The Newman School
IB English Language B, Year Two: How to Do More Things With Better English
Mrs. Gallagher 2012-13 Academic Year
My name, Firoozeh, chosen by my mother, means “Turquoise” in Farsi. In America, it means “Unpronounceable” or “I’m Not Going to Talk to You Because I Cannot Possibly Learn Your Name and I Just Don’t Want to Have to Ask You Again and Again Because You’ll Think I’m Dumb or You Might Get Upset or Something.” My father, incidentally, had wanted to name me Sara. I do wish he had won that argument.
FromFunny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America, Firoozeh Dumas
Congratulations. You made it to the second half of the two-year IB course Language B: English (Standard and Higher level). If you are enrolled in this course, you survived, or perhaps even thrived, in your first year of IB English B, and I had the pleasure of teaching you. Or perhaps you have been placed in this course as a one-year component of your senior academic schedule. In any case, I look forward to continuing our working relationship, and helping you achieve your academic goals in senior year.
The main emphasis of the IB Group 2 modern language courses is on “language acquisition and use in a range of contexts and for different purposes” (IBO website), and this is the focus of our work: learning “how to do things with English.” However,in IB English B, you will not only develop the ability to use English effectively in a variety of different practical communication circumstances. You will also honereading, writing, speaking and listeningskills that will enable you to access some of the world’s greatest works of literature, drama, poetry and philosophy in their original language.
Last year, exploration of these texts, alongside examination and analysis of the way English is used in the written and spoken texts of everyday contemporary life, led you to a greater understanding of how English came to be the world’s dominant language, as well as the specific cultural receptacle for the dynamic and often conflicted modern societies that employ it. More importantly, you became adept participants in the community of English users, contributing your own ideas, opinions and creative work to the sphere. This year, you will continue to develop your English toolkit, with an eye to preparing you to use English in the world(s) beyond Newman.
Required Materials 2010-11:
Please purchase the following literary texts for this year. I would prefer that you obtain the editions specified (I‘ve provided both ISBN #s and suggest you shop for them online to get the best deal):
Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.Pennyroyal Edition with illustrations by Barry Moser. University of California Press.ISBN-10: 0520201795;
You should also obtain a copy of the following academic text, which I will expect you to work on independently throughout the year, and will serve as a great reference tool for you in your future academic pursuits:
Grammar in Use: Intermediate Student's Book with answers: Self-study Reference and Practice for Students of North American English. Cambridge University Press.
As with last year, additional selected short stories, poetry, essays, news articles, films and other media will be assigned throughout the year. For these works, I will distribute materials or ask you to access them online.
For personal materials, please keep at hand yourheavy-duty 3-ring binder(at least 1.5 in) stocked with looseleaf paper and pockets. You should also continue to use your linedcomposition journal.
Goals and Objectives, Year Two:
In the second year of this course, we will build upon the foundation for advanced fluency in English laid last year by pursuing work in the following areas:
Reading:Using your critical decoding and reading skills, you will continue to analyze how language is used by speakers/writers to shape the reader/audience’s intellectual, emotional, aesthetic and moral response to a variety of text types.
Writing: You will continue to create and revise written text for a variety of audiences and purposes, e.g. journal entries, mock advertisements, letters, poems/lyrics, etc. Longer papers will focus on research, argumentative and personal narrative forms.Some assignments will be tailored to prepare you for the English B exams.
Speaking and Listening:With established habits of mind that help guide your word choice, pronunciation, and use of appropriate register for speaking English in varied formal and informal situations, we will further enrich your capacity to communicate and understand complex ideas and opinions effectively.
Cultural exploration and understanding:You have learned about many of the chief historical and cultural factors that influenced the development of modern English as it is spoken and written today. Your work in this class is part of the story, and your use of English gives you the power to be a dynamic force in the narrative.
The success of this course depends upon structured active, inquiry-driven classroom discourse. You must speak, listen, and question, to get to know the unique experiences and perspectives of your classmates, and to express your opinions to each other on a daily basis. Just keep doing what you learned to do so well last year and we’ll be fine.
o As you know, my grading structure is individuated and depends a good deal on your engagement and input. Please do your best to speak with me directly if you have a concern about your progress or assessment.
o I am eager to receive your suggestions and recommendations for English writing, speech and song that you wish to bring to the attention of the class—including your own original work.