Language Arts

  • Dearborn Academy classroom
  • Dearborn Reading

"I can't believe it, " Matt Groening creator of The Simpsons said. "Reading and writing actually paid off." 

At Dearborn  we want to inspire students to become confident, engaged and enthusiastic readers.

Reading is more than an essential life and work skill—reading lets you explore the world and human knowledge, history and culture. Reading can also be a rich source of pleasure. When you are a strong reader, it's as if you have the keys to an incredible kingdom of knowledge and experience.

On the other hand, struggling to read through your school career can be devastating to your confidence. It can hinder your progress and the opportunities you will have in life and isolate you from other people. We're especially eager to help high school students overcome their reading and writing difficulties because we know what a difference it can make. 

If you have difficulties with reading, if you don't enjoy reading or even if you're already an enthusiastic reader, we can help. We'll provide instruction and support that match to your needs. Everyone gets strong preparation for the ELA part of the MCAS, but we'll urge you to do more. We want to help each student improve their reading fluency and comprehension, become strong critical readers and know what it's like to enjoy a good book.

Read and Write

Dearborn Academy's high school language arts classes meet four times a week in 45-minute periods. Three times a week you'll also have homework—reading assignments, writing assignments and other kinds of work that help you think critically.

In class we often discuss what we're reading with each other. Short written exercises help you analyze the author's goals. You might be asked to create a Facebook profile for a character or a collage that describes the meaning of a poem. We try to keep the assignments interesting. Every so often, we'll ask you to produce a longer essay.

Even great readers can be anxious when it comes to writing assignments, but don't worry. There are lots of ways to learn to be a good writer. If you've only been taught one way before, we'll introduce you to a variety of other approaches that can improve your success.

What You'll Read 

English courses at Dearborn include lots of books we think you'll enjoy—newer books like Michael Patrick MacDonald’s All Souls—a riveting memoir about growing up in South Boston — to Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult series The Hunger Games. We choose books we think our students will connect with. Of course, we also read classics—Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Elie Wiesel’s Night, Shakespeare, Whitman and more. You'll read novels and poems, plays, essays, inspiring biographies, science fiction and other genres. Our students often get excited about the books we tackle and want to read more.

To help students learn to draw connections across disciplines, some books we read are related to what you are learning in history classes. For example, while you are studying early American history, we might also be reading The Crucible, Arthur Miller's great play about the Salem witch trials.

When English is Not Your First Language

Dearborn will provide support to students who do not speak English as their first language. When you have a learning disability and speak another language, learning to read and write in English is doubly hard. But if you're willing, we can help. Dearborn will provide intensive one-on-one support to all students who are not native English speakers. 

Extra Help

If you have a language-based learning disability includeing dyslexia, our learning center specialists provides one-on-one support to improve reading comprehension and writing skills. Students come into the learning center once a week, often more frequently for services outlined in the IEP, depending on the level of intervention they require. And you can always get help getting organized for a paper, thinking through an assignment or if you just want to talk about what you're reading.


Learn more about Reading at Dearborn and our approach to educating students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities here (Learning Center).

For Dearborn Academy course descriptions, please download the course catalog.