International School Manila

Integrity - Service - Merit


The Middle School English Language Arts program inspires students to explore their own strengths and interests as readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. Students strive to be readers and thinkers who make meaning from varied texts and craft written, visual, or oral pieces that are sophisticated and accessible to a targeted audience. Students explore the patterns and structures of text so they can transfer their skills between different literary contexts and across subjects of study.



The English Language Arts program is skills-based and revisits the fundamental components of reading, writing, speaking, and listening at each grade level in the Middle School. The curriculum varies the complexity of texts and genres to build the sophistication of students’ thinking each year and prepares them for the learning ahead.

Overarching essential questions encourage students to think about communication as a part of their everyday lives. These questions help focus each student’s attention on why English Language Arts is studied as a part of the core curriculum. Students revisit these questions throughout each unit of study. At the end of each unit, these questions are used to guide reflection on a student’s understanding of the unit of study.

  • Why read? How do I grow as a reader?
  • Why write? How do I grow as a writer?
  • Why speak? How do I grow as a speaker?
  • Why listen? How do I grow as a listener?

Instructional Practices

Students are viewed as individual learners who need developmentally appropriate and differentiated instructional strategies throughout the year. During each unit, students are encouraged to explore different texts through the metacognitive reading strategies and share their ideas with peers in small and whole group discussions. They utilize their own learning styles as they explore and analyze texts from different perspectives. Independent writing and reading are vital components of each course in order to encourage each student’s inclination and passion for reading and writing. Self-reflection is a critical component of each course because it allows students to set and revisit personal growth goals as an ongoing aspect of their communication development.

English Language Arts Honors

The aims and objectives of the English Honors program at ISM are:

  • To broaden and deepen student appreciation of literature by engaging in a study of challenging literary texts.
  • To foster a greater sense of the artistry and artfulness of language and writing.
  • To extend each student’s English skills beyond the regular English curriculum.
  • To foster a deeper understanding of how communication skills enrich and enhance the learning experience across the curriculum.

The English Honors program is offered in Grades 7 and 8 and caters to students who are able to incorporate more sophisticated points of view, contexts, and levels of critical analyses into their use of communication skills. In planning and implementing the curriculum, alternative texts, supplementary resources and additional assessment tasks are identified that give students a wider range of opportunities to showcase their thinking and learning within each unit of study. Honors students are expected to be self-directed, reflective and creative thinkers who excel in this context.

A process has been established for the selection of students in the Honors program, which is communicated to all parents and students at the beginning of each school year.


In the Introduction to Journalism elective course, students learn about and experience what it means to be a journalist. They practice gathering information, conducting interviews, and expressing their opinions in print, electronic and video media. The composition of text in each of these types of media as well as the methods for producing each type of publication is explored. The goal of the course is to give interested students an authentic experience in communicating with an audience and purpose in mind while creating an awareness of a journalist’s professional duties and responsibilities.