English Language Arts 20 Course Outline

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

1. Course Philosophy
The Alberta English Language Arts Program emphasizes lifelong applications of Language Arts skills. Language use reflects the inter-relatedness of the processes of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing. Language is used to communicate understandings, ideas and feelings, to assist social and personal development, and to mediate thought processes. Language expansion occurs primarily through active involvement in language situations. Through writing the student can learn to clarify thought, emotion, and experience, and to share ideas, emotion and experiences with others. Literature is an integrated part of language 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.

2. General Outcomes/Themes:
The study of English language arts enables each student to understand and appreciate the significance and artistry of literature. As well, it enables each student to understand and appreciate language and to use it 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.

Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to

  • explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences.
  • comprehend literature and other texts in oral, print, visual and multimedia forms, and respond personally, critically and creatively.
  • manage ideas and information.
  • create oral, print, visual and multimedia texts, and enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.
  • respect, support and collaborate with others.

The learning outcomes are interrelated and interdependent; each is to be achieved through a variety of listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and representing experiences. Senior high school students engage all six language arts as they study texts and as they create their own texts in relevant situations for a variety of purposes and audiences. The classroom community, available resources, peer assistance, cooperation, individual motivation and teacher leadership will all assist growth. The application of computer technology in the writing process is essential for success.

Decisions–Action or Apathy
The Human Condition–In Search of Self
World Perspectives–The Social Experience
Equality–Pain and Pride
Environment and Technology–Reality and Responsibility

Literature Texts:

  • Novel
  • Book-length Nonfiction or Feature Film
  • Modern Play
  • Shakespearean Play
  • Poetry (including song)
  • Short Story
  • Visual and Multimedia Text (including short films, video clips, photographs)
  • Essay
  • Popular Nonfiction (including news stories, feature articles, reviews, and other forms of informative and persuasive text)

Personal and Analytical/Critical Response Forms:

  • Narrative (factual and fictional)
  • Informative and Persuasive (essay, commentary, article, and review)
  • Poetry
  • Script
  • Oral, Visual, Multimedia (presentation, short film, photo essay, reader’s theatre, demonstration, prepared speech)

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 total point scored of each mark contributes to the overall course grade. Late assignments will not be accepted after the end of unit due dates.

Total Point Weighting

  • 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


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


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

Final Exam 25%

4. Final Evaluation

  • Report Card 1: Marks collected from course beginning to 1st report card cut-off
  • Final Report Card: Marks collected from course beginning to final exam.
  • School Final Exam 25% (Date TBA)

5. Primary Resources
Students will receive only one copy of each text according to the rental agreement. Additional/replacement texts may be purchased through the school office.
Reading List.
TBA: many free online sources, sites, etexts will be used.

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.

6. ELA 10-1, 20-1, 30-1 versus ELA 10-2, 20-2, 30-2
The ELA 10-1, 20-1, 30-1 course sequence provides an opportunity to study texts with an increased emphasis on critical analysis. Texts studied are often “literary” in nature and relate to cultural and societal issues. These courses are designed for students who aspire to careers that require a broader application of skill to a generalized level.

The ELA 10-2, 20-2, 30-2 course sequence provides for the study of texts at a variety of levels of sophistication to meet the needs of students who are more diverse in terms of aspirations and abilities. Texts studied often have specific applications to careers or daily living. The courses focus on developing effective communication strategies and supporting students in enhancing their skills for text study and text creation.

Both ELA 30-1 and 30-2 serve as prerequisites for a senior high school diploma; however, not all post-secondary institutions accept ELA 30-2 for entry. In general, students who plan to attend a post-secondary institution need to familiarize themselves with the entry requirements of the institution and the program they plan to enter.

Completion of English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2 requires the writing of a provincial diploma examination.

2011-2012 Senior High Curriculum Handbook for Parents: Catholic Version

ALberta Education: Learn More About The 20-Level English Language Arts Courses