English

English skills are critical to success throughout one’s lifetime, even internationally.  In addition to formal reports to this effect, Board Chair and volunteer teacher Vince Gutschick heard this assessment from Engr. Francois Tardieu, his colleague and his host for a sabbatical year of research at INRA in France: “Yes, it’s true that the French are reluctant to speak English, but it’s not for the reason you think.  We think that English is the official language of science and business, so we hesitate to make a mistake in English.”  (Vince made his own amusing mistakes in perfecting his French while there!)

 

English in grades early K, K, and 1-2 is integrated through the day, with lessons in grammar, spelling, phonics, reading, and writing.  It is rewarding to see young students reading to each other as well as telling stories of events to each other.  Students learn sight words while working into the grammar and pronunciation of English, the tricky language.   Frequent short tests reinforce their spelling prowess.  Frequent writing, from phrases to short essays, consolidates their gains in syntax, style, and punctuation.

 

English, grades 3-5

  • English reading meets 5 times each week. Students read assigned books and create reports on them ( bridging the activity with the writing class); in class, they discuss the characters, the plot, the cultural aspects evident in the writing.  Students share their findings about books they individually elected to read.  Reading worksheets, spelling lists, and grammar lessons round out the reading.   Teacher Elizabeth Brasher elevates the class to near-university level,  drawing on the experience teaching at that level and on her M.A. in Creative Writing.
  • English writing meets 5 times each week. In addition to writing reports about books in the English reading class, students prepare papers in several styles of writing (e.g., discursive, argumentative).  They write imaginative or discursive stories and essays about current events or about themselves.  They maintain writing journals.  Spelling lessons and tests reinforce good style.

English, middle school

  • Middle-school English reading meets 5 times each week. Students read assigned books, which are discussed in class.  The activity reaches into the next class, English writing, as students write reports and papers.  Teacher Elizabeth Brasher elevates the class to near-university level,  drawing on the experience teaching at that level and on her M.A. in Creative Writing.
  • Middle-school English writing meets 5 times each week. In addition to writing reports about books in the English reading class, students prepare papers in several styles of writing (e.g., discursive, argumentative).  They maintain writing journals.  Spelling lessons and tests reinforce good style.