English 2017-06-26T14:39:13+00:00

English

THE IMPORTANCE OF LITERACY, LANGUAGE, AND THE ENGLISH CURRICULUM
Literacy is about more than reading or writing – it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture.

Those who use literacy take it for granted – but those who cannot use it are excluded from much communication in today’s world. Indeed, it is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of “literacy as freedom”.
UNESCO, Statement for the United Nations Literacy Decade, 2003–2012

Literacy development is a communal project, and the teaching of literacy skills is embedded across the Ontario curriculum. However, it is the English curriculum that is dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills on which literacy is based – that is, knowledge and skills in the areas of listening and speaking, reading, writing, and viewing and representing.

Language development is central to students’ intellectual, social, cultural, and emotional growth and must be seen as a key component of the curriculum. When students learn to use language, they do more than master the basic skills. They learn to value the power of language and to use it responsibly. They learn to express feelings and opinions and to support their opinions with sound arguments and evidence from research. They become aware of the many purposes for which language is used and the diverse forms it can take to serve particular purposes and audiences. They learn to use the formal language appropriate for debates and essays, the narrative language of stories and novels, the figurative language of poetry, the technical language of instructions and manuals. They develop an awareness of how language is used in different formal and informal situations. They come to understand that language is an important medium for communicating ideas and information, expressing world views, and realizing and communicating artistic vision. Students learn that language can be not only used as a tool but also appreciated and enjoyed.

Language is the basis for thinking, communicating, learning, and viewing the world. Students need language skills in order to comprehend ideas and information, to interact socially, to inquire into areas of interest and study, and to express themselves clearly and demonstrate their learning. Learning to communicate with clarity and precision will help students to thrive in the world beyond school.

Language is a fundamental element of identity and culture. As students read and reflect on a rich variety of literary, informational, and media texts,1 they develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others and of the world around them. If they see themselves
and others in the texts they study, they will be more engaged in learning and they will also come to appreciate the nature and value of a diverse, multicultural society. They will develop the ability to understand and critically interpret a range of texts and to recognize that a text conveys one particular perspective among many.

Language skills are developed across the curriculum and, cumulatively, through the grades. Students use and develop important language skills as they read and think about topics, themes, and issues in various subject areas. Language facility helps students to learn in all subject areas, and using language for a broad range of purposes increases both their ability to communicate with precision and their understanding of how language works. Students develop flexibility and proficiency in their understanding and use of language over time. As they move through the secondary school program, they are required to use language with ever-increasing accuracy and fluency in an expanding range of situations. They are also expected to assume responsibility for their own learning and to apply their language skills in more challenging and complex ways.

PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE ENGLISH CURRICULUM
The English curriculum is based on the belief that language learning is critical to responsible and productive citizenship, and that all students can become successful language learners. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills that they need to achieve this goal. It aims to help students become successful language learners.

Successful language learners:

  • understand that language learning is a necessary, life-enhancing, reflective process;
  • communicate – that is, read, listen, view, speak, write, and represent – effectively and with confidence;
  • make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them;
  • think critically;
  • understand that all texts advance a particular point of view that must be recognized,questioned, assessed, and evaluated;
  • appreciate the cultural impact and aesthetic power of texts;
  • use language to interact and connect with individuals and communities, for personal growth, and for active participation as world citizens.1. The word text is used in this document in its broadest sense, as a means of communication that uses words, graphics, sounds, and/or images to convey information and ideas to an audience.The English curriculum takes into account that students in Ontario come from a wide variety of backgrounds and that every student has a unique set of perspectives, strengths, and needs. Instructional strategies and resources that recognize and reflect the diversity in the classroom and that suit individual strengths and needs are therefore critical to student success. Reading activities should expose students to materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and world cultures, including those of Aboriginal peoples. Students also need to become familiar with the works of recognized writers from their own and earlier eras. By reading a wide range of materials and being challenged by what they read, students become receptive to new and widely varying ideas and perspectives, and develop their ability to think independently and critically.Research has shown that when students are given opportunities to choose what they read and what they write about, they are more likely to discover and pursue their own interests. In keeping with this finding, the curriculum requires that students select some of the texts they read and decide on the topic, purpose, and audience for some of the works they produce.Research has also shown that effective readers and writers unconsciously apply a range of skills and strategies as they read and write. By identifying and explicitly teaching these skills and strategies, teachers enable all students to become effective communicators. The English curriculum focuses on comprehension strategies for listening, viewing, and reading; on the most effective reading and writing processes; on skills and techniques for effective oral and written communication and for the creation of effective media texts; and on the language conventions needed for clear and coherent communication. In addition, it emphasizes the use of higher-level thinking skills, including critical literacy skills, to enable students to understand, appreciate, and evaluate what they read and view at a deeper level, and to help them become reflective, critical, and independent learners.

