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English Department 218
English Department

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.
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.
(Source: Ontario Ministry of Education : English Curriculum
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