Language Arts Department Provides Unique Educational Opportunities


Joshua Spartz

As students work diligently at their desks, creativity and intelligence flows from their minds, into their hands, to their pencils, and onto paper. Later, they glean information from complex, sophisticated texts and act out plays and poems. Such skills and abilities are facilitated for these students by their involvement in language arts courses.

Here at SFHS, students have a wide variety of language arts courses to choose from, in addition to their required ones. Students can really enhance their education and high school experience overall by selecting language arts courses that they are interested in. All of these courses enable students to build on their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, but each one is different and has its own perks, so the teachers in our language arts department had a lot to say about them.

“If you’re interested in a hands-on type of class, maybe Yearbook or Media Production would be something that might interest you because it’s not just necessarily sitting in a class, it’s more getting up and taking a lot of initiative,” said Mrs. Mo.

Students in Media Production put together our school’s news broadcast SFHS Today, manage our news website, and learn about social media and how to communicate a story. If a student wants to earn some credits to go towards college, they might want to enroll in one or both of the AP courses in the language arts department.

“I also teach AP Literature and Composition, which is a class that both juniors and seniors can take, and it’s more of a college level class where we read and study and have lots of fun discussion about short stories, poetry, plays, and novels,” said Mrs. Stoffel. 

Both AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition focus on preparing students for an exam, which students must take in the spring and pass in order to earn their college credits. Since it is a globalized test, colleges all over and even outside the country accept these credits. For students who are intimidated by the idea of taking such a large exam for college credit, there are still some other language arts courses they can choose in order to get these credits.

“The college writing class is research writing, so we write different papers that are based on a topic that the student chooses, I teach students how to use the college library to find credible sources, and we write papers about those topics,” said Mr. Olson.

He also explained that another class he teaches, college reading, explores diversity in the human population through literature from people who live in different countries, belong to different cultures, or practice different religions. Additionally, students who are interested in a somewhat less rigorous language arts class or who enjoy expressing themselves may take Creative Writing.

“Creative Writing offers the opportunity for students to grow as readers, as writers, and you get to grow as people too,” said Mr. Bremer. “I encourage students to write about the personal because that’s where the greatest work is going to come from, and also it’s just a lot of fun.”

In SFHS’s language arts department, there is no shortage of courses for students to choose from, so students should carefully consider whether they are interested in each course and how they might benefit from them before registering for any in particular.

As Mr. Olson put it, “There’s really something for everyone, and if you approach it with the right attitude you can learn a lot.”