MYP English Language and Literature - Grade 8

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Instructors: 
8A - Aleksandra Stojanovic-Milic: astojanovic-milic@isb.rs
8B - Kelly Horner: khorner@isb.rs 
Class Resources:  https://mssmenglishisb.weebly.com  
 
Summary:
Welcome to grade 8! We anticipate a challenging year of investigating, examining, exploring, creating, sharing and learning. Together, we will work towards achieving everyone’s personal best and academic excellence. A key element of the English language and literature program is the appreciation of how language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating, and as such it permeates the whole curriculum. Reading, analytical and writing skills will be developed through a close study of literary and media texts and your own wide reading.
 
Units and topics:
Unit 1 – Short Stories Around the World 
  • Anchor text: A selection of short stories
  • In-depth analysis of narrative techniques
  • Research of social, cultural and historical context
  • Creative responses to writing prompts
  • Hooks and beginnings of stories
  • Dipping characters in paint - effective strategies
Unit 2 – What Is the Cost of Ambition?
  • Anchor text: The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • Study of the narrative style and techniques
  • Presentations of the relevant historical context
  • Thematic exploration 
  • Development of formal writing skills
Unit 3 – Demagoguery
  • Anchor text: Animal Farmby George Orwell
  • Characteristics and purposes of utopias and dystopias
  • Language of persuasion and propaganda
  • Persuasive language and propaganda of war posters
  • Development of close reading skills - multimodal texts
  • Socratic discussions
Unit 4 – Power and Privilege
  • Anchor texts:Selected poems, Noughts and Crosses - play adaptation
  • Study of various forms and poetic styles
  • Analysis and evaluation of poetic techniques
  • Research of relevant contextual and historical information
  • Development of close reading skills
  • Responses to texts in the form of presentations, formal paragraphs and performances
Independent Reading - An ongoing focus
Independent reading as a practice will be at the forefront of each student’s individual development with time allocated in each lesson to read. During the course of their reading, students will engage in discussions with their teachers and peers to share experiences, acquire reading strategies and develop depth in the way they approach reading as a skill. At the end of each quarter, students will write a response to one of the texts of the prescribed genre:
 
Quarter 1 - Historical Fiction
Response: a newspaper article
Quarter 2 – (Auto) Biographies
Response: A monologue
Quarter 3 – Graphic Novels
Response: A book trailer
Quarter 4 - Satire
Response: To be determined
Aims:  As stated in the MYP Language and Literature guide, the aims of MYP Language and Literature are to encourage and enable students to:
  • Use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self- expression and social interaction
  • Develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts
  • Develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analysing literary and non-literary works
  • Engage in literature from a variety of cultures and representing different historical periods
  • Explore and analyseaspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary works
  • Engage with information and communication technology in order to explore language
  • Develop a lifelong interest in reading widely
  • Applylanguage skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts.
Assessment criteria:
Feedback on and final levels of achievement for assessments are based on four equally weighted assessment criteria 
 
 
Assessment Criteria
At the end of year 3, students should be able to:
A
Analyzing
i. identify and explain the content, context, language, structure, technique and style of text(s) and the relationship among texts
ii. identify and explain the effects of the creator’s choices on an audience
Iii. justify opinions and ideas, using examples, explanations and terminology interpret similarities and differences in features within and between genres and texts.
B
Organizing
i. employ organizational structures that serve the context and intention
ii. organize opinions and ideas in a coherent and logical manner
iii. use referencing and formatting tools to create a presentation style suitable to the context and intention.
C
Producing Text
i. produce texts that demonstrate thought, imagination and sensitivity, while exploring and considering new perspectives and ideas arising from personal engagement with the creative process
ii. make stylistic choices in terms of linguistic, literary and visual devices, demonstrating awareness of impact on an audience
iii. select relevant details and examples to develop ideas.
D
Using Language
 i.use appropriate and varied vocabulary, sentence structures and forms of expression
ii.write and speak in an appropriate register and style
iii.use correct grammar, syntax and punctuation
iv.spell (alphabetic languages), write (character languages) and pronounce with accuracy
use appropriate non-verbal communication techniques.
Student Expectations
 
In the classroom:
  • Be on time, submit all assignments on time and make up the work missed in a timely fashion.
  • Bring academic supplies daily, including the assigned text and agenda
  • Be an active learner by contributing to class and collaborative activities.
  • Respect your classmates’ and your own right to learn.
  • Bookmark the class website to be able to easily access course information.
  • Respect academic honesty by avoiding plagiarism. Learn proper MLA citation, as well as strategies for paraphrasing (putting words in your own words), summarizing and using your own ideas.  
  • Read and re-read the descriptions for all the assessment criteria to help you meet all the expectations when working on assessments. 
  • Ask for help and/or clarification (in-class, during the school day, at home, email) when you need it. 
Outside of the classroom:
  • Have a dedicated place to work at home (or elsewhere) to complete homework.  
  • Ask for help as needed.
  • Get guidance from your teacher or parent, but make sure you express your work in your own words to ensure that you receive authentic feedback on how to develop your skills.  
  • Read as much as possible. The more you read, the better writer you will become!

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