mySTMC

English

Because 90% of our graduates attend post-secondary institutions, STMC’s English courses designed to help students develop into imaginative thinkers, powerful analysts, cogent writers, and informed citizens. Our approach to an intensive scrutiny of some of the world’s greatest literature is the key to unlocking academic excellence. By promoting fine writing, keen powers of analysis, and a true love of speaking, we allow students to explore the world of literature through their own experiences. Throughout their time at STMC, students learn to develop their rhetorical crafts and leave as assertive and sophisticated speakers.

Additionally, the English Department wants to demonstrate to students the value of live performances, thus we arrange visits by theatre companies to the school for grades 8, 9 and 10, while the grade 11’s study and attend a performance of a Shakespeare play at Bard on the Beach.

English Courses

English Language Arts 8

The emphasis in this course is on student enjoyment of literature, critical thinking, communication skills, reading and writing.  Students will develop an appreciation of literature, and an understanding of literary devices and techniques.  To that end, students will read from a variety of genres, including short stories, novels, poems, essays and non-fiction prose.  Students will also read three independent novels—one novel per term.  Students will choose these titles themselves to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, as well as working on reading fluency and comprehension. Sentence structure and style are emphasized, as are inquiry research techniques, formal academic paragraph writing and creative writing.  The course will prepare students for public speaking, to enter the school speech contest, and will also cover issues surrounding modern communication media and Digital Citizenship.

English Language Arts 9

The grade 9 English course will emphasize a comprehensive wide-ranging approach to the provincial curriculum.  Short stories, a novel, Shakespearean drama, and poetry and will be the platforms for skill development.  Students will also read three independent novels—one novel per term.  Students will choose these titles themselves to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, as well as working on reading fluency and comprehension.  The skills of analysis, reading comprehension, writing, speaking and inquiry research will be emphasized during the year.  These skills will be highlighted through formal single and multi-paragraph composition writing, literary analysis, creative writing, analysis of modern communication media (Media Literacy), Digital Citizenship, formal and informal presentations, self and peer-editing, and public speaking.  The course is structured to maintain a balance between individual work and group work with the primary focus of evaluation on individual students’ development of language skills and usage.

English Language Arts 10

The BC Curriculum for English Language Arts 10 divides the year into five distinct modules:

  • Literary Studies 10
  • Composition 10
  • Creative Writing 10
  • Spoken Language 10
  • New Media 10

To properly prepare students for eventual success at the post-secondary level, English Language Arts 10 draws on all five modules for its content and learning outcomes.  The English course at the Grade 10 level builds upon skills learned in English 9 while exposing students to more challenging literature.  Skills will be developed through the study of novels, short fiction, poetry, Shakespearean drama and non-fiction prose.  In addition to the required reading they’ll do for class, students will also read three independent novels—one novel per term.  Students will choose these titles themselves to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, as well as working on reading fluency and comprehension.  The skills taught throughout the year will include analysis, reading comprehension, inquiry research, with strong emphasis on writing.  Students will be expected to read and write on a regular basis, both at home and in class, to develop a strong vocabulary and a personal style of writing.  Students’ written work will strive to improve grammar, as well as paragraph and essay structure.  Students will also critically examine societal issues surrounding modern communications media, Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship.  In the second half of the year, students will write the Provincial Literacy Assessment, which is a graduation requirement in BC as mandated by the Ministry of Education.  This is a cross-curricular assessment, and students’ scores will not be blended with their school marks on their final transcript for the course.  Students will receive a report regarding their performance on the Literacy Assessment directly from the Ministry of Education.

English Language Arts 11

The BC Curriculum for English Language Arts 11 divides the year into five distinct modules:

  • Literary Studies 11
  • Composition 11
  • Creative Writing 11
  • Spoken Language 11
  • New Media 11

To continue to prepare students for eventual success in post-secondary education English Language Arts 11—much like English Language Arts 10—draws on all five modules for its content and learning outcomes.  In English 11 students will receive the necessary foundational instruction to prepare them for English 12. The course builds skills in writing, the research process, analytical reading and public speaking through responses to various genres of literature and an examination of societal issues surrounding modern communication technology, Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship.  The major literary genres for study will be the non-fiction essay, novel, short story, Shakespearean drama, and poetry.  Students will also read three independent novels—one novel per term.  Students will choose these titles themselves to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, as well as working on reading fluency and comprehension.  Writing instruction will emphasize the persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive modes in paragraph and multi-paragraph (essay) compositions.  Skill refinement will emphasize the use of grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, analytical thinking, and synthesis of ideas.  Recognition and use of literary and poetic devices in students’ own writing is expected.  Students will be encouraged to respond to literature as life experience, integrating their own experiences with themes they encounter in literature.

English Studies 12

In Grade 12, the BC English Language Arts Curriculum offers a unified English course called English Studies 12.  This course is not divided into modules as in Grades 10 and 11.  English Studies 12 is a graduation requirement in BC, and at STMC it is designed to prepare students directly for success in post-secondary studies.   Like English 11, the course is designed to build skills in writing, analytical reading and public speaking through responses to various genres of literature and an examination of societal issues surrounding modern communication technology Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship.  The major literary genres for study will be the non-fiction essay, novel, short story, Shakespearean drama, and poetry.  Students will also read three independent novels—one novel per term.  Students will choose these titles themselves to encourage reading as an enjoyable activity, as well as working on reading fluency and comprehension.  Students at this level are expected to master the skill of analysis and express their insights through formal written work.  Emphasis will be on students developing a confident voice as writers.  Students will spend a significant portion of the year engaged in an Extended Research Essay.  Students will be asked to develop and research their own English or cross-curricular topic, and produce a fully cited scholarly essay.  The Extended Research Essay is designed to be a culmination of students’ skills in reading, writing, research and analytical thinking.