English (STEM Focus): ENG4U (Grade 12, University Preparation)

Semester 2

This course is intended to prepare students for the language needs in pursuing a post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The curriculum expectations for this course are identical to those in the ENG 4U1 course, but they will be taught with the needs and interests of STEM students in mind. Important areas of focus in this course will be on developing tools and strategies to improve writing, fostering approaches to read and analyze texts effectively by studying the structure of both fiction and nonfiction texts, and enhancing research skills to assist in developing and critiquing arguments.

Students are taught the importance of communicating for different audiences. The focus is on writing, oral, and presentation skills (via slide decks and audio recordings) that students would be more likely to encounter in their future studies and careers:

  • insight paper on themes (rather than literary essay)
  • how to write better paragraphs and reports–focus on lab reports and abstracts
  • how to communicate orally–using an audio and/or video format
  • communicating effectively with slide decks or infographics–how to create stronger visual presentations with proper composition and clear language
  • writing and reading for blogs and threaded discussion posts
  • Focus on media skills–use of media and social media to research and promote STEM themes.

Students are also asked to consider their future studies and careers, and are taught/encouraged to make links throughout the course. The course is structured with texts that reflect various disciplines that students will be interested in pursuing: computer science, engineering, medicine, biotechnology, and so on.

Texts studied in the course

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Wool by Hugh Howey
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology (essays and articles) by Hope Jahren