Language arts is the generic name given to the study and improvement of language skills within the school setting. Traditionally, the primary divisions in language arts are literature and language, where language in this case refers to both linguistics and specific languages. According to the International Council of Teachers of English, the five strands of the language arts are reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing (visual literacy). Reading, by definition, is the ability and knowledge of a language that allows comprehension by grasping the meaning of written or printed characters, words or sentences. Reading involves a wide variety of print and nonprint texts that helps a reader gain an understanding of what is being read. Reading of texts that are often included in educational curriculum include fiction, nonfiction, classic, and also contemporary works. Reading goes beyond calling words to understanding the information presented in a written or a visual context.
Teaching literacy is essential to ensuring that all children have the skills to become successful readers, writers, and communicators with the 21st century skills required to be successful as they become postsecondary workforce ready. Developing a student’s ability to read, write, and communicate is critical to their success, and directly impacts their ability to perform successfully across all content areas.