Program Goals for Secondary English
Knowledge. Growth. Wisdom.
The Objectives of BJU Press Secondary Writing and Grammar are:
- To equip students to communicate effectively
- To teach students to think critically
- To evaluate ideas from a Biblical Worldview
Good communication skills are essential in today’s world. The development of effective writing skills is important in learning to be a good communicator. Words are the tools we use to communicate with God and with others. God reveals Himself to us through the written word. Students honor God by learning how to correctly use His gift of language, including good grammar and accurate written expression.
BJU Press Writing & Grammar uses an incremental, systematic approach to writing and grammar instruction. Students review the eight parts of speech, basic sentence patterns, and continue to learn additional grammatical and writing skills through Grade 12.
“The development of effective writing skills is important in learning to be a good communicator.”
The Writing Process
The process writers use is not strictly linear. They may begin by brainstorming and then start writing; they may go back to research specific details more thoroughly before revising. Writing & Grammar describes the writing process in terms of four stages: planning, drafting, revising, and publishing.
For each assignment, students follow these stages. Sometimes, a stage will be extensive, such as planning for a research report. Other times, the same stage will be brief, as in writing a letter.
All the stages of the writing process are reviewed with each writing assignment, giving students ample opportunity to apply the skills learned. Students encounter a variety of writing assignments, such as news reports, essays, devotionals, poems, short stories, and web copy. Mastery of the writing process enables students to write in a variety of formats for a variety of purposes.
By Grade 12, students should be able to write a college-level essay as well as to navigate and incorporate appropriate electronic and print resources into their research.
Students need to understand both how to read and write effectively and how to think critically so that they can apply what is learned. God asks us to know truth (Ps. 46:10), and He also wants us to understand truth (Luke 24:45). Both knowing and understanding are keys.
Critical thinking requires students to draw reasonable conclusions from a body of information and to make judgements based on those conclusions. At the heart of critical thinking is the ability to evaluate arguments and claims. And at the heart of such evaluations is a person’s belief about what is true, good, and beautiful. For this reason the Bible plays a fundamental role in our approach to critical thinking. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Solomon tells us (Prov. 9:10). So our goal is to get students to think critically not from a human perspective but from a biblical perspective.
Biblical worldview is based on the authority of the Bible. Most Christian educators agree that the Bible should be central to Christian education. However, they often struggle to show students how the Bible is relevant to the subjects they teach. As a result, many push the Bible to the margin of instruction.
At BJU Press, we define biblical worldview as Christian-worldview shaping. The Christian worldview is best expressed in the biblical story of Creation, the Fall, and Redemption. Taking these three events as the lenses through which to look at education, we see that faith and learning are bound together and that Christian faith must govern any educational experience.
The study of Writing and Grammar serves the purpose of Christian education—to conform man to the image of God—because the subject matter reflects the character and works of God. God spoke Creation into being, and He made man to speak. The Bible is God’s written communication to man, and man, as an image bearer, also uses written language to communicate.
Composition is a tool for achieving God’s purpose in the world. Loving God and loving our neighbor are God’s design for us (Matt. 22:34–40). Good writing is a way to show the love of God by communicating truth in a loving way to our neighbors. Clear, effective writing can, for example, make a personal letter more meaningful, a newspaper article more persuasive, or a speech more memorable.