language arts include reading, writing, speaking, listening and the
study of literature. In addition, students must be able to study, retain
and use information from many sources. Through the study of English
language arts, students should be able to read fluently, understanding a
broad range of written materials. They must be able to communicate well
and listen carefully and effectively. They should develop a command of
the language and demonstrate their knowledge through speaking and
writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. As students progress, a
structured study of literature will allow them to recognize universal
themes and to compare styles and ideas across authors and era.
KEY POINTS FOR COMMON CORE STANDARDS FOR LANGUAGE ARTS:
The standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read so that all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. The standards also require the progressive development of reading comprehension so that students advancing through the grades are able to gain more from whatever they read.
reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well
as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are
expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and
broaden their perspective. Because the standards are building blocks for
successful classrooms, but recognize that teachers, school districts
and states need to decide on appropriate curriculum, they intentionally
do not offer a reading list. Instead, they offer numerous sample texts
to help teachers prepare for the school year and allow parents and
students to know what to expect at the beginning of the year.
standards mandate certain critical types of content for all students,
including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational
U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings
of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining
decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.
The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades.
Research—both short, focused projects (such as those commonly required in the workplace) and longer term in depth research —is emphasized throughout the standards but most prominently in the writing strand since a written analysis and presentation of findings is so often critical.
samples of student writing accompany the standards and help establish
adequate performance levels in writing arguments,
informational/explanatory texts, and narratives in the various grades.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
standards require that students gain, evaluate, and present
increasingly complex information, ideas, and evidence through listening
and speaking as well as through media.
important focus of the speaking and listening standards is academic
discussion in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings. Formal
presentations are one important way such talk occurs, but so is the more
informal discussion that takes place as students collaborate to answer
questions, build understanding, and solve problems.
standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies through a
mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading. The standards
will help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of
words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases.
standards help prepare students for real life experience at college and
in 21st century careers. The standards recognize that students must be
able to use formal English in their writing and speaking but that they
must also be able to make informed, skillful choices among the many ways
to express themselves through language.
and conventions are treated in their own strand not because skills in
these areas should be handled in isolation but because their use extends
across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY