English is one of the core subjects that all students are required to take right up to the end of their time in high school. English is an essential part of any pathway for students as it teaches skills in communication, whether directed towards use in the workplace or in further academia.

Many students see English as intimidating since there can be a focus on fine details like spelling, punctuation and grammar, and many students with LDs find these concepts challenging. There also tends to be large amounts of reading and writing, which can be tiring and almost insurmountable for those with difficulties in these areas. Many students also struggle with the abstract concepts present in English, as there tends to not be a “right or wrong” answer in many cases. With appropriate guidance and some explicit instruction, students can be successful in one of the most important yet challenging aspects of secondary school.

Functional Literacy

One important thing to remember is that all teachers in secondary school should consider themselves to be teachers of English and literacy. While there is a tendency for teachers at the secondary level to keep to their own departments, there should be active collaboration by everyone in the faculty to make sure that reading and writing skills are addressed often by many different subjects. For example, teachers in science can actively look for Latin roots and etymology of more technical words to help students learn common patterns for spellings.