Some of the Learning Materials Content Highlights: The K-12 Language Arts and Multiliteracies Curriculum is anchored on the following language acquisition, learning, teaching and assessing principles. All languages are interrelated and interdependent. Facility in the first language (L1) strengthens and supports the learning of other languages (L2). Acquisition of sets of skills and implicit metalinguistic knowledge in one language (common underlying proficiency or CUP) provides the base for the development of both the first language (L1) and the second language (L2)2 . It follows that any expansion of CUP that takes place in one language will have a beneficial effect on the other language(s). This principle serves to explain why it becomes easier and easier to learn additional languages.
Language acquisition and learning is an active process that begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is continuous and recursive throughout students’ lives. Students enhance their language abilities by using what they know in new and more complex contexts and with increasing sophistication (spiral progression). They reflect on and use prior knowledge to extend and enhance their language and understanding. By learning and incorporating new language structures into their repertoire and using them in a variety of contexts, students develop language fluency and proficiency. Positive learning experiences in language-rich environments enable students to leave school with a desire to continue to extend their knowledge, skills and interests.
Learning requires meaning3 . We learn when we use what we know to understand what is new. Start with what the students know; use that to introduce new concepts. They use language to examine new experiences and knowledge in relation to their prior knowledge, experiences, and beliefs. They make connections, anticipate possibilities, reflect upon ideas, and determine courses of action.
Learners learn about language and how to use it effectively through their engagement with and study of texts. The term ‘text’ refers to any form of written (reading and writing), oral (listening and speaking) and visual communication involving language4 . The texts through which students learn about language are wide-ranging and varied, from brief conversations to lengthy and complex forms of writing. The study of specific texts is the means by which learners achieve the desired outcomes of language, rather than an end in itself. Learners learn to create texts of their own and to engage with texts produced by other people.
Successful language learning involves viewing, listening, speaking, reading and writing activities5 . Language learning should include a plethora of strategies and activities that helps students focus on both MEANING and ACCURACY. Language learning involves recognizing, accepting, valuing and building on students’ existing language competence, including the use of non-standard forms of the language, and extending the range of language available to students. Through language learning, learners develop functional and critical literacy skills. They learn to control and understand the conventions of the target language that are valued and rewarded by society and to reflect on and critically analyze their own use of language and the language of others.
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These instructional materials were collaboratively developed and reviewed by educators from public and private schools, colleges, and/or universities. We encourage teachers and other education stakeholders to email their feedback, comments, and recommendations to the Department of Education
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