Language Arts and Literacy
Every student must be able to comprehend visual, oral, and written material and, more significantly, analyze and apply the given information. Oral information entails a careful examination of tone, pace, and emotions, as well as exercising various techniques and knowledge. Meanwhile, visual and written materials encourage careful reading, taking an interpretative position, and expressing one’s own views. Though such practices might seem easy for adults, these processes can be quite difficult for children. However, schools offer language arts programs that focus on reading, writing, speaking, and listening development. In this situation, teachers navigate students on their path to literacy and provide learners with valuable materials, techniques, and experiences. With language arts, children have the opportunity to develop their literacy skills that subsequently boost their chances for well-being.
Language arts are the concept teachers use to define the curricular field that comprises four forms of language: listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Language arts teaching is a highly noteworthy topic in education systems since the four areas are critical to learning and demonstrating capabilities in all curricular areas (Accurso, Muzeta & Battles, 2019). Consequently, teachers are responsible for directing students toward mastery of these four language modes, which can be compared in a variety of ways.
For example, listening and speaking skills entail oral skills and are learned organically in family and community settings before children enter school. Reading and writing, the two written language forms, are learned in separate ways. While students from literate families might frequently come to school with an extensive understanding of printed language, skills such as reading and writing can usually be seen as the school’s duty and are thoroughly explained.
Without any doubt, levels of language arts teaching differ depending on student’s age and educational stage. For instance, language arts subjects in primary school concentrate on fundamental reading, writing, and verbal skills (Deane, 2020). Elementary classes include hours of silent uninterrupted reading, cursive handwriting, grammar, theme writing, and vocabulary expansion (Deane, 2020). The curriculum grows and extends throughout middle school to cover more complex readings, including such areas of learning as essays, fiction, and poetry. Furthermore, grammar and semantics are emphasized in courses, and learners start to develop writing abilities that include poetry, expository and creative writing.
Lastly, high school students are required to attend such lessons in order to build analytical abilities. Learners are required to evaluate, interpret, and decipher textual content to compare and debate points such as topics, characters, and storylines in classes that mainly focus on reading various kinds of writing (Deane, 2020). At this point, competent writing abilities are required since these literary conversations often take the shape of an academic essay.
Language Systems and Language Arts
It is also vital to understand the importance of language in this situation. The central four language systems include the phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic systems (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). With the help of the phonological system, children learn how to properly read and spell words, especially since English is not “a phonetically regular language” (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017, p.9). The syntactic system involves the structural part of the language, implying grammar rules and proper construction of the sentences (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). The semantic system, or meaning system, is responsible for the vocabulary (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). The last, pragmatic system is concerned with the language’s cultural and social characteristics.
The four language systems are intertwined with the six competencies in language arts since the latter include listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and visually representing (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). Learners study language arts to thrive in their communities and societies: to understand, engage, connect, associate, solve issues, think critically, and make educated decisions that will improve the quality of their lives.
Proficiency and fluency in spoken language are essential components of a student’s identity and belonging in their community. Learners are able to convey their emotions and opinions for both aesthetic and pragmatic reasons through listening and speaking (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). These abilities are intimately related to the capacity to develop and sustain connections, cooperate, and expand learning via engagement with others. Children study the techniques, approaches, and perspectives of a successful speaker and the listener in a variety of communication scenarios ranging from calls and messages to theatrical performances in language arts programs.
Listening is the active practice of extracting information from sounds. Reading printed texts involves most aspects, such as identifying and understanding words, noting transition processes and organizational patterns, and grasping literal and implicit meanings (Breadmore et al., 2019). Listening necessitates that students reflect on, evaluate, and critique oral materials the same way as they would printed materials. As a result, students are able to acquire their own opinions or share feelings.
Nevertheless, listening has its own language of spoken and visual indicators. Students examine the impact of oral syntax, intonation, volume, tempo, stance, and movements on communicating material, tone, and emotion when practicing listening and speaking skills (Breadmore et al., 2019). They learn to understand dialects and regional linguistic variations. Learning to listen also includes learning to identify and evaluate sounds. It entails investigating the significance of music and sound effects in movies and determining the enterprise applications of sounds, such as the music in the background of shops or commercials.
Learners develop speaking skills with the help of a diverse selection of traditional and nontraditional experiences, as well as aesthetic and pragmatic applications. Examples are small-group discussions, theatrics, and monologue performances, discussing, reading novels or poetry, and giving speeches (Breadmore et al., 2019). Informal speaking options help children improve their cognitive and vocabulary accuracy. Formal speaking options allow students to discover how nonverbal indicators like intonation, volume, and speed are used to transmit information and emotions.
