Spoken Language 11

Daily Tools for Success:

  • Computer or Tablet with charging cord and ear buds
  • Pens, pencils, paper, notebook
  • Mask
  • Water bottle

September 2021

Ms. Tara Olchowy                                                                                                                 

According to the BC English 11 Curriculum document, Spoken Language 11 is designed to support students as they refine, clarify, and adjust their spoken communication through practice and revision. The course provides opportunities for students to, with increasing independence, study, create, write, and present original and authentic pieces for a range of purposes and real-world audiences. They will expand their competencies through processes of drafting, reflecting, and revising to build a body of work that demonstrates expanding breadth, depth, and evidence of spoken language genres for a range of situations. They will develop confidence in their abilities as they consolidate their spoken language skills.

To ensure your success in this course please make use of resources provided for you to meet your learning needs:  check the class Teams page daily, email me, arrange for a “buddy” to inform you of information you may have missed if absent or regularly study with that buddy to support “home learning” days.  Most importantly, attend in class and on-line daily!  The number one reason why students do not do well in any course is due to absence.  Learning alone is very difficult, it is much easier to be a part of a group learning together.  I am available to meet with you in person or virtually with appointments.  A quick email will often suffice to set up an appointment.  Finally, advocate for your learning needs.  Let me know when you don’t understand something or when you need support with acquiring a skill.  I’m here to help!

Grading:  assessed samples of knowledge, ability and understanding are recorded under the categories found in this table.  One assignment may be recorded under multiple categories.  For example, writing a poem and then preforming it would be recorded under both writing and oral skills.

Skill CategoriesCompetencies
Oral SkillsRespectfully exchange ideas and viewpoints from diverse perspectives to build shared understanding and extend thinking; respond to text in personal, creative, and critical ways; demonstrate speaking and listening skills in a variety of formal and informal contexts for a range of purposes
Writing SkillsAbility to create compelling, original texts in the form of the genre being studied; employ writing conventions and stylistic devices for positive impact.
Reading ComprehensionAccess information for diverse purposes and from a variety of sources; evaluate the relevance, accuracy, and reliability of texts; apply appropriate strategies in a variety of contexts to comprehend texts, to guide inquiry, and to extend thinking

 We will explore the some of the following to develop course competencies:

  1. Performance —content/topics include spoken word/slam poetry, poetry recitation, oral storytelling, readers’ theatre, radio/podcasts/video posts
  2. Oral tradition — content/topics include oratory, local story knowledge, oral history
  3. Professional applications —content/topics include speech writing/presenting, proposals, interviewing, event facilitation, radio/podcasts/video posts (information items), voice-overs, debating, academic discussion

Formative and Summative Assessment:  the principles of learning under which I teach are these:

  • Learning requires the active participation of the student.
  • People learn in a variety of ways and at different rates.
  • Learning is both an individual and a group process.
  • A student cannot be adequately assessed on learning until teaching has taken place.

Before a teacher can begin to teach, they must first assess students’ prior knowledge and skills against the competencies of the course.  This is formative assessment.  Once educational needs are determined, design of curriculum can begin.  Formative assessment occurs throughout the course as new competencies are addressed.  Some activities and assignments, or even portions of activities and assignments, are formative.  These will not be used in the final grade as they are indicators of your abilities BEFORE teaching begins or a measure of how you are progressing while learning.  The completion of these assignments is a necessary part of your overall success within the course.  Learning is scaffolded from your beginning point, through ever-deepening levels of learning until the summative point is reached.  Missing any portion of the constructed plan means you may not attain the skills, knowledge and/or understanding that is desired. 

As regards reporting, formative assessment data will be used as indicators of your ability at the beginning of the course when limited summative assessments have been completed.  The final report card grade makes use of summative assessments* only to determine your grade level based on the competencies for Spoken Language 11.   *Note:  in cases where a summative assessment was not completed due to unforeseen factors, the formative assessment may be used.  Again, this is not preferable as this information is gathered at the beginning of the learning cycle as opposed to the end.

Homework/Teams Assignments:  You will be assigned work to be completed at home and work that needs to be completed BEFORE coming to class so that you are prepared for the learning in class.  Submission on time in a complete manner is awarded 10/10.  If it is submitted but partially incomplete or completed incorrectly it may be awarded  5/10.  Incompletes are awarded 0/10.  If you complete this work late then you can be awarded a maximum score of 7/10.  This structure is designed to encourage you to stay on top of your learning. 

Late Assignments/Incomplete assignments:  whether formative or summative, these effect your grade as they are either not providing the necessary data to ensure your learning needs are being met, they are not being provided in time to effect the design of instruction, or they are not giving you the necessary feed-back you require to aid in skill and knowledge acquisition.  If you are absent or you do not have an assignment completed on time, it is expected that you will hand that assignment in before I return marked assignments to the class.  Students not completing summative assignments will find themselves receiving an “I” and will be given an alternate assignment to complete and/or given an alternate assessment time.  At the end of the course, an “I” will become a “0” if there is no data that can be used to determine competency in abilities and skills for the course.

Alternate Assignments:  these are used when you miss an assessment, but alternates are also used to allow you to try again to demonstrate your learning. For example, assessment of knowledge of a short story and oral discussion skills are completed through an assessed small group discussion.  You are still working on the skills required to be an effective speaker in this situation and you feel that, through trying again, you could do better.  In that case an alternate assessment time with an alternate topic will be provided.  It is up to you to advocate for those needs and to ensure that you are attending alternate appointments. 

Assessment is an art:  in determining a final letter grade for each student for this course I apply a method that requires analysis of data gathered throughout the course.  I look for growth at the end of a unit and at the end of the course giving less weight to early assessments when learning was beginning.  I attempt to de-emphasize assessments that appear to be outliers, focusing on patterns.  I assign letter grades to your work so you know what range you are in and can discuss what you can do to move to the next tier.   The following grid represents the percentage that will be used for the purposes of formal reporting:


As a final note:  Fundamentally I believe that respect and honesty are extremely important.  To that end, I ask that you be honest with yourself and me at all times.  If you do not understand something, if you have gotten behind, if you are having a bad day–it is best to be honest about how that is affecting your learning and deal with it accordingly.  “I forgot to do the homework” is often the reply given by someone who actually found the work too difficult or just didn’t know how to begin and did not want to admit it to themselves or their teacher.  Honesty will only help you get the job done, with help as required.  Finally, respect within the classroom doesn’t mean liking everyone, but respecting everyone’s right to their education and a productive and conducive environment within which to learn.  I will employ every strategy to ensure that you have a positive experience within this course.  Let me know if I am not being successful!

I look forward to working with you, 

Tara Olchowy