What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term English Language Arts (ELA)? Chances are you remember a book you enjoyed reading or your first oral presentation. The skills learned through ELA are not only independently important. They are also necessary for success in other areas of study, as well as life beyond school.
Three Reasons Why Every Student Needs English Language Arts
Typically, the term language arts includes four areas of study: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. While each of these is a distinct, individual category, language arts is more than research papers and The Great Gatsby. That’s only the beginning.
ELA is Necessary to Meet Academic Standards
Expectations for the end of the school year include progression and proficiency in a number of areas related to and including ELA. Beginning with phonics instruction in the elementary grades, and proceeding to complex technical concepts in later grades, the mastery of language arts is necessary to meet academic standards.
Both fluency and reading comprehension are critical to understanding nearly everything that is taught. Students are expected to speak, write, and communicate what they have learned. This carries over into all content areas—they must be able to effectively use English language arts skills to absorb content from other subjects and express their knowledge of those subjects.
ELA is Essential in Professional Areas of Study
Proficiency in the four components of ELA is not only a necessary component of every subject. It’s also an essential element in nearly every profession. Communication skills are essential for every career field, as STEM professionals often cite good communication skills as a necessary prerequisite when hiring.
Nearly every professional, from accountants and lawyers to engineers and doctors, needs to be proficient in English language arts to be successful in their field.
ELA is Crucial for Life Beyond School
Once the stages of learning to read are complete, students can transition into reading to learn. This puts them in a place in which learning can expand exponentially. English language arts enables students to think more critically, and even abstractly, about the information there are receiving—what does Gatsby’s green light across the water really mean? That type of critical thinking, coupled with communication during class discussion or in an essay, teaches valuable life skills your students will carry with them after graduation.
Make English Language Arts Engaging and Fun
ELA continues to be an essential aspect of every curriculum and each individual student’s educational process. Teaching English language arts as distinct and specific classes is critically important to learn specific writing, reading, and listening skills. But it’s also necessary for student success to take an interdisciplinary approach and apply these valuable ELA skills to other subjects.