Mastery of English is of high importance within the adolescent curriculum. Language permeates the Middle School environment as students read, write, spell, present, analyze, memorize, create, sing, teach, and explore the history of words. Because development of written and oral skills requires constant use and practice, students are given boundless opportunities to use language in its many forms, and to celebrate its beauty, power, and mystery.
Middle school children read age-appropriate literature of their choosing - which often provides additional context for humanities and occupations projects. Through workshops and seminars, students learn to analyze plot, literary structure, themes, character, writing styles, and figurative language. In addition to reading classic novels, students delve into non-fiction, poetry, biographies, philosophy, newspapers, journals, scripts, and the work of peers.
Written skills are honed in a variety of ways, as well. Student may direct their creativity to writing fiction, poetry, scripts, or lyrics. Expository writing takes many forms, including composition of reports and essays, proposals, presentations, summaries and outlines - and even business letters.
The intimate setting of the Land Lab allows for abundant practice of oral skills, as students are able to present frequently to small groups and to the community as a whole. Adolescents work on articulating concepts and points of view in small group and seminar settings, as part of formal presentations, through performance art, and at forums such as student council meetings. Additionally, students have formal training in Spanish throughout their tenure.