RATIONALE, DESCRIPTION, AND PURPOSE
In keeping with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, this curricula fulfills New Jersey State guidelines for high school Language Arts requirements.
The formal study of language and literature derives from and enhances our understanding of human communication in all of its expressions. The English curriculum of Westfield High School seeks to develop the students’ critical and creative consciousness through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. We place our emphasis on learning as a dynamic process so that the skills practiced in high school continue to empower students as lifetime learners, and as thinking, compassionate citizens of the global community. We seek to study language in a variety of genres and perspectives. To these ends, this curriculum stresses critical thinking, problem-solving, personal expression, cooperative learning, research and technological skills, awareness of diversity, and respect for the human voice in its many and varied expressions.
The main goal is to examine how individual people, communities, and cultures form and maintain distinctive identities in an increasingly globalized world. The literature study explores the ways in which written and oral language reflect the essential aspects of the human condition as well as examine the diversity of people and cultures.
The study of literature is complemented by an emphasis on the writing process to develop skills in expository, persuasive, personal, narrative, and research-based writing. Students develop an extended understanding of the contextual use of grammar and vocabulary.
Through a variety of pedagogical approaches, this curricula provides experiences in all forms of communication: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. Students are provided with rigorous academic preparation and creative opportunities for self-expression.