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Illinois Learning Standards


English Language ArtsGirl raising hand in the classroom

The Illinois Learning Standards for English Language Arts goals and standards were developed using the 1985 State Goals for Language Arts, various state and national standards drafts, and local education standards contributed by team members. Through the achievement of these goals and standards, students will gain proficiency in the language skills that are basic to all learning, critical to success in the workplace and essential to life as productive citizens.

English language arts includes reading, writing, speaking, listening and the study of literature. In addition, students must be able to study, retain and use information from many sources. Through the study of the English language arts, students should be able to read fluently, understanding a broad range of written materials. They must be able to communicate well and listen carefully and effectively. They should develop a command of the language and demonstrate their knowledge through speaking and writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. As students progress, a structured study of literature will allow them to recognize universal themes and to compare styles and ideas across authors and eras.

Applications of Learning

Through Applications of Learning, students demonstrate and deepen their understanding of basic knowledge and skills. These applied learning skills cross academic disciplines and reinforce the important learning of the disciplines. The ability to use these skills will greatly influence students' success in school, in the workplace and in the community.

Solving Problems

Recognize and investigate problems; formulate and propose solutions supported by reason and evidence.

Solving problems demands that students be able to read and listen, comprehend ideas, ask and answer questions, clearly convey their own ideas through written and oral means, and explain their reasoning. Comprehending reading materials and editing and revising writing are in themselves forms of complex problem solving. The ability to locate, acquire and organize information from various sources, print and electronic, is essential to solving problems involving research. In all fields—English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and others, the command of language is essential in stating and reasoning through problems and conveying results.

Communicating

Express and interpret information and ideas.

Communication is the essence of English language arts, and communication surrounds us today in many forms. Individuals and groups of people exchange ideas and information—oral and written—at lunch tables, through newspapers and magazines, and through radio, television and on-line computer services. From the simplest, shortest conversations to the most complex technical manuals, language is the basis of all human communication. A strong command of reading, writing, speaking and listening is vital for communicating in the home, school, workplace and beyond.

Using Technology

Use appropriate instruments, electronic equipment, computers and networks to access information, process ideas and communicate results.

Computers and telecommunications have become basic means for creating messages and relaying information. In offices and homes, people write using word processors. Audio and visual media are used for both creative and practical forms of communication. The use of on-line services is now commonplace among researchers, authors, farmers and auto mechanics. Skilled use of these technologies provides students with necessary opportunities to search and process information, be in touch with experts, prepare documents, and learn and communicate in new, more effective ways.

Working on Teams

Learn and contribute productively as individuals and as members of groups.

In sports, the workplace, family and elsewhere, teamwork requires skill in the use of language. People must speak clearly and listen well as they share ideas, plans, instructions and evaluations. In researching and bringing outside information to a team, individuals must be able to search, select and understand a variety of sources. Documenting progress and reporting results demand the ability to organize information and convey it clearly. Those who can read, write, speak and listen well are valuable contributors in any setting where people are working together to achieve shared goals.

Making Connections

Recognize and apply connections of important information and ideas within and among learning areas.

The parts of English language arts are closely interconnected. Reading and writing provide the means to receive and send written messages. Likewise, listening and speaking enable people to receive and send oral information. Speaking and writing are the creative components, while listening and reading are the receptive components of language through which people access knowledge and demonstrate its applications. Proficiency in these skills clearly supports learning in all academic areas.

Goals