Kelli Velez , Supervisor
Cathy Congiusta, Secretary
The goal of the language arts / English program is to develop students’ ability to communicate effectively for varied purposes and audiences. Effective communication is probably the single most important attribute of self-sufficiency, academic and career success—and it is based on the integrated components of reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking.
East Brunswick’s kindergarten and first grade programs build upon the language skills and knowledge that children acquire before they begin formal academic instruction. Kindergarten and first grade teachers initiate formal communications processes and skills through natural language experience. For example, children begin by speaking their stories or thoughts to an adult who transcribes them into standard, written English. Children, in turn, read to their peers who listen and provide oral responses. As children progress, they take over the translation process for themselves, practicing increasingly close approximation of standard English form and content.
In the higher grades, the program continues to develop the processes of writing, reading, speaking and listening through an integrated approach to the language arts (ILA). This includes instruction in the underlying support skills. For example, in the writing component, students write regularly, in a variety of modes and for a variety of audiences. They practice a process for their writing in which they learn strategies for prewriting and revising, as well as skills for critical thinking such as analysis, synthesis, problem-solving and evaluation.
Reading and writing about literature and language become increasingly important as students develop the sophisticated skills of analysis and interpretation. By the time they complete their senior year, students have read and discussed significant works of American, British, and world literature as well as many works of non-fiction. They have learned to express themselves in many rhetorical modes and to conduct independent research through a sequential research process that is introduced in the third grade and continues through twelfth grade.
In addition to the required courses in English, the junior high and high school offer several electives: mythology, creative writing, journalism, public speaking, Shakespeare and philosophy. Two advanced placement courses are also available for qualified students.
All students in grades 2, 6 and 7 complete the iReady diagnostic screening tool three times a year (October, February and May). The iReady Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit a student’s performance. Its purpose is not to give a score or grade but instead to help determine targeted academic goals for each student. Students requiring additional support may also use iReady Instruction so the student can practice targeted skills at an appropriate pace.