The IEF English Department is committed to building an English classroom that will produce young Muslims with strong Islamic Identities who can articulate their ideas well; verbally and written. We understand that literature offers students the opportunity to understand themselves by examining the world around them. For this reason, we are able to make every branch of literature meaningful: we study vocabulary to become better articulators; we study grammar to become more efficient writers; we study literature to understand how authors use words and sentences to create meaning.
At all levels, the English department is looking to make English instruction a meaningful process, one that will encourage life-time learning and appreciation for the written word. At the elementary level, we are looking to renew our current curriculum to better serve our 21st century students' needs. We hope the new curriculum will supplement our teachers' expertise with more emphasis on phonetic awareness, and differentiated reading and writing instruction.
At the middle school level, we are implementing the unique and holistic approach of the Columbia University Teachers Reading and Writing Project. The approach, in its infancy stages at our school, has already reaped gratifying results that has excited student learning and teacher involvement in the process. Modeling, skill based instruction, and constant feedback through mini-lessons and conferences are all meaningful and significant advances towards our goal.
From the 5th through the 12th grade, the English Department is looking to enhance learning experience through the Understanding by Design approach. Providing students with thought-provoking lenses with which to view the literature they are reading will allow us to better shape their Islamic Identities. Coupled with more aggressive instructions in both grammar and writing, the department hopes to strengthen critical reading and writing skills.