Westlake Christian School believes in the continued advancement of basic skills as the students advance through middle school. While the middle school students no longer use a specific reading program to guide instruction, they do continue to build on their acquired skills and gain new ones. The students use a literature-based instruction where novels and works from various authors are used as experiences to support literacy development. Students learn more about literary devices and further understand writing, vocabulary, and grammar. Furthermore, the students gain overall strength in their reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing skills.
The English/Language Arts teachers collaborate with the other grade level content area experts in planning courses of study throughout the year. For example, when students study the Holocaust in their Social Studies class, they not only visit the local Holocaust Museum, but they also read a novel, such as Night or The Diary of Anne Frank, geared toward enhancing their understanding and experience with this subject. Whenever possible, this type of planning aids students in making connections with material both in Language Arts and their other classes.
In keeping with the 21st Century ideals, the Language Arts program in the middle school places an emphasis on developing the students’ written and oral expression skills. Westlake Christian School believes the ability of students to express themselves effectively in both public speaking and the written word will place them ahead of their peers. Thus, continuing to build the students’ repertoire of writing, including expository, persuasive, research papers, and the like, serves as a major instructional objective within the middle school.
Students earn an Honors English I high school credit at the end of their eighth grade year at Westlake.