Pre-Secondary English Language Arts

TEKS: State guidelines for the instruction of ELA materials to pre-secondary (middle, jr high) school aged students

Introduction

(1) The English language arts and reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) embody the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking through the seven integrated strands of developing and sustaining foundational language skills: comprehension, response, multiple genres, author’s purpose and craft, composition, inquiry, and research. The strands focus on academic oracy (proficiency in oral expression and comprehension), authentic reading, and reflective writing to ensure a literate Texas. The strands are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity and nuance in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.

(2) The seven strands of the essential knowledge and skills for English language arts and reading are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes and are recursive in nature. Strands include the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and their application in order to acquire the language skills students need for high levels of social and academic language proficiency. Although some strands may require more instructional time, each strand is of equal value, may be presented in any order, and should be integrated throughout the year.

(3) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking–oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. The student is expected to: (A) listen actively to interpret a message, ask clarifying questions, and respond appropriately; (B) follow and give oral instructions that include multiple action steps; (C) give an organized presentation with a specific stance and position, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, natural gestures, and conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively; and (D) participate in student-led discussions by eliciting and considering suggestions from other group members, taking notes, and identifying points of agreement and disagreement.

(4) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking–vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively. The student is expected to: (A) use print or digital resources to determine the meaning, syllabication, pronunciation, word origin, and part of speech; (B) use context such as definition, analogy, and examples to clarify the meaning of words; and (C) determine the meaning and usage of grade-level academic English words derived from Greek and Latin roots.

Students should engage in academic conversations, write, read, and be read to on a daily basis with opportunities for cross-curricular content and student choice of subject matter.