The development, implementation, and evaluation of a grade-nine English skills program

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Jakobsen, Elizabeth Ann
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2000
This project focuses on those students in our public school system considered to be at-risk of dropping out prior to high school graduation. This study involves one gradenine English skills' class, the first one taught in my junior high school. It was the objective of this study to provide tangible evidence of the inherent value of offering an English skills' course at the junior high level to meet the needs of students whose life skills and communication skills are lacking in varying degrees. It was my belief as a teacher that a number of students at this grade level could benefit from a class designed with their individual English academic needs and concerns as the focus, as opposed to being a curriculum-driven course. Students identified as being at-risk, for the purpose of this study, often have problems ranging from behavior concerns to attendance problems, which can mean the end of their schooling at too early an age. This target group of students has not been diagnosed as having special needs but they are students who are often responsible for creating disruptions in the classroom. Also included are the students who do not seem motivated to complete any tasks assigned them, and as a result, are failing in a number of curricular areas. Upon closer examination, one often finds that many of these students tend to have weak English/communication skills. By addressing the literacy and social needs of these individuals, at whatever level that might be, their chances of remaining in school are increased. This study focuses upon on a class of students fitting this profile. The research methodology is qualitative as well as quantitative in nature. Using action research (Hopkins, 1993), the data is recorded in the form of teacher journaling, interviews, questionnaires, the analysis of that information, the reflections that come of that analysis, and finally, recommendations based on the project in its entirety. It was my working hypothesis that by offering an alternative to strictly academic English at the junior high level, we are then teaching to the realistic needs of certain students at-risk of dropping out of our schools. We can aide teachers working with these students in their classroom settings, and also, importantly, address the future needs of society itself by increasing the number of educated, responsible citizens in our communities.
ix 74 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Dropouts -- British Columbia -- Prevention , Children with social disabilities -- Education -- British Columbia , Language arts -- British Columbia