Language Arts 8 Course Outline

Instructor: Mr D. Sader, St. Jerome’s Catholic School

1. Course Philosophy
The aim of the English Language Arts is to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the importance and artistry of literature in students. It will enable students to use language confidently and competently for a variety of purposes, with a variety of audiences and in a variety of situations for communication, personal satisfaction and learning.

In St. Jerome’s Catholic School, the students are invited to look further and develop a more coherent understanding of what language means as both a Christian event and a human event. Facility with language provides us with the ability to express ourselves and our faith in words, and to communicate, listen, and enter into dialogue and true relationships with others. Higher-level thinking skills of inquiring, reasoning and reporting are recognized as particular gifts from God, bringing with them special responsibilities to use such talents for the good of the community. Students are invited to consider how the knowledge, skills and values studied within the language arts curriculum are integrated with other subject areas, including religious education and reflect the Catholic identity of the school.

2. General Outcomes/Themes:
English Language Arts General Outcomes 8 (2000)

Through listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing the students will:

  1. explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.
  2. comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, print and other media texts
  3. manage ideas and information
  4. enhance the clarity and artistry of communication
  5. respect, support and collaborate with others.

Theme (Focus):
Digital and Media Literacy

3. Assessment
Assessment in all classes will occur on a regular basis. Assessment strategies fit into two broad categories: Assessment FOR Learning(during), and Assessment OF learning(after).

Assessment FOR Learning occurs during instruction and looks like discussion, peer review, student meetings, sharing questions and answers, revision, rewriting, personal reflection. Example assessments during learning: “Start an Online Discussion,” “Hamlet IV,iv Discussion,” “Honour and Certainty,” “Pillars of Character,” “Group Novel Study,” “Story Study Guide.”

Assessment OF Learning occurs midway through or at the end or a unit of instruction and looks like high stakes tests, midterm and final exams, end of unit tests, portfolios. Example assessments after learning: “Applying for a Summer Job,” “Choices Essay,” “Portfolio 10,” “Hamlet: Final Response,” “ELA 30 Final Exam.”

Marks taken during assessments and evaluations will contribute toward the final grade. Each unit of study uses various types of evaluation such as exams, assignments, collaborations, presentations. The weighting of each mark contributes to the unit total while the weighting of each unit contributes to the overall course grade. Late assignments will not be accepted after the end of unit due dates. Refer to student handbook for appeals procedures.

Gradebook Category Weighting
Personal/Creative 30%

  • short stories, scripts, narratives, poems, book reviews, book talk, forum posts, online class discussion, blog comments, reading logs, any other personal/creative response to a text

Critical/Analytical 40%

  • essays, letters, speeches, debates, reports, character sketches, any other critical or analytical response to a text

Representing 5%

  • posters, photo essay, images, videos, animations, tag clouds, podcasts, surveys, mobiles, dioramas, collages, and any other assorted “blog bling”

Final Exam 25%

  • reading comprehension, response to visual, functional writing, expository/essay, or narrative writing assignments.

4. Course Work and Evaluation
Quarter 1 18.75% Marks collected from course beginning to 1st report card cut-off
Quarter 2 18.75% Marks collected from 1st report card cut-off to semester break cut-off.
Quarter 3 18.75% Marks collected from semester break cut-off to 3rd report card cut-off.
Quarter 4 18.75% Marks collected from 3rd report card cut-off to final exam.
Final Exam 25%

5. Primary Resources
Crossroads 8, Gage/Nelson Educational Publishing
Novel, TBA
Film, TBA

Students are encouraged, but not required, to bring their own electronic internet devices into the classroom. These devices include and are not limited to laptops (any OS), Chromebooks, smartphones, tablets, ebook readers etc, etc, etc. Basically, if the device can browse the school’s website via the school’s enterprise class wi-fi network, it would be useful in the classroom (most days). Student use of any device must comply with the School Acceptable Use Policy.

Alberta Education Resources for Parents

“My Child’s Learning”: Learn More About English Language Arts