Please visit the following link to review the Ontario Ministry of Education standards on English curriculum.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/english.html

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another without attribution, in order to represent them as one’s own original work.

Academic honesty is an expected behaviour of all WCDSB students. In accordance with our system’s mission document, Sharing our Journey, and the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations, our students will:

  1. “…in a wise and discriminating manner assess, use and evaluate information from a variety of resources and technologies, including print materials, web sites, primary sources, interviews, etc.” (Sharing Our Journey, pg. 27)
  2. “achieve excellence, originality, and integrity in one’s own work and support these qualities in the work of others.” (OCSGE, g, A collaborative learner)
  3. “respects the rights, responsibilities and contributions of self and others.” (OCSGE, e, A collaborative contributor)

Students have the responsibility to ensure that all work submitted is their own or appropriately footnoted as to its origin.

Students have the responsibility to become familiar with and abide by this policy.

Things you need to provide a footnote or end note for:

  1. Ideas, opinions, theories that aren’t your own.
  2. Facts, statistics, graphs, emails, pictures, data, notes or other pieces of information. You need to cite where you got them from.
  3. Quotations of spoken or written word belonging to someone else.
  4. Paraphrasing another’s spoken or written words. Credit the author.

It is considered cheating to: copy all or some of another person’s work and claim it as one’s own. make up and quote non-existent information and resources Submit the same piece of work, without major changes, more than once, in the same course or any other course Copy and paste from various resources and claim it as your own.

Term Work (70%)

Term work will receive a mark of zero until it has been redone or revised or an alternate assessment is completed.
The resubmitted work will be considered late and penalties will apply.
Repeat offences will result in a zero. Teachers will then consult with program heads/administrators on how to appropriately evaluate student learning.

Culminating Work (30%)

Intentionally plagiarized activities will receive a zero. If there are rough drafts, the teacher may consider this work to determine the grade.
Unintentionally plagiarized work will receive a mark of zero until the work is redone and re-evaluated.
Cheating on an exam will result in a mark of zero for any section where it is clear that cheating has occurred.

REMEMBER TO:

  1. Always write down the author, title, page number, when taking research notes.
  2. Cite the reference the minute you have mentioned the idea you are using.
  3. Paraphrase or re-write text.
  4. Write ideas in your own words.
  5. Recheck the original text to make sure you haven’t copied and you fully understand it.
  6. If in doubt, cite your sources. (Cite? Make footnotes, endnotes.)
  7. Use quotation marks if using the exact words and then cite.

Enriched English courses and the Advanced Placement Program (AP) provide opportunities for motivated and prepared students to experience courses at a more advanced level with higher intensity, thereby fostering critical thinking, persistence and success. These courses prepare students to take the AP exam in May of a student’s grade 12 year, which, if successfully written, allows them to obtain a university credit.  Please check the links to the each school’s website for a detailed description of these programs.

