The foremost purpose of language instruction at John Calvin is to teach the student to use language correctly and effectively to the glory of God and in His service. The school’s task is to equip the child with the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking so that he is able to read, understand, and confess the Word of God, to study and explore creation, and thus to carry out his calling to serve God and his neighbour.
Furthermore, language instruction seeks to develop the child’s ability to express himself more clearly and purposefully in both oral and written form. The child must learn to listen to the opinions of others, to give honest expression of his own, and, under the guidance of the teacher, to submit all opinions to the authority of the Word of God.
Language instruction also seeks to foster in the child an awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the beauty and power of language as found in a wide variety of works of literary merit. At the same time, such study must develop in the child the ability to “test the spirits” in the world around him by providing him with opportunities to examine and evaluate realistic problems, situations, beliefs, and philosophies with which the world confronts him. Under the guidance of the teacher, the child is encouraged to read and think carefully and critically and to arrive at Scripturally-sound evaluations and conclusions.
Language instruction consists of more than just reading, of course, but includes many of the mechanical elements that are essential to being a good reader, including the study of Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, and so forth. The following Language programs are used at John Calvin:
Kindergarten Jolly Phonics
Grades 1-3 Four Blocks methodology (self-selected reading, guided reading, guided writing, working with words)
Grades 4-6 A World of Literature (CSI- Christian Schools International)