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Effective writing and reading skills are as important for effective communication as speaking and listening skills. They are not just a set of basic skills people are taught at school. Writing and reading are an integral part of each educated individual’s life since they are the basis of written communication. Written communication, in its turn, is another tool for people to express their ideas and learn about those of others.

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The Importance of Effective Reading Skills

Reading skills serve as a foundation for writing. Developed and mastered, effective reading skills give people the opportunity to learn new information about the world, people, events, and places. Reading enriches their vocabularies and improves their writing skills.

  • Reading enriches the inner world of a person and improves grammar and spelling.
  • Through reading, people learn to understand different ways of thinking and feelings of other people and become more flexible and open-minded.
  • Avid readers not only read and write better than those who read less but also process information faster. The research presented by the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology proves that poor readers have poorer shortmemory functions.
  • As a result, avid readers have a broader outlook, are quicker to analyze facts, and find connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.
  • A reader has better skills for comprehending, analyzing, understanding, responding, and, finally, learning from what he or she reads.
  • As a result, it is easier for good readers to get used to new and unfamiliar circumstances or ideas. They are easier to communicate with and have higher chances to succeed in both professional and personal life.

The Importance of Effective Writing Skills

  • Application essays, resumes, cover letters, and even e-mails often have to represent an individual. In such cases the person’s writing is to form the reader’s opinion about the individual’s personality and abilities.
  • Excellent writing is sure to earn respect. Poor writing will, on the contrary, be difficult to understand and will leave a bad impression about the individual.
  • Writing structures and crystallizes one’s thoughts, improving learning.
  • Writing improves the effectiveness of the person’s word usage in both written and oral speech.
  • A survey conducted among 64 American companies revealed that half of them pay attention to writing when considering a person for employment or promotion.
  • According to Roger Howe, a former chairman and CEO of U.S. Precision Lens, the majority of the successful people are clear and persuasive in their writing.
  • Developed reading skills lead to the development and improvement of writing skills. Regular readers' comprehension skills (ability to compare and contrast, evaluate and summarize, identify specific features and genres, make analogies) serve as a basis for good writing.
Adapted from “The Importance of Reading and Writing Skills” by Alla Kondrat, Suite101.com, February 21, 2009.
  
College Composition I and II / ENG 111/112
PVCC

This college-level course develops the students’ ability to write and read effectively for study, work, and pleasure. Students read prose, fiction, drama, and poetry. They also compose essays, letters, abstracts, annotations, and other nonfiction prose. Emphasis is placed on short narrative works. Students work extensively in each area of the writing process and learn to employ writing conventions while developing individual voice and style. Students write extensively, with emphasis on response to literature and writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. Through these writing experiences, students synthesize information, develop individual voice and style, and better understand literary technique.

Prerequisite(s): Meet dual enrollment admission requirements
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1; 6 dual enrollment college credits with PVCC
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1194
Grades: 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
CORE+

​CORE+ is a full year, full-credit skills based class designed to help support student achievement in the core areas. Small class size allows individual attention to student needs in the areas of reading, vocabulary, spelling, writing skills, foundational math skills, and research skills. The course includes career, college and training exploration and some real-world experiences in those areas, as appropriate for the students in the class. These experiences may include college visits, completion of job applications, practice with interviewing, and strengthening of self-advocacy skills. CORE+ may be taken in consecutive years.​

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9821
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
English  9

English 9 is a comparative study of genres and world literature in the ancient and classical worlds. Through five interdisciplinary concepts (systems, change and continuity, communication, aesthetics, and universality) and the correlating language arts concepts, students explore eastern and western literature and seek to answer critical questions about the language arts: Why do literary eras matter? How do cultural changes affect style of literature and art? What determines whether a belief (system) will be timeless or trendy? Ninth-grade students read extensively in a variety of genres and practice comparative analysis skills. Continued emphasis is placed on the components of writing, such as organizational structures and written expression.

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1132
Academic/Advanced . . . . . . . . . . . . 1138
Honors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1136
Grades:
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
English 10

English 10 is a comparative study of genres and world literature from medieval to modern times. Through five interdisciplinary concepts (systems, change and continuity, communication, aesthetics, and universality) and the correlating language arts concepts, students explore eastern and western literature and seek to answer critical questions about the language arts: Why do literary eras matter? How do cultural changes affect style of literature and art? What determines whether a belief (system) will be timeless or trendy? As such, tenth-grade students read extensively in a variety of genres and practice comparative analysis skills. Students write and speak for a variety of audiences and purposes, applying and refining written and oral communication using a range of literary and persuasive techniques.

Note: The Standards of Learning Test is only required at MoHS for English 10.

