High School English
High School level English covers the very basics of English language arts including listening, reading, speaking and writing. The foundations of conventional English sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary are also explored. This is demonstrated in the Common Core, a set of guidelines for developing effective writing, speaking and reading skills for all students.
Grammar and vocabulary are two of the more technical fundamentals of ELA (English Language Arts). English as a language contains many rules for properly constructing and punctuating a standard sentence which students will be required to remember and utilize in their writing. Since English has been influenced by so many other languages, it has one of the largest lexicons of all world languages. English is considered a living language, and its dictionary is expanding even today. The only way to be introduced to new and increasingly challenging vocabulary is to engage with many different forms of writing and other media.
Reading comprehension involves not only the ability to summarize what is directly presented in a text but also draws on the power to determine the author's intent or message through reason and logic. Examining a text carefully and discerning the author’s main ideas and the supporting facts and details is an important skill. Excellent readers thoughtfully check their understanding of the text against their own personal knowledge to create a logical interpretation of the work.
The study of literature is still important and relevant today. Every society is built upon legends, myths and stories. Students in a High School English class will encounter a variety of literary works from different time periods, from short stories and novels to poetry to nonfiction. Reading fiction and nonfiction allows the reader to be exposed to other cultures they may not have otherwise been able to experience. Classic literature helps the reader to identify with heritage and history. Contemporary literature addresses current issues that impact people today. Studying literature allows the students to understand how ideas and language have changed over time.
Another critical aspect of English language arts is learning how to communicate one’s ideas through the written word. Students will be expected to analyze and creatively express their points through essays, narratives, and poetry. There is an expectation that the student will be able to appropriately support their persuasive arguments and analytical viewpoints using primary and even secondary sources. Students must know how to tailor their writing to cater to a particular audience. Expressing one’s view is not something only done in written form but through verbal communication. Oral presentations and group discussions are not only opportunities to be exposed to different perspectives, but also to present a student’s own personal experiences, interests, and points.
The critical skills of reading comprehension, writing, and editing enhances the student’s potential for success not only in the classroom but in every day life. English language arts prepare a student to be able to thoughtfully evaluate and concisely express their own perspective on the information they take in.