Blue signs like this one dot MGCI hallways, informing students of after-school sessions.

Blue signs cover MGCI’s halls, advertising Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) preparation classes.

The courses are not taught strictly to cover test content. In order to improve general literacy skills, Mr. White employs a traditional method of teaching basic English: he points to the words. To avoid having to photocopy passages onto acetate paper before using the projector, he uses a new device called the Lumens Camera Projector, which copies and projects pages from regular books and sheets of paper. The advantage to this is the ability to interact with the text; he can point, review sentence structure, and write directly on the copy.  This way, he can “show students what key points are necessary to highlight and how to make annotations beside each paragraph with a post-it or if they own the document, they can write on it”.

Classes are currently running Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 in room 217 with the help of Mr. White, Ms. Huskovic and Ms. Mak. Currently about 40 students attend these classes which will be held more frequently as students sign up. Mr. White anticipates more students as there is still a lot of time until the test in April, and because “[Marc Garneau has] a large immigrant population, many students are very bright and multilingual, but English is a new language for them.” All students in grade 9 and 10, as well as any students in grades 11 and 12 who are eligible to write the OSSLT are welcome to attend the classes. Students who are preparing for the literacy test or just want to sharpen their literacy skills should, as the blue signs suggest, see Mr. White in guidance to sign up for these interactive classes.