English Language Arts
At GKA our English curriculum is driven by the following three goals:
- Academic Achievement
To promote students' use of English academically while simultaneously developing critical thinking skills.
- Confidence in Communication
To nurture confident and distinguished speakers of the language through the development of students' oral ability in both social and academic situations.
- Appreciation of Cultural Diversity
To develop the students' appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity.
The development of language skills covers the four domains of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each of these areas involves a variety of skills. For example reading requires comprehension skills such as compare and contrast, recognizing story structure, understanding sequence of events, and making inferences. Writing skills including spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure are also vital components of the curriculum. As students progress through the grades, they learn the same skills with increasing levels of difficulty and complexity.
We use an American reading series and engage students in meaningful activities that generate student participation and active learning. Teachers incorporate quizzes, games, art, technology, acting, role-playing, etc. into the lessons. In the lower grades, students often experience the learning centers, where instruction is led either by the teacher or by students practicing independent learning.
In the first grade, students look forward to performing in a play, second graders publish a newspaper while third graders research and report on their favorite animal. Fourth graders are introduced to the world of reading and writing poetry, fifth graders write and deliver speeches and sixth graders go to a foreign country to explore and experience learning abroad for three weeks.
Students’ performance and progress in English are measured regularly through formal assessments, e.g. , theme tests; and informal assessments, e.g. , teachers observations. To better meet the wide range of abilities in the classroom the school implements Reading Plus, a web-based reading program that uses technology to provide individualized silent reading practice for students.
Students can apply all the skills they learn in ELA class to achieve success in other subjects including Japanese language arts and to become lifelong learners.