FLVS Classes to Take This Summer
By Eliana Lozano, Grade 10
Oh summer, that time of the year where we feel carefree and happy, where anything and everything can happen. Since our minds are really fresh, it is the perfct time to enjoy a class. Here are some great classes to take over the summer:
  • Latin: A foreign language that gave birth to romance languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and is also found in thousands of words in English. You will feel like you know more than 10 languages. Interesting right?
  • Web Design: A great elective if you are interested in designing websites and would love to learn more about the worldwide web.
  • Chinese: Spoken by most of those involved in international business, it’s a great language to know since it is spoken by 937,132,000 people across the globe.
  • Lifestyle Management Skills: Learn how to organize your time and make wise decisions throughout life. This is a very important class for teenagers that will soon branch out to the adult world.
  • Journalism: This is a great elective to learn the free press right of America, and the history and evolution of journalism throughout the years.
  • Marine Science: When it’s summer you are more motivated to learn about all of the interesting things that live in the ocean.
  • Psychology: Learn how to get inside people’s thoughts and how to analyze the events that take place around you.
  • Global Studies: Explore all the wonders that the world has to offer.
  • Physics: Go above and beyond with your science knowledge; discover Newton, Galileo, Einstein and all of the science geniuses who make up with the theories about the formation of the physical world.
  • Computer Programming: Another of the many important languages to learn are Python and Java, two modern programming languages. What better way to spend your summer than learning the language of technology?
What are you waiting for? Expand your horizons by taking a class during the summer.

    Florida Virtual School. Web. 24 May 2011. http://www.flvs.net/areas/flvscourses/Pages/Course%20Catalog/CourseListing.aspx.
     "Most Widely Spoken Languages." Saint Ignatius High School. Jesuit Preparatory School in Cleveland, Ohio. Web. 05 May 2011. http://www2.ignatius.edu/faculty/turner/languages.htm.

The Reading Rate
By Nayah Boucaud, Grade 8

The reading level in America is going down each year. I was able to interview one of our very own FLVS English instructors, Lynn Cornelius. She gave us her perspective on reading in America and as an English teacher, what she can do to help.

1. Why do you think that students in America are having a hard time reading?

Reading is acquired through the process of language acquisition. Language is learned first through listening, second by speaking, then through writing, and last through reading. Imagine a baby who hears his mommy's voice, then mimics the noises, and eventually scribbles and finally observes street signs. Many children in today's society are products of two parents working out of the home which limits the necessary time for language growth to be supported. Infants and toddlers who are read to often become better readers, simply because it is part of their daily environment during the nurturing years. Whatever the reason, many children are not read to in their formative years (first five years of their life), which is why pre-k programs have gained support over the recent past.

2. As an English teacher, is there anything you can do to help?

No matter the age or language, when a student is illiterate, I must meet them within their development of language acquisition (listening, speaking, writing, and reading). For example, an ESOL student moves to the United States at the age of 12 and performs academically on grade level in the native language. However now, they are illiterate in English. We will start by labeling regalia (actual objects) and reviewing illustrations to make connections between the home and second languages. Once the vocabulary increases, they will have also been listening to English speaking peers in the halls, classrooms, and cafeteria. Over time, they will begin to try to speak a variety of words and form sentences with their new language. Once it has been spoken, they will begin to observe the words in both reading and writing.

3. Do you have anything to add?

In addition to my profession development through coursework in a variety of schools to increase my understanding of learning and language acquisition, I recently graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s of Science in Brain-Based Teaching. Each one of us can control the food and chemicals that will either fuel or burn the wires that produce thoughts and connections to our previous knowledge. Research has found that age does not decrease our brain matter or size, only the lack of productive thought shrinks our brain! Continuing to make connections between new ideas and previous knowledge will grow the brain matter, no matter our age!

Many thanks to Lynn Cornelius for her time and expertise!

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