BCTELA wants to keep English language arts teachers “in the loop” during the development of this exciting new course. Keep posted for lists of recommended resources and opportunities to get involved with piloting units of study by checking out the BCTELA web site (www.bctf.ca/bctela) and the First Nations Education Steering Committee web site (www.fnesc.bc.ca).

The BC Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the BCTF, is currently developing a new language arts course: English 12 First Peoples. English 12 First Peoples is intended to appeal to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students and will present authentic Aboriginal voices (i.e., historical or contemporary texts created by or with Aboriginal people) and will feature various forms of text – including oral story, speech, poetry, dramatic work, dance, song, film, and prose.


It will give students opportunities to:

  • work with oral texts and develop an understanding of the significance of oral tradition
  • look at connections between texts and distinctively Aboriginal worldviews and themes
  • experience texts in a way that reflects pedagogical approaches prevalent within Aboriginal cultures
  • examine texts grounded in varied Aboriginal cultures, including local Aboriginal perspectives

The development of English 12 First Peoples occurs within the context of the new English Language Arts curriculum, which recognizes the importance of oral language by having ORAL LANGUAGE (Speaking & Listening) as one of 3 main curriculum organizers.


English 12 First Peoples will go beyond this by requiring students to:

  • study some specific oral texts
  • demonstrate understanding of the role and significance of the oral tradition in Aboriginal societies, with reference to specific examples How will the English 12 First Peoples curriculum be the same as the English 12 curriculum?
  • It will be equally rigorous (counts as a Required Course in English at the Grade 12 level).
  • It will include opportunities to study (& create, as appropriate) texts in a wide range of genres (novels, drama, song, speech, stories, film).
  • It will use similar organizers, learning outcomes, and achievement indicators for the curriculum, where appropriate (i.e., adapt, NOT adopt).


How will English 12 First Peoples be different from English 12?

  • It will focus exclusively on texts that present authentic Aboriginal voices.
  • Themes, images, and ideas that are common to the experience of many Aboriginal people will be highlighted (social context for texts).
  • There will be even more emphasis on oral text, and students will be expected to learn about the oral tradition (social context for texts).
  • The use and student awareness of pedagogical approaches prevalent within Aboriginal cultures will be encouraged.
  • Close connections between the classroom and local Aboriginal communities or organizations will be promoted. When will English 12 First Peoples be introduced?
  • May 2007 draft curriculum
  • July 2007 pilot resource package available u
  • September 2007 pilot testing
  • September 2008 full implementatio

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