English and Modern Languages

Books on a shelf

The English program in Grades 9 to 12 includes compulsory courses and optional courses. The compulsory courses emphasize strong core competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and representing. Students choose between course types on the basis of their interests, achievement, and post-secondary goals.

Please visit English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL/Core French) for more information on these programs. 


Accelerated Reader program

The Accelerated Reader program is provided and administered by the Learning Commons or Library. An additional orientation session is provided to Grade 9 students, outlining how the Accelerated Reader program works and offers strategies for making wise book choices.

A STAR reading assessment is done with every accelerated reader student in order to determine their reading level as they must read books that fall within this level for the Accelerated Reader program.

For a list of available novels and their quizzes, please go online to www.arbookfind.com

As part of the course work in all English classes (except ENG4U1), students will participate in the Accelerated Reader program. In order to earn the full 5% allotted to AR, students must pass a minimum of three (3) quizzes based on books they have read. In addition, students must accumulate a minimum number of points as outlined below:

Grade Level

Course Level


Grade 9 and 10


25 points

Grade 9 and 10


10 points

Grade 11


30 points

Grade 11 and 12


15 points

If students do not accumulate the minimum number of points outlined above they will receive a portion of the 5% based on the number of books read and points accumulated. 

In order to be eligible for the 5% the books must be within the students’ ZPD – as determined by the STAR reading assessment – after the goals have been reached and the 5% earned, students may read whatever they wish to continue in their AR.

All quizzes are completed in the Learning Commons (Library) Centre and signed by the teacher-librarian (or designate). Taking quizzes is an individual activity, not for pairs or groups.

All protocols for computer use in the library must be followed:

  • Students must sign up for a computer at the circulation desk in the library resource centre, leaving their student ID card as a security deposit.
  • Students may only take quizzes with the teacher-librarian’s knowledge and permission.
  • Students may not have books, pens, pencils, paper, cell phones, etc. at the computers during an AR quiz.
  • Students may not take an AR quiz until the STAR reading assessment has been completed.

English teachers will keep signed Accelerated Reader protocol on file and a new one will be signed at the beginning of every semester in which the student takes English.


Advanced Placement Program




Curriculum Documents

The English program focuses on four strands: Oral Communication, Reading and Literature Studies, Writing and Media Studies. 


Department Policies and Procedures


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

All students must meet a literacy requirement in order to graduate high school. In Grade 10, students will write the Ontario Secondary School Literary Test. Students who do not pass the OSSLT on the first attempt can meet the literacy requirement either by rewriting and passing the test, or by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). The credit earned for this course may be used to meet the Grade 11 or Grade 12 compulsory credit requirement in English.


Academic Supports


Contact us

For more information, contact Ms. Lauren Sprung, Curriculum Chair, at 905-420-7166 (ext. 56019).


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