English/Language Arts

I. Writing
II. Reading
III. Listening
IV. Speaking
V. Research

About the English/Language Arts Standards

Listening, speaking, writing, and reading are vehicles for communication. They enable people to express their thoughts and demonstrate what they have learned. In the past, students were taught specific lessons under the rubric of language, and the skills were practiced, reinforced, and analyzed throughout the day in subjects such as geography, history, and science. Today the teaching of language arts is often considered the exclusive responsibility of English teachers. However, the complex role of language in education makes it clear that the language arts cannot be left entirely to the English class. Improvement in the language arts requires students to read and write frequently in all disciplines and to receive ample feedback. Following these standards, the language arts should be viewed as being fundamental to pedagogy in any subject.

English teachers have the expertise to ask, explore, and help students answer fundamental questions about language, among them:

• How does one convey a message in writing?

• What genres are most suitable in a given context, and what are the textual features of those genres?

• What is Standard American English?

• How might one become a more skillful reader who can understand both the text’s surface and deeper meanings?

• What shared and unique features characterize specific literary genres?

• What are significant texts in American, British, and world literature, and what might they reveal about their cultural and historical contexts?

• What are the characteristics of effective listening and speaking, and how might one acquire and improve them?

English is mastered in the context of challenging content that requires students to think deeply and to exercise discipline in order to demonstrate understanding, raise questions, and present ideas.