Prerequisite(s): English 9
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1142
Academic/Advanced . . . . . . . . . . . . 1148
Honors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1146
Grades:
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
English 11

English 11 is an integrated course designed to help students develop a comprehensive view of American literature, history, and culture. In gathering together the many threads of American culture, students leave this course with a better understanding of who they are and what it means to be an American. Through a variety of learning experiences, students discover relevant connections among movements in American art, literature, music, economics, and politics. This course integrates standards from English 11 and Virginia and United States History, thus preparing students for End-of-Course tests in each subject.

Prerequisite(s): English 10
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1152
Academic/Advanced . . . . . . . . . . . . 1158
Honors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1156
Grades:
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
English 12

English 12 is a study of the evolution of the English language through British and world literature. Students continue to hone their analytical skills and seek to answer critical questions about language and literature: What factors affect the evolution of language? What allows a piece of literature to endure the vagaries of culture and time? What does it mean to think through language and literature? Students demonstrate understanding of language and literature through polished compositions, literary analysis, and speaking. Additional emphasis is placed on the development of a personal, sophisticated style of communication that reflects creative, critical thinking.

Prerequisite(s): English 11
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1162
Academic/ Advanced . . . . . . . . . 1168
Grades:
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
English Language & Composition, Advanced Placement

This is an integrated course designed to help students develop a comprehensive view of American literature, history, and culture. This highly rigorous course prepares students to take AP exams. Students concentrate on reading and analyzing historical material, weighing historical evidence and interpretation, and synthesizing and evaluating information in analytical writing. Students study American literary eras, reading from a variety of disciplines and contexts. They compose for a variety of purposes and audiences. Reading and writing experiences help students understand the concepts of communication, individual development and identity, aesthetics, and universality. 

Students who do well on the AP exam may receive college credit or superior placement at participating colleges.

Note: Students may elect to take the Standards of Learning End-of-Course tests for Virginia and United States History and English 11. A score of 2 or better on the AP exam earns a verified credit.

Prerequisite(s): English 10
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Advanced Placement . . . . . . . . . . . 1196
Grades:
Offered at: AHS, MoHS
English Literature & Composition, Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement English is for twelfth-grade students who want an intensive, college-level English course that prepares them to take one or both of the AP English Exams. The course is conducted much like a college seminar, and therefore it requires high-quality work in and out of class. Students read works of literature analytically and critically, and they respond with increasing sensitivity and discrimination of language. Essays focus on literary analysis but students have some opportunity to practice creative writing.

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Advanced Placement . . . . . . . . . . . 1195
Grades: 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
Environmental Literature, Law and Policy

​Through the analysis of environmental literature and examination of important laws and policy, students will explore the complex relationship between human beings and the environment. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of how literature, philosophy, and governmental action have correlated historically with important environmental issues. Content will include local, regional and global policy changes and current legislation and will be supported by a combination of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and case studies.

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1514
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: WAHS
ESOL I: Introductory Academic English (double-blocked)

Students who take ESOL I begin a journey of adding a new language and culture to their international experiences. The course fosters a love for reading by using a readers’ workshop model that allows students to explore new texts in English. Students practice English across the domains of writing, speaking, listening, and reading in lessons that explore open-ended questions and model real-world environments to follow the interests of students. They use English to solve problems as well as to investigate personal interests and academic themes. Students learn social vocabulary quickly and build understanding of key academic vocabulary that spans across disciplines. The course explores students’ cultures and how these connect to their new community. Students use their strengths in these cultures and their native languages to learn English. The course builds a foundation for students to be successful in English 11; thus, draws from standards common in English 9. Each student in ESOL I forms a graduation plan to achieve individualized post-secondary goals.

Prerequisite(s): Assessment
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1 (English 9 and/or 10, World Language, or Elective Credit)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5724
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
ESOL II: Intermediate Academic English

​Students who take ESOL II use academic English vocabulary in open-ended projects that require public speaking and writing for real audiences. Students continue their exploration of reading and supplement this with a writers workshop model that focuses on learning the process of revision to express ideas in public forums. The course, which draws from standards in English 10, builds a foundation for students to be successful in English 11. Students continue to use their own cultures and languages as strengths for gaining new insights and expressing themselves in English. They build on and refine their individual graduation plans, with teacher and counselor support, and explore options for connecting with school and community extracurricular resources and activities. Finally, the ESOL II teacher coordinates with content teachers to tailor instruction to the needs of students in ESOL II who are also taking courses required for graduation.