The Waterloo County English Awards is a local writing competition hosted by secondary schools in the Waterloo Region. Teachers at participating public, separate and private schools offer the opportunity for students to submit original writing for in-school as well as inter-school contests:
Waterloo County English Awards
OECTA is proud to sponsor the annual Young Authors Awards/Prix Jeunes Écrivains. The awards celebrate the writing talents and accomplishments of students, who submit short stories, poems, nonfiction articles and reports in both English and French. The first place winners at the school level advance to the unit level and then to the Provincial competition. A collection of the winning entries is published in book form each year:
OECTA Young Authors Awards
Poetry In Voice is a national poetry recitation contest for high school students in Canada. Registration is free and open to all secondary schools across Canada, as well as CEGEPs in Quebec.
Students memorize and recite poems chosen from among the hundreds in ouronline anthology. They then compete in one of our three prize streams: English, Bilingual, or French. By learning poems by heart, students develop lifelong relationships with poetry while improving their language, public speaking, and memorization skills.
The contest begins in the classroom. Top-scoring students, selected from across the country, win a trip with their teachers to the National Finals in the spring. A total of more than $75,000 in prizes, trips, and books are awarded each year.
– See more at:http://www.poetryinvoice.com/about#sthash.k0cwKT2S.dpuf
Poetry In Voice is a national poetry recitation contest for high school students in Canada. Registration is free and open to all secondary schools across Canada, as well as CEGEPs in Quebec.
Students memorize and recite poems chosen from among the hundreds in ouronline anthology. They then compete in one of our three prize streams: English, Bilingual, or French. By learning poems by heart, students develop lifelong relationships with poetry while improving their language, public speaking, and memorization skills.
The contest begins in the classroom. Top-scoring students, selected from across the country, win a trip with their teachers to the National Finals in the spring. A total of more than $75,000 in prizes, trips, and books are awarded each year.
– See more at:http://www.poetryinvoice.com/about#sthash.k0cwKT2S.dpuf
Poetry In Voice is a national poetry recitation contest for high school students in Canada. Registration is free and open to all secondary schools across Canada, as well as CEGEPs in Quebec.
Students memorize and recite poems chosen from among the hundreds in ouronline anthology. They then compete in one of our three prize streams: English, Bilingual, or French. By learning poems by heart, students develop lifelong relationships with poetry while improving their language, public speaking, and memorization skills.
The contest begins in the classroom. Top-scoring students, selected from across the country, win a trip with their teachers to the National Finals in the spring. A total of more than $75,000 in prizes, trips, and books are awarded each year.
– See more at:http://www.poetryinvoice.com/about#sthash.QQ8vTuzV.dpuf
Poetry In Voice is a national poetry recitation contest for high school students in Canada. Registration is free and open to all secondary schools across Canada, as well as CEGEPs in Quebec.
Students memorize and recite poems chosen from among the hundreds in our online anthology. They then compete in one of our three prize streams: English, Bilingual, or French. By learning poems by heart, students develop lifelong relationships with poetry while improving their language, public speaking, and memorization skills.
The contest begins in the classroom. Top-scoring students, selected from across the country, win a trip with their teachers to the National Finals in the spring. A total of more than $75,000 in prizes, trips, and books are awarded each year:
Poetry In Voice
Learning Poetry by Heart

  1. become more interested in engaging with poetry and enjoy it more
  2. become more confident about speaking in public
  3. develop a better understanding of how poetry works
  4. participate more actively in lessons about poetry
  5. develop independent interests in particular poets and poems
  6. develop enhanced memory techniques they can apply across all their studies
  7. feel incredibly proud of their learning achievements

Creative Communication is a company who is devoted to the promotion of writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. The intent of our student writing contests is to motivate creative writers. The top entries are published in an anthology that will record the creative insights of today’s student writers. There is no requirement for a student to purchase an anthology, however, if a student wishes to purchase one, it is made available at an affordable price. Top ten winners of the contest receive a free copy of the anthology. In addition, any teacher with five or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free anthology that features their student writers.