English Department Website

Click here to go to the English Department Site.

Through the study of literature, the English Department seeks to stimulate cultural awareness, elevate critical thought, promote clear writing, and encourage reflection on our lives and the lives of others. Our courses help students succeed in all other subject areas by building their understanding of the English language,and developing their communication and critical thinking skills. 

As documented in the Ontario Curriculum, successful English students at Bear Creek will: 

  • understand that language learning is a necessary, life-enhancing, reflective process;
  • communicate – that is, read, listen, view, speak, write, and represent – effectively and with confidence;
  • make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them;
  • think critically;
  • understand that all texts advance a particular point of view that must be recognized, questioned, assessed, and evaluated;
  • appreciate the cultural impact and aesthetic power of texts;
  • use language to interact and connect with individuals and communities, for personal growth, and for active participation as world citizens. 

Reading and Literature Studies

As students progress through the English program at Bear Creek, they will have the opportunity to explore texts and topics of interest to them through Independent Study Units. As part of our program, students will read a variety of literary texts from different authors, countries, cultures, and experiences. Some of the titles students might be reading are below, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. If there are specific texts you are interested in reading, talk to your teacher!


In each of our courses students will have the opportunity to develop their voices as writers, with a focus on writing for different purposes and audiences. Students will work on:

  • Using the various stages of the writing process to edit and revise

  • Writing formal pieces, including essays, to analyse texts

  • Communicating their opinions through writing

Oral Communication

Each course at Bear Creek encourages an oral communication component, in which students will learn and practise effective speaking and listening strategies for different purposes and audiences. Our goal is to develop confident speakers that can share their thoughts clearly and appropriately in a variety of situations. 

Literacy is about more than reading or writing – it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language and culture. Those who use literacy take it for granted – but those who cannot use it are excluded from much communication in today’s world. Indeed, it is the excluded who can best appreciate the notion of “literacy as freedom”

UNESCO, Statement for the United Nations Literacy Decade, 2003–2012