We at the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ), believe that our role as educators is to develop and reinforce the literacy learning that begins in a child’s home and community.
The foundation of our balanced literacy program is a multicultural, standards-based K-12 curriculum emphasizing comprehensive skill development in four primary areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Through a wide range of assessments, our curriculum encourages the consistent growth of critical and creative thinking, quality communication, independence and reflection at developmentally appropriate levels.
AISJ advocates a student-centered, collaborative and cross-curricular approach in support of balanced literacy. Diverse opportunities are provided for students to experience and process language created for a variety of purposes and audiences. Such an approach, we believe, will best prepare and empower them to become responsible, lifelong learners and competent, compassionate, effective communicators.
English Language Arts Standards:
Learners understand that the application of reading skills and strategies empower us to comprehend a variety of texts
Learners understand that the application of writing skills and strategies empower us to create a variety of texts
Apply listening and speaking skills and strategies to communicate effectively
Learners understand that conventions enable us to communicate effectively
The Workshop Model
In Middle School, Language Arts is scheduled for 100 minutes with Readers’ Workshop and Writers’ Workshop combined. The Units of Studies for Reading and Writing are often integrated, and teachers use opportunities for further integration with Social Studies wherever possible.
Throughout all the units, students have the opportunity to develop their oral and visual communication skills through for example, although not limited by, book clubs, speeches and performances of stories or poems. Language Foundations (conventions) are interwoven throughout the writing units. Alongside this the students have read-alouds which will model reading rate, accuracy, and comprehension skills.
Students are encouraged to read independently for a minimum of 30 minutes each night. Independent reading books are those which appropriately challenge the students allowing them to use reading strategies and to record their thinking about their texts. The students will be asked to respond about their independent reading books on a regular basis, in a variety of ways.