Mastery of the English language is central to learning. Our democratic society and economy require informed and literate citizens who can read with comprehension, write with clarity, speak and listen effectively, and analyze language critically. Instruction in the English Language Arts provides students with these essential skills and strategies for personal, educational, workplace, and social situations. In comprehensive English courses, grades 7-10, students receive direct instruction and guided practice to improve their:

  • reading skills and strategies,
  • writing and revision skills,
  • oral communication skills when speaking and listening,
  • creative and critical thinking skills,
  • research skills,
  • knowledge of language usage, punctuation, and capitalization conventions.

In elective courses students extend and apply their basic English skills and knowledge. Specialized study of literature provides students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of a particular historic context, literary genre, cultural perspective, or written form. Specialized courses in reading strengthen reading strategies and skills for transition to adult work and study. Specialized courses in writing strengthen writing skills and organization in a variety of written forms. After school activities in journalism, speech, debate, and drama develop student leadership, the ability to manage deadlines, technical expertise, poise and self-confidence.

Debate / Speech

Competitive debate and competitive speech at Lincoln Public Schools offers a unique experience for students to develop a wide range of skills that enhance the lessons learned during the regular school day. These benefits include:

  • Forensics offers students an opportunity to develop research, critical thinking, organization, persuasion, and oral communication skills.
  • Forensics appeals to students with different goals and interests. It provides useful career preparation in law, education, politics, broadcasting, religion, public affairs, and business.
  • Forensics enables students to clarify their personal and social values through confrontation with the value judgments of others.
  • Students learn respect for dissenting opinions and acquire knowledge and skills crucial to effective participation in a democratic society.
  • Forensics provides students with an opportunity to develop social skills, including teamwork by competing responsibly and effectively in an intellectual environment.

(Source: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA)


The theatre programs in Lincoln Public Schools are designed to develop student understanding of the wide-range of skills involved in theatrical productions. Students will learn essential elements related to voice and body control, self-confidence, communication, respect and understanding, cooperation and collaboration, project management, and aesthetic appreciation.