EnglishLanguage Arts - ELA » EnglishLanguage Arts - ELA

EnglishLanguage Arts - ELA

In English Language Arts (ELA) students learn to become effective readers and writers. Teachers use a balance of complex fiction and non-fiction texts in the classroom and teach reading, writing, vocabulary and discussion with an emphasis on using details and evidence from the text.



Independent reading can transform students' understanding of themselves and the world they live in. Independent reading should be a place where joy and learning come together. While students should work to grow and read increasingly complex texts, we also want them to develop a love of reading.



We live in an age of email and digital texts, which means writing skills are more important than ever. Because writing is so important in higher education and in the workplace, students must be able to communicate well using many forms of writing, such as:


          • editorials
          • presentations
          • reports
          • research
          • proposals
          • memos
          • literary analyses.

Teaching students to express themselves creatively is equally important. While only a handful of students may become professional writers, learning to write fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction offers them new ways to think, share, and reflect on the deeper questions of life.



Learning new words—vocabulary—is one of the most important parts of becoming literate. The larger children’s vocabularies are in the primary grades, the greater their academic achievement will be in the later grades. Vocabulary has a direct relationship with reading comprehension, especially as children move up the grades.

Children acquire much of their vocabulary in daily activities (reading, talking, listening, etc.). Words are also learned through direct instruction, which means that the words are taught by the teacher in a structured and systematic way.

Encourage children to read to build vocabulary. Wide reading—reading in quantity about a variety of topics—is the most effective way to build vocabulary. The more a student reads, the more vocabulary they learn.