Blog / Learning Tips / English Language Arts / English Language Arts (ELA) : Standards, Importance, Curriculum, Resources [2024]

English Language Arts (ELA) : Standards, Importance, Curriculum, Resources [2024]

What’s ELA? ELA is also known as English Language Arts, which plays a vital role in language development and communication skills. In this article, we will delve into the concept of English Language Arts, its importance in education, and its divisions. We will explore the core principles of ELA, including reading, writing, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Additionally, we will discuss the segmented learning standards for ELA in different grade levels. Furthermore, we will emphasize the significance of ELA in K-12 education and provide insights into an exceptional teaching resource, WuKong English ELA.

Part1. What is ELA (English Language Arts) ?

ELA, or English Language Arts, refers to the study and use of the English language in academic settings. It encompasses various skills such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In the United States, ELA is taught as a separate subject in primary, elementary, intermediate, and high schools.

#1. What is ELA in Primary School?

In primary school, English Language Arts focuses on introducing young students to foundational literacy skills. It includes activities that promote reading readiness, basic writing skills, and oral language development.

#2. What is ELA in Elementary School?

In elementary school, English Language Arts expands upon the foundational skills learned in primary school. Students develop stronger reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. They also engage in more complex forms of communication and explore different genres of literature.

#3. What is ELA in Intermediate School?

In intermediate school, English Language Arts continues to build upon the skills acquired in elementary school. Students delve deeper into literary analysis, critical thinking, and effective communication. They develop their ability to interpret and respond to various types of texts.

#4. What is ELA in High School?

In high school, English Language Arts focuses on preparing students for college and career readiness. Students engage in advanced reading, writing, and critical analysis. They learn to conduct research, write persuasive essays, deliver presentations, and participate in discussions.

#5. What is English Language Arts in the US?

In the United States, English Language Arts refers to the subject that encompasses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. It is guided by the Common Core Standards, which emphasize the development of literacy skills necessary for academic success and effective communication.

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Part2. Evaluation Standards of ELA (English Language Arts)

Learning Standards of ELA (English Language Arts)

ELA (English Language Arts) education focuses on improving students’ two key dimensions: first, solid English language ability, and second, keen appreciation of English literature. Its five pillars include reading comprehension and strategies, writing practices and craft, effective communication, teamwork, and creative expression. Let’s explore the five core learning standards of ELA (English Language Arts) in Part 2, along with the segmented learning standards for grades K-12.

#1. Five Core Evaluation Standards of English Language Arts

ELA Evaluation Standard 1: Reading

Definition: Reading is fundamental to learning and understanding information. Reading is a foundational principle of English Language Arts.

Included capabilities: It involves the ability to decode written language, comprehend texts, and extract meaning from various types of written material. Reading skills include phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension strategies.

Tips for improving the skill: Students learn strategies to improve reading skills, such as skimming, scanning, and note-taking.

ELA Evaluation Standard 2: Writing

Definition: Writing is the process of expressing thoughts, ideas, and information through written language.

Included capabilities: It involves organizing and structuring ideas, developing a clear and coherent message, and using appropriate grammar and language conventions. Writing skills encompass various genres, such as narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive writing.

Tips for improving the skill: Students learn various writing techniques and styles to effectively communicate their thoughts.

ELA Evaluation Standard 3: Communication

Definition: Effective communication is a key principle of English Language Arts.

Included capabilities: It involves the ability to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions clearly and coherently through spoken language. Communication skills include active listening, speaking with clarity and confidence, using appropriate language registers, and adapting communication for different purposes and audiences.

Tips Tips for improving the skill: Kids can develop the skills needed to communicate clearly and purposefully.

ELA Evaluation Standard 4: Collaboration

Definition: Collaboration is an essential principle of English Language Arts, emphasizing the ability to work effectively with others. Collaborative activities promote teamwork, cooperation, and the exchange of ideas. Students engage in discussions, group projects, and peer feedback, fostering social and communication skills necessary for academic and professional success.

Included capabilities: Collaboration involves working together with others to achieve a common goal.

Tips Tips for improving the skill: Students learn to collaborate, share ideas, and engage in group projects, promoting teamwork and interpersonal skills.

ELA Evaluation Standard 5: Creativity

Definition: Creativity is encouraged in English Language Arts as a principle that allows students to express themselves and think outside the box.

Included capabilities: It involves generating original ideas, using imagination, and employing innovative approaches to language use. Creativity in ELA can be seen through storytelling, poetry, creative writing, and other forms of self-expression.

Tips for improving the skill: Creativity encourages students to think outside the box, explore new perspectives, and express themselves in unique ways. It fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation.

