It is the philosophy of the Mahwah High School and Ramapo Ridge Middle School English Language Arts department to prepare our students as critical thinkers for the 21st century. Our curriculum has been developed to address the necessary skills for making our students competent in both written and verbal communication. These skills will be embedded within literature lessons that will also provide students with the cultural literacy and global awareness necessary to analyze and work with both the traditional literary canon, as well as contemporary writing. It is this familiarity with a variety of genres (e.g. drama, epic poetry, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, novels, and essays) that enables students to be lifelong readers, thinkers, and writers.
In order to achieve this goal, our department is aware that our students are met with a rigorous course of study. This course of study contains an increase in frequency and quantity of reading, a rich literary offering, along with the presentation of a strong written component throughout. Students will gain knowledge of different forms and modes of writing, along with an awareness of different audiences. These modes of writing include narrative, persuasive/argumentative, synthesis, expository, literary analysis, technical, business/workplace, as well as research-based.
All pieces of this curriculum focus on college and career readiness for all students. This is supported by daily pedagogical practices that aid in students’ application of ELA skills to “real life,” contemporary situations. Students will become knowledgeable consumers of information, and will be able to discern reputable and trustworthy data, which are necessary skills when working and leading in a society where technology plays an ever-increasing role.