different purposes for writing and reading require different approaches.
Useful study skills and strategies include the following: clustering/webbing to stimulate thinking; predicting; skimming; highlighting; underlining; note-making; rereading; paraphrasing; summarizing; looking for relationships; using graphic organizers; creating charts and semantic maps to organize information; using reference materials; using textual aids; using context clues; reading charts and diagrams; and locating, comprehending, and interpreting written information in manuals, tables, graphs, and schedules.
Speaking and Listening
Why This Goal Is Important?
Speaking and listening are essential for language development, for learning, for relating to others, and for effective participation in society. Skill in speaking is universally recognized as a primary indicator of a person’s knowledge, skill and credibility. To understand messages spoken by others, students must be able to listen carefully, using specific techniques to clarify what they have heard. For speaking properly and making messages understood, grammar, sentence structure, tone, expression and emphasis must be part of students’ repertoires.
The English language arts program should develop students' understanding and effective use of oral language and enhance their capacity to express themselves in formal and informal situations, adapting style and response to audience and purpose.
It is important that students learn to:
* Use talk in small and large groups to explore, extend, clarify, and reflect on their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.
* Communicate information and ideas effectively and clearly.
* Interact with sensitivity and respect, considering the situation, audience, and purpose.
Focused small group talk is an essential element of English language arts classrooms. In balance with large group and individual learning experiences, the program emphasizes a variety of paired and small group activities in which students may practice and develop their language fluency.
In addition to promoting group interaction and collaborative learning experiences, the program must provide ample opportunities for students to develop an understanding of the structures and conventions of more formal speaking and listening contexts and to explore ways in which oral language varies according to situation.
As a conclusion to using Language across the Curriculum, Language is central to all learning; growth in language learning is facilitated by active involvement in experiences that are meaningful and purposeful. Thus language growth both fosters and is fostered by learning in other areas of the curriculum.
English from grade 6-12
The O.IS. English curriculum mainly aims at bringing up students who are able to demonstrate independence as they can comprehend and evaluate complex texts across a range of types and disciplines, construct effective arguments and convey intricate information. Likewise, students are able independently to discern a speaker’s key points, request
clarification, ask relevant questions, and articulate their own ideas. They demonstrate command of standard English and acquire and use a wide-ranging vocabulary. More broadly, they become self-directed learners, effectively seeking out and using resources to assist them, including teachers, peers, and print and digital reference materials. They build strong content knowledge, become proficient in new areas through research and study., refine and share their knowledge through writing and speaking. They comprehend as well as critique., value evidence. They use technology and digital media strategically and capably. They come to understand other perspectives and cultures.
Sixth graders will be able to apply a number of reading skills to different texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories, poems, historical novels, or informational texts) to determine a theme, cite textual evidence to support analysis of what a text says, and compare and integrate texts with different genres together in a trial to find out how they approach to similar themes or topics. As for writing standards, students will acquire certain writing skills to write arguments in a formal style to introduce a claim then support it. Besides, using appropriate transitions as well as precise language is another standard to be focused on in grade six. Meanwhile, specific language standards are followed so that students will be eager to use pronouns correctly, implement spelling and punctuation rules correctly, vary sentence patterns when writing, speaking, or reading.In addition, vocabulary acquisition and use would be another focused area to enable students to determine the meaning of unknown or multiple-meaning words and distinguish among the connotations of words with similar denotations.
In grade 7, students will develop and acquire some reading skills to cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says and analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact.Besides, some standards are related to integration of knowledge and ideas as students will be able to compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history. As for writing standards, students are exposed to some writing standards to produce clear and coherent writing in which the development , organization, and style are appropriate to task , purpose , and audience .Using technology to produce and publish writing is among the major standards of this grade. Students will acquire some language standards to place phrases and clauses correctly, demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English punctuation, capitalization, and spelling when writing. Furthermore, those language standards integrate with vocabulary acquisition and use to determine the meaning of words or phrases by using context as a clue to the meaning.
By grade 8, students will acquire some skills related to reading standards to be able to analyze the development of the theme over the course of a text to provide an objective summary. Besides, students will comprehend how differences in the points of views of the characters create effects of suspense and humor. As for writing standards, students will be taught how to introduce claims, acknowledge and distinguish the claims from alternate or opposing claims , and organize the reasons logically .In writing arguments to support claims with relevant evidence, students will be able to provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. About the conventions of standard English as a part of Language Standards, students will be able to use verbs correctly, explain the function of verbal , and use an ellipsis to indicate an omission which is a part of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage. Students also will learn some skills that enhance the process of vocabulary acquisition and use as consulting general and specialized reference materials to find the pronunciation of a word after determining its meaning based on context of clues.
Throughout grades 9 and 10 , students will acquire specific reading skills related to key ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas to apply a number of literary and reading elements to different types of texts. For example, students will be able to determine a theme of an American text then analyze how complex characters act and interact with other characters to develop the theme. Besides, students will analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work. Students also will maintain a formal style of writing to create an informative/explanatory text to convey complex ideas, use words and phrases to link major sections of the text, and develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and specific facts. Ninth and tenth graders will demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing.
* Use parallel structure.
* Use various types of phrases.
* Use a semicolon and a colon correctly.
As for vocabulary acquisition, students will identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech. They will also analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations and finally acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level.
Throughout these two grades, students will be able to integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different formats as well as in words to address a question or solve a problem .Meanwhile, students will acquire the required skills to evaluate the effectiveness of the structure used by an author to decide how effective it is in supporting a claim or stating an issue. Acquiring certain writing standards and skills, Students will be able to establish and maintain a formal style of writing with an objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. About the conventions of Standard English, students will demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
* Apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention.
* Resolve issues of complex or contested usage.
* Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts to make effective choices for meaning or style.