English … what, why and how!
What is English about?
English is essentially about communication - whether in oral, visual or written form. Learners in all English classes at Whangaparaoa College are encouraged to understand, use, and create oral, written, and visual texts; and as learners progress through the curriculum the complexity of the English teaching and learning increases. By the time learners leave the college, the department aims to ensure that they are skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.
Why study English?
English is compulsory from Year 9 to Year 12, with a range of courses tailored to learners’ individual needs. Success in English complements success in other subjects; this is because all learning areas require learners to receive, process, and present ideas and knowledge via English. In addition, literacy in English gives learners access to the information, understanding, and skills they will need to participate fully in their lives as adult New Zealand citizens. Furthermore, to study at tertiary level, learners need to obtain ‘literacy’ as defined by NZQA.
How is the subject organized?
English studies can be divided into two broad areas:
• Activities to do with receiving language e.g Listening, Reading, and Viewing, where learners make meaning of ideas or information they receive.
• Activities to do with producing language e.g Speaking, Writing, and Presenting, where learners create meaning for themselves or others, through written, spoken or visual text.
Learners make meaning and create meaning each year, at the appropriate curriculum level, and learners’ progress is reflected in the way that the achievement objectives are structured; progress is measured by tasks and texts that become increasingly challenging as learners mature.