A Vision for Arizona’s Students

Arizona’s students must be able to communicate effectively in their schools and communities. The communication skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting form the core of language and literacy. The ultimate purpose of the following language arts standards is to ensure that all students be offered the opportunities, the encouragement and the vision to develop the language skills they need to pursue lifelong goals, including finding personal enrichment and participating as informed members of society. The language art standards presented in this document are organized into four areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening and Speaking
  • Viewing and Presenting

Reading, writing, listening and speaking are commonly recognized as language skills. Visual communication skills have long been applied in language arts classrooms through the use of media and visual resources. However, with the increase in the availability and variety of media, students are faced with numerous demands for interpreting and creating visual messages. In this document, viewing (interpreting visual messages) and presenting (creating visual messages) are the two aspects of visual communication. Resources available for teaching visual communication range from charts, graphs and photographs to the most sophisticated electronic media.

The interdependency of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting requires that language arts skills be integrated in two ways:

  • Within language arts
  • Across other content areas

Students use language skills to understand academic subject matter and to enrich their lives. They develop literacy at different rates and in a variety of ways. Consequently, interdependent language arts skills and processes should be taught in a variety of learning situations.

Assessment of language arts skills and processes should be comprehensive, authentic and performance based. Multiple assessment methods should be used to evaluate a student’s knowledge base and the application of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing and presenting.

Assessment tasks should reflect those experiences encountered in the home, community and workplace. Issues concerning assessment of specific populations pose complex questions with no simple solutions. As programs and assessments are developed, these issues must be resolved to enable all students to meet the standards.

In conclusion, the standards in the language arts framework form the core of every student’s ability to function effectively in society. Students will need a wide repertoire of communication strategies and skills to succeed as learners, citizens, workers and fulfilled individuals in the 21st century.