English in junior cycle aims to develop students’ knowledge of language and literature, to consolidate and deepen their literacy skills and make them more self-aware as learners.
More speci cally it encourages all students:
• to be creative through language and to gain enjoyment and continuing personal growth from English in all its forms
• to develop control over English using it and responding to it with purpose and effect through the interconnected literacy skills of oral language, reading and writing
• to engage personally with and think critically about an increasingly broad range of spoken, written and multimodal texts
• to develop an informed appreciation of literature through personal encounters with a variety of literary texts
• to use their literacy skills to manage information needs, and nd, use, synthesise, evaluate and communicate information using a variety of media
• to gain an understanding of the grammar and conventions of English and how they might be used to promote clear and effective communication.
The ability to appreciate literature from different cultures is important in developing the whole person and to this end students read literature with insight and imagination not only in class but privately as well.
Finally, as their mastery of language grows, so too will the opportunities to enjoy their world and give of their best to society now, and in the future. They will fully appreciate their success in language when pleasure and growth in it continue in their lives long after school is done.
Rationale for the Classroom-Based Assessments
The strands of Junior Cycle English are Oral Language, Reading, and Writing. The elements of these strands are
Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader and writer
Exploring and using language
Knowing the content and structure of language.
Over the three years of junior cycle students will have many opportunities to enjoy and learn English across the strands. They will read widely; they will talk and discuss; they will write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Through these activities they will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in language and literacy, thereby achieving the learning outcomes across the strands. The Classroom-Based Assessments link to important aspects of that development and relate clearly to priorities for learning and teaching. Tables indicating the main learning outcomes to be assessed through each of the tasks are provided below, stressing the interdependence and integration of the strands. Therefore, although the Classroom-Based Assessment relates to writing, for example, learning outcomes from oral language and reading are of significance.
Students are given an opportunity to choose a topic or issue that is of interest or importance to them and to carry out an exploration over time. The development of basic research skills will be central here, e.g. searching for information, reading and note-making, organising material, using key questions to give shape to ideas, developing a point of view, preparing a presentation. This Classroom-Based Assessment provides useful opportunities for the study of a range of oral presentation styles. In addition, the task offers students opportunities, where appropriate, to collaborate with classmates and others in gathering and developing materials, leading to oral communication for summative assessment.