English Language Arts Overview
English Language Arts (ELA) includes reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Medina students are exposed to an integration of these elements throughout their middle school and high school ELA education. English Language Arts skills transcend content area and apply to every academic discipline and career field; therefore, developing literacy skills is critical to college and career readiness. Although the elements of ELA are interconnected and often approached holistically, there are unique qualities of each element at the secondary level.
At the secondary level, students are moving away from “learning to read” and are focused on “reading to learn.” Fluency and comprehension continue to be important; however, students are also required to engage higher level thinking and metacognitive strategies at the secondary level. Students will analyze, interpret, and synthesize what they read at increasing degrees of complexity as students matriculate through ELA courses.
In addition to reading fiction, including Young Adult and Classic literature, students are required to read complex informational texts as well. Students are working to build stamina as readers and thinkers. This focus is reflected in the length and complexity of assigned texts. Students learn and apply close reading strategies that aim to reinforce critical reading skills and rich text comprehension.
Reading is a State tested subject in grades 6-8 and 9-10 (ELA 1 & ELA 2).
Like reading or playing a musical instrument, writing requires practice. Medina City Schools believes that from an early age students should produce stories, poems, and essays. Grammar, usage, conventions, and spelling instruction should not take place in isolation. Instead, rudimentary components of English are integrated through a student-centered writing workshop approach, where students are writing on a daily basis. This approach benefits our students at the secondary level because students come to middle school as confident, self-initiating, independent writers.
At the secondary level, students learn that writing is thinking. Students develop their ability to clearly articulate their thoughts through a variety of mediums and genres, including narrative, argument, and informational writing. The primary focus of writing at the secondary level is argument/persuasive and informational. In argument writing, students hone the skill of supporting an argument with objective facts cited evidence. Students also write argument essays providing a critique. In informational writing, students develop research skills to report findings and write essays that provide analysis or interpretation.
Writing is a State tested subject in grades 6-8 and 9-10 (ELA 1 & ELA 2).
Speaking & Listening:
Speaking and listening are critical skills required for an ever-changing and complex world. Employers expect students to graduate from high school and college with the skills needed to communicate effectively and appropriately with colleagues and other stakeholders. Additionally, students need to acquire active and empathetic listening ability to succeed in the world. Interpersonal skills are part of what colleges and employers refer to as “soft skills.” Students will develop these skills in middle school and high school in a variety of contexts, including collaborative learning, oral presentations, group discussion, and speech and debate elective offerings.
Research & Media Literacy:
Information is ubiquitous due to the emergence of the Internet as a global information resource center. Students in middle school and high school will develop online research skills and media literacy skills to harness the power of Internet research sources. Students will learn how to evaluate the credibility, reliability, and validity of a source; accurately quote and paraphrase a source using appropriate MLA parenthetical and bibliographic citations; synthesize, analyze, and summarize sources through succinct research writing.