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Sir John A. Macdonald’s English Department offers a wide range of courses and co-curricular activities. Students taking the core English courses in grades 9 through 12 will study a wide range of literature, from novels and short stories to Shakespeare and modern drama.

In conjunction with these courses, the English Department takes students on field trips, such as our trip this year to Stratford to see Twelfth Night. In addition to the core English courses, we also offer many elective courses, including grade 11 Media Studies and Speaking Skills, grade 12 Writer’s Craft, Studies in Literature, and Film Studies.

Teachers in the English Department also organize and run extra-curricular activities associated with the study of English, including a Writers’ Club, the school newspaper, and the Waterloo County English Awards.

Please view our  English resources.


GRADE 9

ENG1DI (English, Academic)

This course is designed to develop oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy skills.  Students will analyze literary texts from contemporary and historical periods, interpret informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. Digital literacy and an online portfolio are an integral part of the course.  This course is intended to prepare students for the grade 10 academic English course, which leads to university or college preparation courses in grades 11 and 12.

Units of study include:  Short Stories, Shakespeare, Mythology, Essay Writing, Poetry, Novel Study (both independent and as literature circles), Informational and non-fiction texts.

 

ENG1LB (English, Fast Forward)

This course provides the foundation for literacy and communication skills which prepare students for success in their daily lives, in the workplace and in the Grade 10 essential level course.  The course develops a variety of important skills, including listening, talking, reading, viewing and writing. In all strands, the focus is on developing foundational literacy skills and in using language clearly and accurately in a variety of authentic contexts.

 

ENG1PI (English, Applied)

This course is designed to develop key oral communication reading, writing, and media literacy skills.  Students will read, interpret, and create a variety of informational, literary and graphic texts with a more hands on approach.  The course is intended to prepare students for the grade 10 applied English course, which leads to college or workplace preparation courses in grades 11 and 12.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Short Stories
  • Unit 2: Mythology
  • Unit 3: Essays
  • Unit 4: Poetry
  • Unit 5: Novel Study
  • Unit 6: Independent Study

 


GRADE 10

ENG2DI (English, Academic)

Making connections… that is what Grade 10 Academic English is all about.  The course is tied together by the Final Assessment which involves reading your choice of fiction and non fiction books and connecting them to the core texts studied in class in the Final Assessment essay.  Students study and interpret challenging texts from contemporary and historical periods including plays, novels, opinion pieces and media works. Assignments include analysis, interpretation and creation in the forms of spoken, written and visual language.  Prerequisite:  ENG1D or ENG1P

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Short Stories and Essays
  • Unit 2: Poetry
  • Unit 3: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Unit 4: Romeo and Juliet
  • Unit 5: Independent Study

 

ENG2LB (English, Fast Forward)

In this course, students focus on extending their literacy and communication skills to prepare for success in their daily lives and in the workplace.  The course is organized by strands that extend listening and talking skills, reading and viewing skills, and writing skills. In all strands, the focus is on refining foundational literacy skills and in using language clearly and accurately in a variety of authentic contexts. Students build on their strategies and engage in the processes involved in talking, listening, reading, viewing, writing, and thinking, and reflect regularly upon their growth in these areas. Prerequisite:  ENG1L.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1:  Teamwork and Effective Communication
  • Unit 2:  Short Stories
  • Unit 3:  Authentic Documents
  • Unit 4:  Novel Study
  • Unit 5:  Graphic Novels
  • Unit 6:  Summative Project

 

ENG2PI (English, Applied)

This course emphasizes reading, writing, oral communication, and thinking skills that students need for success in secondary school programs and their daily lives. Students will study various forms of literature, focusing on the interpretation and analysis of different styles of writing. Developing research and oral presentation skills is another important emphasis. Writing activities will focus on paragraph organization, unified responses, and grammar. Prerequisite:  ENG1D or ENG1P.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Short Stories
  • Unit 2: Essays
  • Unit 3: Poetry
  • Unit 4: Novel Study

 


GRADE 11

EMS3OI (Media Studies, Open)

This course focuses on the different forms of media used to communicate in the twenty-first century and how these messages are formulated and delivered. Students will examine music, movies, video games, the Internet, advertising and social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) to better understand their place within the pop culture-filled world in which we live. Prerequisite: ENG2DI or ENG2PI.  Runs alternating years (offered again for 2021-2022).

