A Few Words About The Differences Between English/Language Arts & Literacy

The English/Language Arts is a body of knowledge, BUT Literacy is a skill set that encompasses and enhances the study of ALL bodies of knowledge.In my view, the study of the English/Language Arts is about employing language to achieve insight into the human condition and expressing those insights in compelling ways, through the use of the tools of the art, which include but are not limited to figurative language, multiple modes of discourse, and time honored skills of rhetoric. We do this now, as we have done throughout time immemorial, through stories which illuminate aspects of our own lives and the lives of others. To this end, the teaching of the English/Language Arts has historically focused on personal subjects, narratives and literary texts intended to move or persuade the reader.

Literacy is a skill set, NOT a course of study. When one is described as literate, it is an acknowledgement of their ability to generate, comprehend, and communicate information with accuracy, precision, and confidence in a variety of situations and contexts. It involves reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking. Although some have questioned my addition of the term thinking, I add it because an individual’s writing and speaking are inherently and ultimately demonstrative of their thinking.

The establishment of positions such as “reading specialist” and “literacy coach” are relatively new, so new in fact that the terms did not make their way into peer reviewed literature on a regular basis until the early 70’s. However, the advent of the terms and the positions themselves are evidence of a disquiet that has been lurking in western countries wherein English is the primary language for some time. I have read extensively on the subject, as this is my primary area of interest, and if you too find yourself intrigued by this discussion, I invite you to consult the citations in the attached document presented by Limbrick and Aikman to the ministry of Education and the faculty at the University of Aukland.

I further invite you to join me and continue to reflect and connect @

http://dpsnc.edmodo.com/home Group: Literacy Instruction HHS/HNTHS

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