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Jessica Bishop » 12 Grade English (ERWC)

12 Grade English (ERWC)

The goal of the Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) is to prepare college-bound seniors for the literacy demands of higher education. Students in this yearlong, rhetoric-based course develop advanced proficiency in expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing. The cornerstone of the course—the ERWC Assignment Template—presents a scaffolded process for helping students read, comprehend, and respond to nonfiction and literary texts. Modules also provide instruction in research methods and documentation conventions. Students will be expected to increase their awareness of the rhetorical strategies employed by authors and to apply those strategies to their own writing. They will read closely to examine the relationship between an author’s argument or theme and his or her audience and purpose; to analyze the impact of structural and rhetorical strategies; and to examine the social, political, and philosophical assumptions that underlie the text. By the end of the course, students will be expected to use this process independently when reading unfamiliar texts and writing in response to them. 
CSU EXPOSITORY READING AND WRITING COURSE The ERWC is closely aligned to the seven criteria of the UC English requirement.
Students successfully completing this course develop skills, knowledge, processes, and dispositions in the following areas of academic literacy: reading rhetorically, writing rhetorically, listening and speaking rhetorically, and habits of mind. In alignment with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy (CCSS for ELA/Literacy), key student learning outcomes for the ERWC include the ability to do the following:
Academy Dishonesty and Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any work that is not your own, or is not cited properly must be resubmitted for a grade. We use MLA for all document formatting and citations.
Reading Rhetorically Outcomes
• Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what a text says and implies
• Analyze how ideas, events, and/or narrative elements interact and develop over the course of a text
• Determine the meaning of words or phrases as they are used in a text
• Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument
• Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text
• Analyze the writer’s use of rhetorical devices and strategies
• Understand key rhetorical concepts such as audience, purpose, context, and genre through analysis of texts
Writing Rhetorically Outcomes
• Write a variety of text types for real audiences and purposes, making effective rhetorical choices in light of those audiences and purposes
• Write reading-based arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence
• Develop academic/analytical essays that are focused on a central idea and effectively organized
• Incorporate the texts of others effectively and use documentation styles suitable to the task, genre, and discipline
• Edit for clarity and for standard written English grammar, usage, and mechanics
• Select words and phrases that express precise meaning concisely and effectively, taking into consideration the rhetorical purpose of the text
• Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
Listening and Speaking Rhetorically Outcomes
• Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with peers
• Prepare for the thoughtful, evidence-based, and well reasoned exchange of ideas
• Collaborate with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions, and decision-making
• Pose and respond to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; examine a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
• Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; identify and use rhetorical strategies in discussions; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
Habits of Mind Outcomes
• Act as motivated, self-directed learners
• Persist during difficult academic tasks
• Consider new ways of thinking and being; see other points of view
• Apply prior knowledge to new learning
• Reflect on their learning and on the processes that shape knowledge
• Demonstrate the ability to be both open-minded and discerning
By including specific outcomes for habits of mind, the ERWC recognizes that postsecondary success depends upon the development of a literate identity and a sense of academic agency. ERWC helps adolescents accomplish this by building task persistence and competence through engaging topics, . Coupled with the focus on rhetoric and critical thinking—the “real-work” of college and adults—ERWC is for many adolescents the first time they will adopt academic identities and see themselves as potentially successful college students. The course thus specifically targets the capacities of a literate individual identified by the CCSS for ELA/Literacy as defining traits of college readiness.
In addition to the preceding student learning outcomes, the course is also guided by a set of key principles of an effective expository reading and writing curriculum:
1. The integration of interactive reading and writing processes
2. A rhetorical approach that fosters critical thinking and engagement through a relentless focus on the text
3. Materials and themes that engage student interest
4. Classroom activities designed to model and foster successful practices of fluent readers and writers
5. Research-based methodologies with a consistent relationship between theory and practice;
6. Built-in flexibility to allow teachers to respond to varied students’ needs and instructional contexts
7. Alignment with California’s Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy