Learning English-Language Arts
The International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English last week released voluntary national standards for English-language arts. The standards call for students to do the following:
- Read a range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the culture of the United States and the world.
- Read a range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions of the human experience.
- Apply a range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
- Adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- Employ a range of strategies as they write and use different writing-process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences.
- Apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- Conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions and by posing problems.
- Use a variety of technological and informational resources to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
- Develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
- For students whose first language is not English, make use of their first language to develop competency in English-language arts and develop understanding of content across the curriculum.
- Participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- Use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and exchange of information).
Copies of "Standards for the English Language Arts" are available from the International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Road, P.O. Box 8139, Newark, Del., 19714-8139 for $13 for members of the two groups and $18 for nonmembers, plus $3 shipping. For credit card orders, call (800) 336-7323, ext. 266; fax:(302) 731-1057.
For additional standards-related publications, contact the association at the above address or telephone numbers, or contact the National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Ill. 61801-1096, or call (800) 369-6283; fax:(217) 328-9645; e-mail email@example.com.