#2. Grades K-12 Segmented Learning Standards of ELA (English Language Arts)

The Grades K-12 Segmented Learning Standards of ELA (English Language Arts) provide a framework for the development of language skills and literacy throughout a student’s educational journey. These standards are organized into different grade levels, each with specific learning objectives and expectations. Here is a breakdown of the segmented learning standards for ELA:

  1. Primary (Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3):
    1. Introduction to basic reading and writing skills
    2. Phonics and phonemic awareness
    3. Vocabulary development
    4. Comprehension of simple texts
    5. Basic grammar and sentence structure
    6. Oral language development and communication skills
  2. Elementary (Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6):
    1. Expanded reading comprehension skills
    2. Development of fluency and expression in reading
    3. Writing skills, including narrative, informative, and persuasive writing
    4. Grammar and punctuation rules
    5. Vocabulary expansion and word analysis
    6. Engaging with different genres of literature
    7. Speaking and listening skills in group discussions and presentations
  3. Intermediate (Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9):
    1. Advanced reading comprehension and analysis of complex texts
    2. Critical thinking and interpretation of literature
    3. Research skills and integration of evidence in writing
    4. Development of writing style and voice
    5. Effective communication in various contexts
    6. Media literacy and analysis of media texts
  4. High School:
    1. Advanced literary analysis and interpretation
    2. Persuasive and argumentative writing
    3. Research skills and academic writing
    4. Advanced grammar and language usage
    5. Public speaking and presentation skills
    6. Appreciation of diverse literary genres and cultural perspectives
    7. College and career readiness in ELA skills

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Part3. What Are the Divisions of ELA (English Language Arts)?

What Are the Divisions of ELA (English Language Arts)?

The divisions of ELA (English Language Arts) encompass different aspects of language development and literacy. These divisions provide a structure for organizing the various components of ELA instruction. Here are the four main divisions of English Language Arts. These divisions of ELA provide a comprehensive approach to language development, encompassing different language skills and aspects of literacy. Educators integrate these divisions into their instruction to provide a well-rounded ELA curriculum that addresses language structure, effective communication, reading comprehension, writing proficiency, and literary analysis.

English Language

This division of English Language Arts focuses on the study of the English language itself. It includes the rules of grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and language conventions. Students learn about sentence structure, parts of speech, verb tenses, punctuation, and other elements of language usage. The English Language division aims to develop students’ understanding and mastery of the English language.

Speaking and Listening

The Speaking and Listening division of English Language Arts (ELA) places a strong emphasis on developing students’ oral communication skills. It focuses on developing effective speaking and listening abilities, including clear articulation, active listening, public speaking, and participating in group discussions. Students learn to express their ideas, engage in meaningful conversations, and actively listen and respond to others.

Reading and Writing

The Reading and Writing division within English Language Arts (ELA) is dedicated to nurturing students’ reading and writing skills. This division encompasses the ability to comprehend written texts, interpret meaning, and analyze literary elements. Students learn strategies for reading comprehension, critical thinking, and literary analysis. In writing, students develop skills in various genres, such as narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive writing.

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English Literature

The English Literature division in English Language Arts (ELA) centers around the study of literary works.. It involves reading and analyzing different genres of literature, such as novels, poems, plays, and short stories. Students explore themes, literary devices, character development, and author’s craft. By studying literature, students gain insights into cultural perspectives, enhance their critical thinking skills, and develop a deeper appreciation for literary works.

Part4. Best English Language Arts Curriculum – WuKong English ELA

When it comes to the best English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum, WuKong English ELA stands out as a leading choice. WuKong English ELA offers the highly acclaimed WuKong Advanced Reading and Writing Program, which is specifically designed to enhance students’ ELA reading and writing skills. The program utilizes innovative teaching methods and a comprehensive learning cycle to cultivate students’ literary thinking, critical analysis, and writing skills. Through a bidirectional growth system for reading and writing, along with an experienced team of teachers aligned with an international curriculum, WuKong English ELA delivers the optimal ELA learning experience for students.

Why choose WuKong English ELA to learn English?

WuKong English ELA

Reading-Writing Dual Growth System: WuKong English ELA emphasizes the reciprocal growth between reading and writing. Students enhance their comprehension and writing skills simultaneously through the integration of creative writing techniques, heuristic writing methods, and guided reading approaches.

Experienced ELA Teachers: The program selects highly skilled native English-speaking teachers from Europe and North America. These teachers possess extensive expertise in ELA instruction and provide enjoyable, efficient, and confidence-building classes for students.

WuKong Education’s Five-Step Progressive Cycle: The curriculum follows a structured learning process that includes cognitive awakening, thorough reading instruction, writing techniques, writing application, and review & reflection. This cycle promotes the development of literary thinking, critical analysis, and aesthetic appreciation.

International ELA Curriculum Alignment: WuKong English ELA’s curriculum is developed in alignment with international educational standards. It is continuously updated by a dedicated team of researchers and curriculum developers to ensure its relevance and competitiveness.

Part5. How Imprtant Is ELA (English Language Arts) for Kids K-12?

