The English Language Arts area of study is designed to build a strong foundation in all areas of English language arts and to prepare students to meet the standards for a 21st century, literate individual. The English Language Arts curriculum includes the areas of reading (both informational texts and literature), writing, speaking and listening, and language. The courses are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and designed to cover the equivalent of a year-long, traditional school curriculum.
The main goals of the Common Core State Standards are to establish the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness among high school graduates, and to work toward developing these skill sets at each grade level. Overall, the Common Core State Standards stress literacy and critical thinking, requiring students to think deeply about subjects and ideas. Specifically, the ELA/Literacy standards focus on increasing literacy and critically examining both fiction and nonfiction texts at all levels of K-12 study. The ELA/Literacy standards also include grade-level guidelines for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and other aspects of language communication. Overall, the ELA/Literacy standards are designed to build in complexity and difficulty as a student progresses through each grade level and the learning outcome are students who fit all of the following descriptions: they demonstrate independence, they comprehend as well as critique, they build strong content knowledge, they respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose and discipline, they value evidence, they use technology and digital media strategically and capably, they come to understand other perspectives and cultures.