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English Department 308
English Department

Welcome to the English Department at Tommy Douglas Secondary School! Our department promises to deliver a rich and exciting program to students where the focus will be on developing speaking, listening, reading, writing, and media literacy skills. Students will have a chance to read a variety of written texts, analyze and create multiple contemporary forms of media, develop their voice as writers, and strengthen their ability to communicate orally.

As documented in the Ontario Curriculum, successful English students at TDSS will: 
  • 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. 

Texts and Topics of Exploration:
Reading and Literature Studies
As students progress through the English program at Tommy Douglas, they are encouraged to explore texts and topics of interest to them through whole-class novel studies, book clubs, and independent reading tasks. As part of our program, students read a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts from different authors, countries, cultures, and experiences. Some of the titles students might be reading are below, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. If there are specific texts you are interested in reading, talk to your teacher!
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                       The Hate U Give : Thomas, Angie, Giovanni, Nikki: Books
Brother by David Chariandy | Penguin Random House Canada New Kid: Craft, Jerry, Craft, Jerry: 9780062691194: Books - Amazon.caThis Place: 150 Years Retold : Akiwenzie-Damm, Kateri, Assu, Sonny,  Mitchell, Brandon, Qitsualik-Tinsley, Rachel, Qitsualik-Tinsley, Sean,  Robertson, David A., Sinclair, Niigaanwewidam James, Storm, Jen, Van Camp,  Richard, Vermette, Katherena, Vowel ...

Media Studies
Our courses also focus on preparing students for life in an increasingly digital and media-saturated world. Students will develop the skills they need to critically respond to and create media in a variety of contexts. As part of the English program at Tommy Douglas, students will explore:
  • ​Representation across various media forms
  • Social media responsibility and activism
  • Journalism and news media
  • Film and V​ideo
  • Podcasting
  • Creating media for different purposes and audiences

In each of our courses students will have the opportunity to develop their voices as writers, with a focus on writing for different purposes and audiences. Students will work on:
  • Using the various stages of the writing process to edit and revise
  • Writing formal pieces, including essays, to analyze texts
  • Communicating their opinions through writing
  • Creative writing, including short stories and poetry
  • Developing their control of grammar for different purposes

Oral Communication
​Each course at Tommy Douglas includes an oral communication component, in which students will learn and practice effective speaking and listening strategies for different purposes and audiences. Our goal is to develop speakers who feel confident sharing their thoughts clearly and appropriately, in a variety of situations. Students will:
  • ​Present their thinking about texts and issues to their class
  • Participate in small-group discussions with their peers
  • Conference one-on-one with their teachers and peers

We are confident that students will enjoy their English courses at TDSS and that they will be well-prepared for their academic and personal pursuits. We look forward to having you join us!


 Our Department

Ms.​ Vitelli (Head)

Ms. Law (Interim Assistant Head)

Ms. Aceto

Ms. Adamkowski (Assistant Head)

Mr. Bryant

Ms. Chow

Ms. Devries

Mr. Flavelle

Ms. Kakarelis

Ms. Pinches

Ms. Raveenthiran

Ms. Sobiera

Ms. Tymoshenko
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