Ground breaking and refreshing are words usually reserved to describe contemporary literature. Rarely would you use these words to describe a textbook. In this case, we’re talking about Nelson English 10.
In a world where technology has infiltrated almost every human interaction, and school classes begin with a reminder to turn off cell phones, teachers are looking for new ways to help students stay focused and engaged. Nelson English 10 understands and addresses the changes that are occurring in the way students learn. From its design to the learning material itself, Nelson English 10 caters to students in the world that they live in.
The textbook is comprised of four different sections: conflict, innovation, humour and perspective. Each of these sections uses poetry, visual art, short stories and news articles to help students engage with the content in a way that speaks to them.
On making connections, Nelson English 10 has this to say, “In today’s world, where one text so often plays upon another, analyzing the relationships between texts has become increasingly important. For example, think of a current TV show. How much of your understanding and appreciation of that show depends on the connections you make between it and other texts or shows you have read or viewed?”
Moving from approach to content, the other refreshing aspect of this book is the material itself. Nelson English 10 tackles controversial topics that are sure to spark debate in a classroom, such as censorship, surveillance and LGBT rights. Articles and short stories written by influential figures such as Malala Yousafzai and Rick Mercer, to name a few, encourage students to think critically and develop informed opinions about world issues.
Why teachers will want to use it in their classrooms
For teachers, it includes support for the concepts covered, such as literary devices, elements of styles, and genre/text forms. The textbook also contains modifiable rubrics, comprehensive summative assessments, and of course, covers all curriculum strands. What teachers are bound to love most about the textbook is the discussion it can potentially create in classrooms.
Why students will want to learn it
Students will enjoy discussing the concepts taught in this book because it uses current events and issues to help students apply their knowledge. Each section begins with a “Talk about it” page, which prompts discussion using paintings, quotes and other visuals. What’s most important to note about Nelson English 10 is that it was written for young people and about young people. The real life applicability of the content will make concepts easier for students to grasp.
Heading into their post-secondary years, students will be expected to apply their English skills to analyze and write about current societal issues and events. While this is not your traditional textbook, it prepares students for the type of learning they will encounter after high school at a level that is appropriate for them now. Nelson English 10 may not be for the lovers of tradition, but it is a great option for schools and teachers looking to update their course material and offer something new to students.
Review by Piya Singhal