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To help your teen select appropriate courses and course sequences, refer to the High School Graduation Requirements.

English Language Arts

High School
English Language Arts

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What your teen is learning

10-Level Courses

ELA 10-1 I want to experience different texts and use and appreciate language. In ELA 10-1, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will develop the foundations for strong reading, understand symbolic language and think critically about literary texts, including extended texts (a novel/nonfiction book, a feature film and a modern or Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals/photographs and multimedia, and essays). Your teen will demonstrate strong communication and language skills and create different types of texts, including fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews), poetry and presentations/media (e.g., speeches). By completing this course and the next two in the sequence, your teen will have a solid foundation for post-secondary studies and a career that requires strong reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 10-1, refer to the program of studies.

ELA 10-2 I am building reading and communication skills for work and life. In ELA 10-2, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will begin to examine texts from daily life or texts that have practical applications, including extended texts (a novel or nonfiction book, a feature film, and a modern or Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals and multimedia, and popular nonfiction [e.g., articles, reviews, letters]). Your teen will also develop effective strategies for communication, including skills for studying and representing their ideas and for creating their own fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews, letters, reports), poetry and presentations/media (e.g., speeches). By completing this course and the next two in the sequence, your teen will have a solid foundation for a range of post-secondary education or other opportunities and for careers that require basic reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 10-2, refer to the program of studies.

Knowledge and Employability ELA 10-4 I am developing my language skills so I can experience success in ELA and build on a plan for my work and life goals. In Knowledge and Employability ELA 10-4, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different texts and materials by Canadian and global authors. They will examine accessible, practical materials (e.g., stories, speeches, pictures, films/videos, advertisements, music videos, workplace documents, media and Internet sources) to develop communication, language and occupational skills they can apply in life and work. For example, your teen will read for a specific purpose, construct clear sentences and ideas, write journals and practical pieces such as résumés and cover letters, speak confidently, understand the messages in films, manage basic research inquiries and information, create multimedia projects (e.g., photo essays and advertisements), and participate in discussions and collaborative work. By completing this course and the next two in the sequence, they will have a good base for making the transition directly into the world of work, for pursuing training/courses or for pursuing other opportunities that may not require post-secondary education. For more about Knowledge and Employability ELA 10-4, refer to the program of studies.

20-Level Courses 

ELA 20-1 I am continuing to experience a range of different texts and to use and appreciate language. In ELA 20-1, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will continue to develop the foundations of strong reading skills, understand symbolic language and think critically about literary texts, including extended texts (a novel, a nonfiction book or feature film, and a Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals/photographs and multimedia, and essays). Your teen will demonstrate strong communication and language skills and create different types of texts, including fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews and persuasive writing), presentations/media (e.g., speeches) and scripts. By completing this course and the next one in the sequence, your teen will have a solid foundation for post-secondary studies and a career that requires strong reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 20-1, refer to the program of studies.

ELA 20-2 I am continuing to develop reading and communication skills for work and life. In ELA 20-2, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will examine texts from daily life or texts that have practical applications, including extended texts (a novel, a nonfiction book or feature film, and a modern or Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals and multimedia, and popular nonfiction [e.g., articles, reviews, letters]). Your teen will also develop effective strategies for communication, including skills for studying and representing their ideas and for creating their own fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews, letters, reports), scripts and presentations/media (e.g., speeches). By completing this course and the next one in the sequence, your teen will have a solid foundation for a range of post-secondary education or other opportunities and for careers that require basic reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 20-2, refer to the program of studies.

Knowledge and Employability ELA 20-4 I am continuing to develop my language skills so I can experience success in ELA and build on a plan for my work and life goals. In Knowledge and Employability ELA 20-4, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different texts and materials by Canadian and global authors. They will continue to examine accessible, practical materials (e.g., stories, speeches, pictures, films/videos, advertisements, music videos, workplace documents, media and Internet sources) to develop communication, language and occupational skills they can apply in life and work. For example, your teen will read for a specific purpose, construct clear sentences and ideas, write journals and practical pieces such as résumés and cover letters, speak confidently, understand the messages in films, manage basic research inquiries and information, create multimedia projects (e.g., photo essays and advertisements), and participate in discussions and collaborative work. By completing this course and the last one in the sequence, they will have a good base for making the transition directly into the world of work, for pursuing training/courses or for pursuing other opportunities that may not require post-secondary education. For more about Knowledge and Employability ELA 20-4, refer to the program of studies.