Additionally, language arts education emphasizes comprehension and communication through print materials. Students’ ability to comprehend and write is critical to their academic performance and capacity to participate effectively in wider communities. The growth in digital media has not diminished the need for efficient reading abilities but instead has enhanced the demand for them (Breadmore et al., 2019). Additionally, reading printed materials encourages intellectual growth in different ways than watching visual materials; building the world of printed texts necessitates the reader’s creative participation.
Learners in language arts programs get the opportunity to read a broad range of creative and pragmatic works. While printed materials in English language arts are essential contributors of knowledge and thoughts, they are also conduits for literacy development. Children learn to read for explicit and implicit meanings in addition to deciphering linguistic indicators (Tompkins, Bright, Winsor, 2017). They react to materials on several levels, reacting, evaluating, and drawing conclusions. Many approaches and procedures that contribute to the entire meaning of languages, such as context, mood, figurative language, and sounds, are taught to students.
Writing is used by children not just to express ideas, feelings, and sentiments but also to communicate with others. They study proper writing techniques such as concept generation, development and organization, research and inquiry methodologies, and proofreading and rewriting procedures (Breadmore et al., 2019). Students learn how to write in a variety of styles, including lyrics, drama, poetry, and fiction, as well as pragmatic forms utilized in industry, college, and media. Students also learn new writing norms for digital media and reading skills for digital media.
Lastly, incorporating viewing and representation in language arts programs recognizes both cultural shifts and increases awareness of how language acquisition occurs. Students must learn visual, and literary devices and norms in order to become more aware, observant, critical, and respectful readers of visual texts and more efficient producers of visual products (Breadmore et al., 2019). They should always try to gain knowledge and abilities that can help to grasp and interact through print and oral writing.
Students must understand that pictures, like words, carry concepts, emotions, and beliefs, and they must learn to comprehend the language of images. As a result, the analysis of design aspects helps students become aware of the impact of visual cues in writing (Breadmore et al., 2019). Students improve their standard outputs and speeches by using graphics that match print and spoken materials. They employ design components wisely when developing charts, presentations, and brochures that adequately express the idea.
Literacy and the Implications for Literacy Development
Literacy development is important when it comes to language arts since the skills from the latter contribute to the former. I view literacy as the capacity to read and write in at least one writing technique. Contrary to this, I view illiteracy as the failure to perform these activities. Therefore, literacy development is an essential component of every child’s overall development. In a more narrow sense, the implication of literacy development might be the ability to analyze the given information, as well as communicate one’s own ideas and opinions. In a broader sense, literacy development serves as the basis for succeeding in school, socializing with people, problem-solving, decision-making, establishing individuality, and working.
Literacy encompasses both word-level abilities, such as word reading and spelling, as well as text-level skills, such as reading and writing production. These abilities are used in almost every aspect of daily life. As a result, low literacy has a negative influence on all aspects of life (Breadmore et al., 2019). Similar linguistic and cognitive abilities and emotional and environmental elements assist reading comprehension, writing, and spelling production. Learning to read and write draws on prior understanding of the language gained via conversation. Literacy then allows students to learn more about language. It, nevertheless, is unlikely to be acquired without clear and extensive teaching.
Teachers should, therefore, evaluate the inner and outer impacts on literacy development to maximize each student’s chance to realize their full potential. This is especially significant when analyzing how and why certain students fall behind in their reading development (Breadmore et al., 2019). Evaluation of these many effects may assist instructors in determining the best subsequent actions to make education both successful and efficient.
Hence, language arts is the term used by educators to describe the curricular subject that includes writing, listening, speaking, and reading. While such skills might seem quite natural processes, they are incredibly vital in both educational and everyday life settings of students. In the former sense, they expedite the process of learning, communicating, and expressing one’s feelings and ideas. In the latter sense, the wise use of these processes helps students boost awareness sense of belonging and develop social skills. Therefore, literacy skills help children adapt to current conditions, feel included, and enhance their knowledge and abilities.
Accurso, K., Muzeta, B., & Battles, S. P. (2019). Reflection multiliteracies: Teaching meaning making across the visual and language arts. SPELT Quarterly Journal, 34(2), 2-16.
Breadmore, H.L., Vardy, E.J., Cunningham, A.J., Kwok, R.K.W., & Carroll, J.M. (2019). Literacy development: Evidence review. Education Endowment Foundation.
Deane, P. (2020). Building and justifying interpretations of texts: a key practice in the English language arts. ETS Research Report Series, 1, 1-53.
Tompkins, E.G., Bright, R., Winsor, P.J.T. (2017). Language and literacy: Content and teaching strategies. Pearson.