Prerequisite(s): Assessment
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1 (English 9 and/or 10, World Language, or Elective Credit)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5729
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
ESOL III: Advanced Academic English

​ESOL III supports advanced ESOL students taking rigorous academic courses required for meeting graduation requirements. Students who take ESOL III learn academic vocabulary that may be applied across a range of courses required for meeting graduation requirements. They explore their linguistic and cultural heritage and connect these to the civic and economic life of their community in individual and collaborative projects. The ESOL III course emphasizes applying academic vocabulary in advanced academic writing, research, and projects with real-world audiences. Students use these skills to excel on class assignments and give presentations using formal oral English. Students create, revisit, and revise individual graduation plans and connect their curricular and extracurricular activities to postsecondary goals. The ESOL III teacher coordinates with content course teachers to tailor instruction to the needs of students in ESOL III who are also taking courses required for graduation.

Prerequisite(s): Assessment
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1 (English 9 and/or 10, World Language, or Elective Credit)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5732
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
ESOL Study Skills: Strategies for Academic Advancement

​This ESOL course is designed as a writing-intensive resource class to support English Language Learners (ELLs) who are taking a mainstream-level course load. The ESOL teacher works closely with content area teachers to design enrichment lessons that teach content curriculum with an emphasis on comprehension and academic vocabulary. Students also receive support in test-taking and study skills, organizational skills, SOL preparation, and effective reading strategies.​

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1 Elective Credit
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5725
II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5726
III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5727
IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5728
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS, WAHS
Genre Studies

​This course will focus on one genre each quarter, rotating through a variety of genre over the course of a year. Quarterly offerings could include non-fiction, poetry, and contemporary literature, as well as more specialized studies such as historical fiction, dystopian/science fiction, or magical realism. Students will sample a variety of writers and literature in each studied genre, and will incorporate independent and individualized reading programs designed to allow each student the opportunity to explore a variety of topics.

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1520
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: WAHS
Media Studies: Analyzing and Creating in the 21st Century

​A multi-disciplinary course that will explore multimodal communication, including newswriting, photojournalism, social media, fiction and documentary filmmaking, and entertainment, and their broader sociological implications. Designed to offer cross-curricular opportunities in the humanities, including English, history, psychology, sociology, and journalism. Students will be given the opportunity to explore various topics and interests through individualized projects.

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1183
Grades: 10, 11, 12
Offered at: WAHS
Peer Tutoring I: Methods

Students enrolled in this course are responsible for operating the school's peer tutoring center. They will learn a variety of pedagogical approaches and practice leadership skills that will serve them in their future professions. In addition to tutoring, students will strengthen their own knowledge in areas such as study habits, resume writing, and research skills. All students are required to tutor for approximately 45 minutes outside of class, once per week.

Prerequisite(s): Application; Interview; 10th graders must have completed Honors English 9 with a B or better
Corequisite(s): 11th graders must be enrolled in Honors or AP English
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9807
Grades: 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS
Peer Tutoring II: Leadership

Students in this course apply the knowledge they gained in Peer Tutoring I to take on an enhanced leadership role in the peer tutoring center. They will contribute to managing center operations, mentoring new tutors, and heightening school-wide academic achievement. They will make at least one significant contribution to the wider peer tutoring community; for example, by presenting at a conference or publishing a scholarly article.​

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of Peer Tutoring I and be tutors in good standing
Corequisite(s): 11th graders must be enrolled in Honors or AP English
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9808
Grades: 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS
Peer Tutoring III: Fellowship

​Building on the leadership skills they established in Peer Tutoring II, tutors in this course apprentice with a sponsor teacher for the duration of the school year, engaging in a deep study of that educator's approach to instruction in his or her academic field. These seniors will also work with a consistent group of clients on an ongoing basis. They will report on their learning via regular reflection logs, and both create a portfolio of their learning across their three years as a tutor, and innovate a permanent learning tool for the benefit of the school.

Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of Peer Tutoring II and be tutors in good standing
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9809
Grades: 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS
Practical Language

​This is a highly-structured, research-based intervention that offers an accelerated, sequential approach to literacy while addressing the components of a balanced literacy diet.​

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s): This course should be in addition to a student’s English class
Credit:
1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1485
2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1483
3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1486
4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1487
Grades:
Offered at: AHS
Skills Development - Reading/Writing I, II, III, IV

​This course is offered for students whose reading comprehension levels are significantly below grade level. It is designed to develop and enhance fundamental reading and writing skills. Course content includes skills development through decoding and encoding, vocabulary development, comprehension practice, and exposure to various reading strategies. Course content in writing includes instruction in the areas of composition, written expression, usage, and mechanics.​

Prerequisite(s):
Corequisite(s):
Credit: 1
Levels:
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1112
II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1113
III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1114
IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1115
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Offered at: AHS, MoHS

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