David Langford - English Department Head


Students at Ermineskin Junior Senior High School (EJSH) follow the provincially approved curriculum for Alberta. The aim of language arts is to enable each student to understand and appreciate language, and to use it confidently and competently in a variety of situations for communication, personal satisfaction and learning.


Students become confident and competent users of all six language arts through many opportunities to listen and speak, read and write, and view and represent in a variety of combinations and relevant contexts. All the language arts are interrelated and interdependent; facility in one strengthens and supports the others. In the outcomes of the program of studies, the six language arts are integrated. (from the Alberta Program of Studies for English Language Arts)


In addition to following provincial standards, the inclusion of Cree culture and language into instruction is a priority for EJSHS teachers. Teachers at EJSHS draw upon and often invite Elders, knowledgeable people from the community, and our school’s own cultural advisors to speak on matters of culture and issues that are important to students as Cree people.


Finally, every effort is made to select ELA resources written by Aboriginal authors and that are reflective of Aboriginal worldviews.


Balanced Literacy

Our mission is to deliver a quality literacy program that integrates and reflects the literacy needs of First Nations’ People. To do this we will incorporate the framework and philosophy of balanced literacy along with modern literacy techniques into the curriculum while respecting and honoring the traditions of Cree teaching methods, values and structures in the classroom.


Balanced Literacy is a curricular methodology that integrates various ways to provide literacy instruction. Assessment-based planning is at the core of this model. The balanced literacy approach is characterized by explicit skill instruction and the use of authentic texts. Through various modalities, the teacher implements a well-planned comprehensive literacy program that reflects a gradual release of control, whereby responsibility is gradually shifted from the teacher to the students.


Senior High English Program

In Alberta, English is a required subject for graduation from all high school programs. High school students at EJSHS can choose from three sequences of courses depending on their abilities and grade 9 marks. Both English 10-1 / 20-1 / 30-1, English 10-2 / 20-2 / 30-2, and English 10-4 / 20-4 / 30-4 continue to focus on reading, writing, viewing, speaking, listening, and representing. While the majority of post-secondary programs require English 30-1, some programs do accept English 30-2. It is always advisable to speak with a student counsellor prior to course selection.