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Music and Image
  • Unit 2: Four Key Concepts of Media
  • Unit 3: Popular Culture
  • Unit 4: Advertising
  • Unit 5: Independent Director Study

 

ENG3CI (English, College)

This course emphasizes the development of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will study the content, form, and style of a variety of informational and graphic texts, as well as literary texts from Canada and other countries, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms for practical and academic purposes. An important focus will be on using language with precision and clarity. The course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory Grade 12 college preparation course.  Prerequisite:  ENG2P or ENG2D.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Short Stories and Poetry (Adventure or a “good vs evil” themed approach)
  • Unit 2: Macbeth – The Graphic Novel (Shakespeare’s play transformed into a graphic novel with text.)
  • Unit 3: Novel Study: The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
  • Unit 4: “Unsolved Mysteries”
  • Unit 5: The Summative – Theme-based creative work and analysis

 

ENG3EB (English, Fast Forward)

This course emphasizes the development of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in the workplace and in daily life. Students will study the content, form, and style of a variety of contemporary informational, graphic, and literary texts; and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms for practical purposes. An important focus will be on using language clearly and accurately in a variety of formal and informal contexts. The course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory Grade 12 workplace preparation course.  Prerequisite:  ENG2L.

 

ENG3UI (English, University)

This course emphasizes the development of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyse challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures, as well as a range of informational and graphic texts, and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms. An important focus will be on using language with precision and clarity and incorporating stylistic devices appropriately and effectively. The course is intended to prepare students for the compulsory Grade 12 university or college preparation course. Prerequisite:  ENG2DI

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1:  Short Stories
  • Unit 2:  Shakespeare: Macbeth
  • Unit 3:  Essay Analysis
  • Unit 4:  Novel Study
  • Unit 5:  Poetry
  • Unit 6:  History of the English Language

 

EPS3OI (Presentation and Speaking Skills, Open)  CANCELLED

This course emphasizes the knowledge and skills required to plan and make effective presentations and to speak effectively in both formal and informal contexts, using such forms as reports, speeches, debates, panel discussions, storytelling, recitations, interviews, and multimedia presentations. Students will research and analyse the content and characteristics of convincing speeches and the techniques of effective speakers; design and rehearse presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences; select and use visual and technological aids to enhance their message; and assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ presentations.

Highlights include story telling at Abraham Erb, Debating, a “Rant off” and a class designed field trip to observe public speaking skills in action.  (i.e. trip to Toronto Radio Station).  Prerequisite:  NONE.  Runs alternating years (offered for 2020-2021).

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1:  Speaking for Yourself
  • Unit 2:  Speaking for the Classroom
  • Unit 3:  Speaking for the Workplace
  • Unit 4:  Speaking for the Community
  • Unit 5:  Final Assessment

 


GRADE 12

ENG4CI (English, College)

This course emphasizes the consolidation of literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills.  Students will analyze informational texts and literary works from various time periods, countries, and cultures; write research reports, reflections, and creative assignments; analyze interactions among media forms and audiences; and complete an independent study project. Prerequisite:  ENG3C or ENG3U.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Communication
  • Unit 2: Survival
  • Unit 3: People in Profile
  • Unit 4: Novel Study
  • Unit 5: Independent Study

 

ENG4EB (English, Fast Forward)

This course emphasizes the consolidation of literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in the workplace and in daily life. Students will analyse informational, graphic, and literary texts and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms for workplace-related and practical purposes. An important focus will be on using language accurately and organizing ideas and information coherently. The course is intended to prepare students for the workplace and active citizenship. Prerequisite: ENG3E.

 

ENG4UI (English, University)

This course emphasizes the consolidation of the literacy, communication, and critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in academic and daily life. Students will analyze a range of challenging literary texts from various periods, countries, and cultures; interpret and evaluate informational and graphic texts; and create oral, written, and media texts in a variety of forms.  An important focus will be on using academic language coherently, selecting the reading strategies best suited to particular texts and particular purposes in reading, and developing greater control in writing.  Prerequisite:  ENG3U.

Content/Units of Study:

  • Essays, Short Stories, and Poetry
  • A Shakespearian Play
  • A Novel Study
  • An Independent Study
  • Modern Drama

 

EWC4UI (The Writer’s Craft, University)

A workshop course in creative writing which features units on writing creative non-fiction, poetry, script, and short story.  Students chose their own topics in each genre and develop them through a series of writing exercises and conferences with the instructor and their classroom peers.

The culminating project is an independent study: a group magazine on a subject of the students’ choosing.  The magazine features work in all the genres we have considered in class. Considerable class time is provided for writing, conferring with the instructor and editing peers’ writing.  Prerequisite:  ENG3U.

Units of Study:

  • Unit 1: Creative Non-Fiction
  • Unit 2: Poetry
  • Unit 3: Script
  • Unit 4: Short Story
  • Unit 5: Culminating Project

 

OLC4OI (Literacy Course, Open)

This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing. Prerequisite:  ENG3EB/ENG3CI/ENG3UI or see below.

Eligibility requirement: Students who have been unsuccessful at least once on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test are eligible to take the course.