The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts are the culmination of an effort to fulfill the charge to create K-12 standards to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school. The Standards lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. The skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. The strands addressed by the English Language Arts standards are Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.
(Literature; Informational Text; Foundational Skills-Grades Kindergarten-through-5)
The standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read. The standards also require the progressive development of reading comprehension. Through reading a diverse array of literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insight, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective. The 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 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 is emphasized throughout the standards but most prominently in the writing strand, since a written analysis and presentation of findings is so often critical.
Speaking and Listeneing
An 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.
The language standards help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases. Recognizing that students must be able to use formal English in their writing and speaking, the standards contain the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English.
The English Language Arts standards can be accessed by clicking the desired links below. Standards are grouped by grade level as well as by standard.