English Language Arts (ELA) is more than reading and writing. ELA involves:

  • Communicating effectively in various places for many different audiences and reasons
  • Selecting appropriate forms, structures and technology for a variety of contexts
  • Understanding, appreciating and creating a broad range of texts (including multi-media, visual, oral, and print)

In order to further develop their language skills, English Language Arts students of all levels are encouraged to do the following:

  • Read outside of school time on a regular basis. Novels, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, and other non- fiction texts are suitable choices.
  • Find opportunities outside of class time to write. Check with your teacher for writing contest opportunities, or join a “writing challenge” in your area.
  • Engage in home discussion about world affairs, politics, geography, movies, books, art and/or television in order to improve thinking and language skills.
  • Use tutorial times/flex block consistently. Bring samples of your writing to your teacher for editing and proofreading, or bring the book you are currently reading to discuss with your teacher.

Outcome-Based Reporting

Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the Language Arts department at John G. Diefenbaker is making a change to their reporting practices for each of the language courses. The department has moved to an outcomes-based reporting system. This is a change from the reporting practices of recent years, where a task-based grade reporting system was in place.

The most obvious difference will be in how grades for assignments are shown on “PowerSchool” – they will be reported using the “General Outcomes” for the course of study, instead of by task type (tests, assignments, presentations, etc.). The five general outcomes in English Language Arts are as follows:

Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to:


… explore thoughts, ideas, feelings and experiences.


… comprehend literature and other texts in oral, print, visual and multimedia forms, and respond personally, critically and creatively.


… manage ideas and information.


… create oral, print, visual and multimedia texts, and enhance the clarity and artistry of communication.


… respect, support and collaborate with others.

This change represents only a difference in reporting, not assessment – the same standards and assessment practices will be applied, only the method of reporting the grades for assignments and/or tasks will change. Interim and final grades will continue to be reported as a percentage, and the final exam grade will be reported as a single separate task.

Depending on the task assigned, it is possible you will find more than one grade recorded under an assignment, depending on the desired outcomes of the assignment. More information regarding the specific weighting of the outcomes and final exams can be found on the course outline.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, or seek more information about outcomes-based reporting and the reasons why the Language Arts department has made this change, feel free to contact the teacher of the course or the Language Arts Learning Leader, Ms. Kristin Hack, at kmhack@cbe.ab.ca or (403) 274-2240 ext. 3031.  

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