What is Language Arts?
In a general sense, language arts is how we take in and output all different types of information. There is a great deal more to it though. When we take in information, we can do it through a wide usage of our senses. You can use your eyes to read and observe, you can use your ears to listen. When we want to share information with other people, we can write it down or tell them through speaking. Language arts is the study of all aspects of this. The foundation starts with reading and listening. That is because it is difficult to share things, if you do not know how the reader or listener can best understand you. In general, most students learn to read fluently by age seven. This means that they have skills they need to take in basic written work. Listening skills start at birth and are usually pretty proficient by the same period where they are reading regularly. Students begin working on handwriting and penmanship the minute they pick up a crayon. In fact, coloring has been shown to improve penmanship. By the time they reach preschool, they have the ability to form letters. By about the age of eight, they should have their letter down pat and be forming words. From there on students begin to explore the nuances of English language. One thing that still puzzles me about American schools is the lack of public speaking curriculum. In most cases it is just seen as something that we hope teachers include in their classes. When students make their way to having a real-world job, public speaking is critical in more than half of the careers that are identified in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The fact is that if school is supposed to prepare you for the real world, this is an aspect that the powers that be have dropped the ball on.