I will be honest with you: I was never a fan of our version of this course. It had some good bits, yes, but it felt like some cumbersome monstrosity we had cobbled together from whatever we had lying around. Some Shakespeare? Of course we had it. Novel studies? Sure. We spent lots of time carefully choosing the novels for the course, hoping to make the course more palatable. Unfortunately, every time we tinkered with the course, its true nature became more apparent.
This year, we have decided to put it out of its misery.
We are rebuilding this course from scratch. Yes it will still contain Shakespeare and yes, you will still read a novel. You will also, however, do the following:
- read a variety of texts (chosen by you) from different countries and cultures. Remember that “texts” isn’t restricted to traditional print.
- You will read a variety of non-fiction and fiction texts (chosen by you)
- While you will still write an essay or two, you will also have tremendous freedom to decide what other forms, styles, and mediums you will explore.
The Big Picture: Why Are You Here?
The purpose of this course is to make you better readers, communicators, and collaborators:
- readers (not JUST words): listening, reading, and analysing
- communicators (authoring your own messages): speaking, writing, media production
- collaborators: actively learning from and with others
You can learn more by examining the Day 1 Sheet.
The 6 Questions You Use in English Class
I present you with 6 questions that will guide your work this semester:
- How does this text work?
- Who is it for?
- Why was it created?
- How does voice impact my understanding of the text?
- What intended and unintended value messages does it contain?
- Have I applied the criteria above to my own work?
The more effectively we answer the questions, the more freedom we will have when choosing/producing texts. Let’s start by applying these questions to the following text:
What About You?
Please go to this page and complete this survey about your goals for this semester. This will help me build the course into something that works for you.