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September 7, 2016

The Language Standards and English Language Learners

Written By: Lori Wolfe
X English Language Learners and the Language Standards

English Language Learners and the Language Standards

We are off and running with the Common Core Standards. With this in mind, have you checked out the Language Domain of the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards? This great domain elevates the importance of English grammar, conventions, vocabulary in the classroom. It is essential for classroom and ESL teachers to understand this important strand.

Language Development for ELLs

As you know, the strands or domains of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts include:

  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Reading
    • Literature
    • Informational Text
  • Writing
  • Language
  • Speaking and Listening

 

Let’s take a closer look at this important language domain. The broad Language standards for K-5 are comprised of 3 subcategories:

  1. Conventions of Standard English
  2. Knowledge of Language
  3. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

 

Furthermore, each grade level has specific standards under these three categories, which are hierarchical in nature. These standards define what a student should know or be able to do at the end of each grade level. The following table shows the essential skills within each of the 3 categories of the Language Standards, Kindergarten through 5th grade. Click here for a downloadable table that lists the progression of language skills by grade level.

 

Here is a glimpse of the Language skills that I found of particular interest in each sub category. Many of these require continued attention over grade levels.

 

Conventions of Standard English

  • Plurals: Regular and Irregular
  • Nouns: Possessive Nouns, Collective Nouns, Abstract Nouns
  • Pronouns: Possessive, Indefinite, Reflexive Pronouns
  • Verbs; Past, Present, Future Verbs. Irregular past tense verbs. Perfect tense verbs
  • Complete Sentences

 

Knowledge of Language

  • Formal and informal uses of English
  • Choosing words and phrases for effect and to convey ideas

 

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

  • Root words, prefixes and suffixes
  • Connect words to categories
  • Antonyms, synonyms and homographs
  • Shades of meanings of related words
  • Figurative Language: similes, metaphors, idioms

 

It is great to see language as one of the domains of the ELA Common Core Standards. We all know that language is interwoven with speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Language now has an elevated importance in the classroom with this Standard of the ELA Common Core.

Happy Teaching!

 

About the Author

Lori Wolfe has taught English Language Development, bilingual 1st & 2nd grades, and as a Title I Reading and Math specialist.  She also presents professional development workshops, develops curriculum and blogs. Follow her blogs at Fun To Teach ESL and Fun To Teach Math Blog for more great teaching ideas, tips, freebies and more. You can also find Fun To Teach on Facebook.

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