Secondary English Program

Program Statement for English Development grade 6 to 12 The mission of the middle/high school English Program at the Olympia Schools is to provide support and instruction in the English language, American culture, and academic and cognitive areas in order to achieve fluency.  Students are ...

Program Statement for English Development grade 6 to 12

The mission of the middle/high school English Program at the Olympia Schools is to provide support and instruction in the English language, American culture, and academic and cognitive areas in order to achieve fluency.  Students are instructed with an array of learning methods and blended learning techniques and strategies to meet their individual needs. By preparing students to be confident using the English language across all four areas of expression and in an academic setting, students are then able to assimilate proficiently into international higher educational institutions.

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Program Goals The English program goals:

  1. To develop competency in comprehending oral and written English and in speaking and writing English
  2. To develop learning strategies and metacognitive awareness
  3. To integrate language, cognitive, and academic instruction in order to develop English language proficiency and content area skills
  4. To orient students to American and Canadian culture so that they may transition seamlessly into study abroad should they choose that option
  5. To ensure that students retain pride in their Vietnamese culture
  6. To ensure that all staff at the Olympia Schools assume responsibility for the effective instruction of students

 

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Plan for Achievement of Goals

  1. In the English classrooms, Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) as well as Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) will be developed.  Students will receive instruction in the following areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
  2. Blended learning strategies serve to enhance listening and speaking and build vocabulary employing on-line sources:
    • Using authentic video content and game-like interactive feedback, blended learning delivershighly engaging tools to motivate students to practice speaking outside of class.
    • Open source software also employs a computer-adaptive, time-interval learning system that tracks each successful learning experience from individual exposure through to mastery.
    • It provides student choice in content and focuses on general and academic English such as communication skills and presentation skills as well as specialized content and drill for pronunciation and vocabulary.
  3. ThinkCerca, PBS on-line, Khan Academy, and a host of other sources serve to enhance reading and writingand reinforces reading comprehension strategies and composition techniques as an on-line source:
    • Using authentic video content and game-like interactive feedback, students can choose reading content that is of interest to them.
    • Once students achieve mastery of skills based upon the Common Core framework, students move up to more challenging levels.
    • Many of these sources also utilize a computer-adaptive, time-interval learning system that tracks each successful learning experience and guides students to learn from mistakes through feedback and explanation.
  4. The NorthStar series connects with students through compelling content and challenges them to think critically. Based on specific skills needed for the TOEFL test, it empowers students to reach their personal and academic goals.  NorthStar does all this with a fully integrated curriculum: students practice reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, vocabulary, and academic skills.
  5. The Common Core Guidelines for English Language Arts can be accessed HERE. These guidelines serve as our final destination point for all Olympia students as a measure of true English fluency.
  6. Literary Language Arts is integrated into each grade level by challenging students to read full-length novels. Students analyze, understand, and interact creatively with primary texts, thereby allowing them to build on their critical thinking skills.  These skills are assessed in Socratic seminar discussions, critical writing assignments, and formal multi-media presentations.
  7. Interdisciplinary Emphasis:  all English department classes participate in at least one interdisciplinary activity per term.  Theseactivities involve other departments and result in students and teachers collaborating to produce products that reflect learning in the real world.  Our Xcel classes in grades 9, 10, and 11 are Humanities courses by design.  More information can be obtained about them in a separate tab.
  8. Global Partners:  In the context of real-world language use and service learning, students in grades 3 through 12 are working with classrooms across the United States and Canada.  Students in grades 3 through 7 engage in exchanges with the Covington Schools in Birmingham, MI; grades 8 through 10 work with Clarkston Schools in Clarkston, MI; and grades 10 through 12 are working with Stanstead College in Quebec, Canada, and La Porte School in Houston, TX.  Students exchange ideas, discuss shared reading, and plan projects together using such tools as Google Classroom and Edmodo.