English

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year the 2010 Standards of Learning will be fully implemented and tested.

Please click the triangle next to the English menu option to the left.  This will expand the menu and provide you with access to grade-level and course-specific curriculum information.

In addition to these curriculum documents, many additional instructional resources are available on the Virginia Department of Education English webpage.

From the Virginia Standards of Learning:
The goals of the English Standards of Learning are to teach students to read, write, and communicate.  They should be prepared to participate in society as literate citizens, equipped with the ability to communicate effectively in their communities, in the workplace, and in postsecondary education. As students progress through the school years, they become active and involved listeners and develop a full command of the English language, evidenced by their use of standard English and their rich speaking and writing vocabularies.  Students become competent readers of a variety of texts and are encouraged to acquire a lifelong love of reading. In kindergarten through third grade, the primary goal is to teach all students to read fluently and to comprehend a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections that relate to all areas of the curriculum. In fourth through twelfth grades, students continue to acquire and refine strategies for comprehending and analyzing selections that encompass all literary genres, exemplify universal themes, and relate to all subjects. Students in high school become familiar with a wide variety of authors and classic literary works.
Proficient use of the English language enables students to explore and articulate the complex issues and ideas encountered in public and personal life. Students acquire the ability to make full and effective use of the written language in their future educational, occupational, and personal endeavors.

Organization of the English Standards of Learning
Standards for kindergarten through third grade are organized in three related strands: Oral Language, Reading, and Writing. Standards for fourth through twelfth grades are organized in four related strands: Communication: Speaking, Listening, and Media Literacy; Reading; Writing; and Research. Each grade level is preceded by an overview that describes the major concepts and skills that each student will be expected to understand and demonstrate. The standards reflect a comprehensive instructional program and document a progression of expected achievement in each of the strands. This organization of standards also reflects the gradual progression in the development of skills.

Oral Language includes speaking and listening in kindergarten through third grade. In the early grades, students learn to participate in classroom discussion. In grades three through twelve, students learn to prepare, deliver, and critique oral presentations. In grades four through twelve the Oral Language strand changes to become Communication: Speaking, Listening, and Media Literacy. Students will analyze, develop and produce media messages. However, students’ home and cultural languages are the starting point for all language learning; competency in the use of standard English is the goal for all students. Therefore, daily speaking opportunities, both formal and informal, should be a part of every English curriculum.

Reading begins with an awareness of the concepts of print and the sounds and structure of oral and written language. Students in the primary grades acquire a strong foundation in phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension strategies. Students continue to study the structure of words and language and refine comprehension strategies throughout all grades. In the middle school and high school grades, students analyze what they read and apply that learning. Both reading in other content areas and reading of nonfiction texts are essential for all students. Students’ appreciation for literary texts is enhanced by frequent interaction with a broad array of classic and contemporary literature, which engages the reading skills of students and invites them to develop an appreciation for the power and beauty of the written word. The combination of teachers reading aloud and  students selecting reading materials is necessary in helping students develop a lifelong reading habit and an appreciation for literature.

Writing begins with letter formation and the use of letters to represent speech sounds. From kindergarten through twelfth grade, students become increasingly aware of the structure of language and the writing process. Improvement in written communication is achieved through frequent opportunities to apply narrative, expository, and persuasive/argumentative skills. Daily writing experiences are essential for all students.

Research standards are also developed across grade levels. In kindergarten through third grade, research skills are incorporated in the reading and writing strands. In grades four through twelve, research is a separate strand where students learn to access information, evaluate the validity of sources, document those sources, and synthesize that information into a research-based product.
Technology enhances student learning and supports instruction in reading, writing, and research. In the writing process, technology enables students to compose, revise, edit, share, and publish their writing. Information technology is an integral part of student learning, assisting students to produce effective written and oral communication.

Although the strands are developed separately, they are integrated in the classroom. Proficiency in reading, writing, listening, speaking, media literacy, and research skills allows students to learn and to use knowledge to make meaningful connections between their lives and academic disciplines. There should be a concerted effort to relate required reading selections in English to studies in other core subjects, including mathematics, science, and history and social science. Standards that incorporate rigor in English help students develop the expected performance competencies.