Concordia converts learners into polished writers. While teaching writing in an international school setting comprised of many non-native English speakers presents challenges, Concordia’s English writing and literature teachers take the opportunity to teach the skills that make students more complete and competent writers.
“Concordia’s teachers have made me a better writer not just through teaching me how to write, but also through introducing me to a variety of literature, and teaching me how to understand them. Rather than just telling me how to do something, they teach me the skills to independently develop and further my own writing,” said Daniel (G10).
Students learn such writing fundamentals as grammar, the structure of an essay, what is a thesis, and how to structure paragraphs to support their thesis. Teachers hold one on one writing conferences in person with students, to coach them how to revise and resubmit their work.
“My teachers at Concordia really helped me develop familiarity and a good foundation in different genres of writing, both creative and analytical. The skills that I learned in middle school, like how to construct a thesis and argumentative essay structure, helped me organize my thoughts so that I'm able to focus on the substance of my writing as I entered high school. I also really liked that I had the chance to familiarize myself with writing research papers and journalistic articles, which are skills I will carry with me into university. Something that I especially appreciate is that Concordia teachers encourage me to explore deeper meanings and emotions throughout my writing,” said Hai Yen (G12).
“I needed to take an English course every year for my graduation requirement (4 credits). In EAL, we practiced basic structure for essay writing. As I became an upperclassman, I learned several writing styles such as persuasive and narrative writing. In my Literature and Composition class, we are writing creative short stories and several analysis essays, which has helped my critical thinking skills, range of vocabulary, and ability to establish essay structure. Although English is not my mother tongue language, I feel more and more comfortable writing in English as I learn and study at Concordia,” said Nahyun (G12).
In Concordia’s interdisciplinary approach, writing is embedded in our humanities courses, from history to literature, from academic writing to creative writing. “We teach students that their voice becomes compelling when they draw on their other passions,” said high school history teacher Mr. Scott Sanders.
One of the biggest obstacles teachers face is that many students stop reading for fun. At Concordia, we encourage students and parents to actively engage in books as a means to promote better writing and further their learning and world views. “Great writing flows from being avid readers,” said high school literature teacher Mr. Jim Richmond. “I love teaching writing and the inspiration of loving books is very powerful and transformative in the lives of kids,” Mr. Richmond added.