September 19, 2015

The Language Strand of the Common Core Standards and English Language Learners



Hi everyone,
I wrote this article as a blog post last year for the REALLY GOOD STUFF BLOG.  It is still relevant and I thought I would post it again!  Let me know what you think!

  
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.
As you know, the strands or domains of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts include:
·      Reading Foundational Skills
·      Reading
o   Literature
o   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, Kinder through 5th grade.  This table lists the progression of language skills by grade level.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the chart.
http://funtoteach.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/K-5-Common-Core-Lang.-Standards-Spreadsheet-.pdf

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!
Lori Wolfe
Fun To Teach



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