Media Education in the English Language Arts Curriculum, Grades 10-12
Media outcomes are integrated throughout the English Language Arts 10-12 curriculum. In addition to including media texts as part of listening and speaking, reading and writing, and viewing and representing outcomes, the curriculum broadens and more clearly defines text and context to reflect media culture.
The following excerpts from English Language Arts (Senior High) (2001) details this broadened definition:
Broadening the Definition of “Text”
This program of studies defines the word “text” broadly. The texts that senior high school students study in their English Language Arts courses include works of literature an other texts in oral, print, visual and multimedia forms. Students also create texts in a variety of modes and media.
…Print texts include books, journals, magazines and newspapers. Both as writers and readers, students need to experience a wide range of print texts and use print texts for a variety of purposes. Students read literary, informative and persuasive texts for pleasure and knowledge. They write texts to communicate ideas clearly, artistically and with integrity. Through written response to literature, students come to appreciate the ways in which literature engages the imagination, conveys human experience and comments on the human condition. Students write a variety of texts, including informative and persuasive texts, to make sense of and to convey ideas. They write to express their own and others’ experiences and perspectives and to provide enjoyment for themselves and others.
…Visual texts, like their oral and print counterparts, have a variety of purposes and audiences, and occur in a wide range of contexts. Students need opportunities to create and respond to a range of visual texts; they need to recognize, analyze and respond to ways in which visual texts construct reality and influence their perceptions.
Multimedia texts include demonstrations and oral presentations, videos and films, graphic novels and cartoon strips, plays, drum dancing, and Internet Web sites. Any text that combines an oral component with a visual component, a print component with an oral component, or a print component with a visual component is a multimedia text. Many multimedia texts combine components of all three text types – oral, print and visual – to achieve their effects.
Defining “Context” – Purpose, Audience and Situation
“Context” includes any element present in a communication situation that influences the creation and interpretation of text. This program of studies emphasizes the importance of context, including purpose, audience and situation, in the student’s engagement with and creation of text. A text creator’s understanding of purpose and audience will influence his or her selection and development of form and content. Similarly, other elements of the context within which a text is being produced, such as constraints of time and space and issues of gender and culture, will affect the production of text.
Students comprehend, respond to and create texts for a variety of purposes. When involved in the study and creation of literary texts, and when responding to literature personally, critically and creatively, students reflect upon the human condition and develop and refine their understandings of themselves as human beings. They also learn to appreciate the artistic value of language and how language can engage both mind and spirit.
At other times, students comprehend, respond to and create texts to present information, to convey ideas and to persuade. When involved in studying and creating informative and persuasive texts, students form understandings about the interplay between fact and opinion, support and generalization, connotation and denotation, literal meaning and figurative meaning, and argument and emotion.
In some communication situations, the audience is imagined by the originator of that communication. This audience can also be somewhat removed from the immediate context of the communication; and the context itself can be free of constraints of time and space, such as when one reads a novel. In other communication situations, the audience is specific and actual – a “target” audience – and is present within the immediate context of the communication. The context itself may be defined by limitations of time and space and by expectations influenced by audience characteristics, such as age, gender and culture.
On the left menu you will find outcome charts containing media-related learning outcomes from the English Language Arts curriculum, with links to supporting resources on the MediaSmarts site. As many of our lessons can be adapted to suit different grade levels, specific lessons may be listed for more than one grade. Teachers should also note that individual lessons often satisfy a number of learning outcomes.