ELA (English Language Arts) is highly important for students in grades K-12. It plays a crucial role in their overall academic development and future success. Here are some reasons why ELA is important for kids:

  1. Communication Skills: English Language Arts helps students develop strong communication skills, both oral and written. Effective communication is essential for expressing ideas, understanding others, and succeeding in various academic and professional settings.
  2. Reading Comprehension: ELA focuses on developing reading comprehension skills, enabling students to understand and analyze complex texts. Strong reading skills are vital for learning across all subjects and for lifelong learning.
  3. Writing Proficiency: English Language Arts teaches students how to express themselves through writing. It helps them develop coherent and well-structured essays, reports, and creative pieces. Writing proficiency is necessary for academic success and effective communication in various contexts.
  4. Critical Thinking: ELA encourages students to think critically and analyze information. Through literature, students learn to interpret and evaluate texts, identify themes, analyze arguments, and develop their own perspectives. These skills are valuable for problem-solving and decision-making in all areas of life.
  5. Cultural Awareness: ELA exposes students to diverse literary works from different time periods, cultures, and perspectives. This exposure fosters cultural awareness, empathy, and understanding of different viewpoints, promoting inclusivity and global citizenship.
  6. Vocabulary Development: English Language Arts enhances students’ vocabulary by introducing them to new words and their meanings. A strong vocabulary improves reading comprehension, writing skills, and overall communication.
  7. College and Career Readiness: Proficiency in ELA is essential for college and career readiness. Strong ELA skills are required for college admissions essays, standardized tests, and academic success in higher education. Additionally, effective communication skills are valued in the workplace across various professions.
  8. Personal Growth: English Language Arts encourages self-expression, creativity, and personal growth. It provides a platform for students to explore their thoughts, emotions, and identities through literature, writing, and discussions.

Part6. Recommended English Language Arts Textbooks for Kids

Three of the most renowned and widely used classic ELA textbooks in the United States include McGraw-Hill Education’s ‘Wonders’ (also known as the California elementary school curriculum), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s ‘Journeys’ (referred to as the Texas elementary school textbook), and ‘Reach’ published by National Geographic Learning. Both Wonders and Journeys are adopted by a majority of American schools and have gained significant recognition.

English Language Arts Textbook 1 – Wonders

  • Characterized by its extensive curriculum structure, with the main textbook divided into sections for reading, writing, grammar, among others. Beyond the core texts, it offers supplementary reading workbooks, concise exercises on grammar and spelling, weekly tests, and unit assessments.
  • The series integrates knowledge from various disciplines such as social studies, history, nature, science, universe, geography, emotional intelligence, and team concepts, making it holistic. It places a strong emphasis on reading comprehension and critical thinking; the materials are replete with numerous reading exercises and strategies that recur and build upon each other progressively. Each unit revolves around a central theme, guiding children towards active engagement through questions and stories.
  • The digitalization and standardization of the materials are highly advanced, featuring bright colors, cartoon illustrations, and straightforward content suitable even for young learners at the primary level.

English Language Arts Textbook 2 –Journeys

  • Known for its clear and intuitive presentation both in teacher and student books. The texts mostly consist of selections from acclaimed literary works, which are more challenging in nature.
  • Its accompanying leveled readers, developed under the guidance of Mrs. Fontes, a pioneer in the field of leveled reading in the U.S., assure top-notch quality.
  • The program comes with an online platform for both teachers and students, providing convenient access and usage.

English Language Arts Textbook 3 –Reach

  • Distinctively features articles largely adapted from National Geographic magazine, with a high proportion of non-literary content. It covers a broad spectrum of knowledge and incorporates many interdisciplinary topics, though it might lack the diversity seen in purely literary compilations.
  • More suitable for older or higher-level students seeking to broaden their knowledge base.

All three sets of textbooks are produced by prestigious publishers and have proven their effectiveness through market testing. Parents can select the most appropriate one according to their child’s specific needs, strengths, and developmental stage.

FAQs about English Language Arts

Q1: How can ELA skills be developed?

A1: ELA skills can be developed through consistent practice and exposure to a wide range of texts, writing exercises, and discussions. Reading extensively, writing regularly, engaging in classroom discussions, and receiving feedback from teachers and peers are effective ways to enhance ELA skills. Additionally, studying grammar, vocabulary, and literary devices can further strengthen language proficiency.

Q2: How can parents support their child’s development in ELA?

A6: Parents can support their child’s development in ELA by fostering a reading-friendly environment at home, providing access to a variety of reading materials, encouraging regular reading habits, and engaging in discussions about books and texts. They can also assist with writing assignments, offer constructive feedback, and encourage creativity and expression in written work.

Q3: Recommended English Language Arts Resources for US kids?

The English Language Arts (ELA) learning materials include three renowned textbooks: Wonders by McGraw-Hill Education (also known as the California elementary textbook), Journeys by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (also known as the Texas elementary textbook), and Reach by National Geographic. Wonders offers a comprehensive system with a focus on reading comprehension and critical thinking, while Journeys provides intuitive structure and challenging texts. Reach covers a wide range of knowledge from non-literary subjects. Parents can choose the most suitable textbook based on their child’s needs and preferences.


English Language Arts (ELA) is a crucial component of education, encompassing various skills necessary for communication and academic success. By focusing on reading, writing, communication, collaboration, and creativity, ELA equips students with essential tools for lifelong learning. WuKong English ELA stands out as an exceptional teaching resource, offering a comprehensive approach to ELA instruction. What’s more, with its engaging activities and personalized learning, WuKong English ELA supports educators in effectively teaching ELA skills and empowering students to excel in language arts. If you want your child to learn ELA, it is recommended that you book a free trial class with Wukong to learn.

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