30-Level Courses  

ELA 30-1 I am thinking critically about different texts and effectively using and appreciating language. In ELA 30-1, your teen will effectively listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will demonstrate strong reading skills, understand symbolic language and think critically about literary texts, including extended texts (a novel or nonfiction book, a feature film or modern play, and a Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals and multimedia, essays, and popular nonfiction [e.g., news stories, articles, interviews, letters]). Your teen will demonstrate strong communication and language skills and will create different types of texts, including fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews, persuasive writing) and presentations/media (e.g., speeches). By completing this course, your teen will have a solid foundation for post-secondary studies and a career that requires strong reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 30-1, refer to the program of studies.

ELA 30-2 I am demonstrating effective understanding and communication for work and life. In ELA 30-2, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different types of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Canadian and global authors. They will examine texts from daily life or texts that have practical applications, including extended texts (a novel or nonfiction book, a feature film, and a modern or Shakespearean play) and shorter texts (poetry, short stories, visuals and multimedia, essays, and popular nonfiction [e.g., articles, reviews, letters]). Your teen will also demonstrate effective strategies for communication, including skills for studying and representing their ideas and for creating their own fiction, nonfiction (e.g., essays, articles, reviews, letters) and presentations/media (e.g., speeches). By completing this last course in the sequence, your teen will have a solid foundation for a range of post-secondary education or other opportunities and for careers that require basic reading and communication skills. For more about ELA 30-2, refer to the program of studies.

Knowledge and Employability ELA 30-4 I want to demonstrate language skills and success in ELA to support my work and life goals. In Knowledge and Employability ELA 30-4, your teen will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to comprehend and respond to different texts and materials by Canadian and global authors. They will effectively examine accessible, practical materials (e.g., stories, speeches, pictures, films/videos, advertisements, music videos, workplace documents, media and Internet sources) to develop communication, language and occupational skills they can apply in life and work. For example, your teen will read for a specific purpose, construct clear sentences and ideas, write journals and practical pieces such as résumés and cover letters, speak confidently, understand the messages in films, manage basic research inquiries and information, create multimedia projects (e.g., photo essays and advertisements), and participate in discussions and collaborative work. By completing this last course in the sequence, they will have a good base for making the transition directly into the world of work, for pursuing training/courses or for pursuing other opportunities that may not require post-secondary education. For more about Knowledge and Employability ELA 30-4, refer to the program of studies.

How your teen is assessed

Learning is assessed using a variety of tools and strategies within the classroom. Ask the teacher what methods they are using. The different assessment methods tell you, your teen and your teen’s teacher about your teen’s strengths, the areas in which they might grow and how well they are doing throughout a course. At the end of the course, your teen will be assessed and their achievement will be reported so that you know if they have achieved the expected learning outcomes for the course.

At the end of ELA 30-1 or ELA 30-2, your teen will write a provincial diploma examination. There are three main purposes for the diploma examination:

  • to certify the level of individual student achievement in the course
  • to ensure that province-wide standards of achievement are maintained
  • to report individual and group results.

Your teen’s final mark in ELA 30-1 or ELA 30-2 is determined by taking 70% of the school-awarded mark and adding it to 30% of the diploma examination mark. Your teen must achieve a final mark of 50% or higher to obtain credits for the course. General information about diploma examinations and course-specific diploma examination information are available to help you and your teen.

Resources to help your teen

A variety of digital and print resources from many different sources help students learn. Alberta Education reviews and authorizes many student and teacher resources that support learning and teaching in the classroom. Additionally, teachers may select, and bring into the classroom, numerous other innovative and creative resources to create rich learning experiences for your teen. Visit LearnAlberta.ca to learn more about the resources your teen may encounter.

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Course Sequence

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