Hobbs Municipal Schools English Language Arts (ELA) department seeks to satisfy the goal of our mission statement “To provide great instruction for every student, in every class, everyday” by creating an interesting and challenging curriculum. Beginning with SpringBoard, the College Board’s official Pre-AP program in ELA 7-9, students advance to a rigorous curriculum for English 2 Pre-AP, English 2, English 3, and English 4 in grades 10-12. Juniors and seniors may take Advanced Placement classes in English Language and Composition (English 3 AP) and/or English Literature and Composition (English 4 AP).
The English Language Arts curriculum enables and encourages students to become reflective, articulate, literate individuals by emphasizing the integration of reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and thinking skills with quality literature. Four essential skill sets are addressed in enabling students to succeed in college and/or the workforce: critical thinking and problem solving, collaborative learning, effective written and oral communication, and researching, analyzing, and synthesizing information.
- Critical thinking involves using many kinds of thinking simultaneously. It is not being critical of others, but it is an effort to understand what others have to say and to gather, evaluate, and use information effectively. Students who are critical thinkers ask questions, value fair-mindedness, are open-minded, and respect evidence and reasoning. They look at different points of view, and are willing to change their opinions when provided logical reasoning. Critical thinkers are not passive learners, but take an active part in their acquisition of knowledge.
- Collaborative learning involves groups of learners working together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a product. Learning is naturally a social act and group members talk among themselves to activate prior knowledge, challenge others to process and synthesize information, and understand other points-of-view. Collaborative learning helps to develop higher level thinking skills while it builds self-esteem and enhances student satisfaction with the learning experience.
- Effective written and oral communication skills are vital for success. Both written and oral communication are forms of rhetoric that express ideas, positions, perspectives, or viewpoints to others. To be effective, the writer/speaker must first consider the audience, purpose, and subject of the communication. Organization, enthusiasm, and delivery are equally important in oral and written communication. To develop voice in communication one must consider diction, detail, syntax, imagery, and tone.
- Research is an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions. After gathering data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge, students follow the procedure for writing the research paper. They learn to choose and refine a topic, consider the purpose and audience for their final product, develop and answer research questions, understand the difference between a primary source and a secondary source, and cite sources in a works cited page. Students will evaluate sources and determine the credibility of each. Research skills include paraphrasing, summarizing, outlining, and analyzing the material to synthesize information into a logically developed research presentation.