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What an effective language art teacher needs to know

The question is what will I need to know to be an effective language arts teacher. How will this knowledge help me to become an effective language arts teacher?

I can not write this for you. I am going to make some suggestions before writing my suggestions. What does your teacher/course say a language arts teacher does? What is his/her role? You must find this in your lecture notes and in your texts - chapters and articles. Then you have to apply it to yourself.

Remember that when we teach English, we address speaking, listening, reading and writing. This will be true at all levels, from pre-K though college. At a pre-school and kindergarten level, we are teaching letters and sounds, what sound symbols make, how words are put together.

We are also teaching how to listen to the stories we tell them, and to the stories and jokes children at that age bring to school, sometimes on a certain day, sometimes on a certain hour each day. Listening to literature is a developmental skill. Listening particularly applies to poetry but also of course to drama and even novels.

We can have chosen lectors reading particular pieces for fluency, for paying attention to the beauty of a piece. I knew a university professor who made it a point, in one class in how to teach language arts, to read a part of a novel each day. Her students looked forward to hearing the next brief installment each class day.

We are teaching our students to learn how to communicate by the written and spoken word. All communication involves a speaker or sender of a message and a listener or receiveer of the message, spoken or written. You are giving students the tools for doing this well. Even at the earliest levels, we can have writers read their work to the rest of the class once it has been edited by themselves and others, including the teacher, and then read it to the rest of the class.

One thing we want to communicate as much as anything else is how we feel about writing and reading, poetry, stories, and newspapers, fiction and non-fiction alike. We also want our learners to grow up liking, even loving literature and the written word, in fact language in general.

Some cultures are much more in tune with spoken language, as in the "call and response" singing of African-American literature. We should exploit this and use it to our advantage. Singing and poetry are all meant to be sung or read out loud. In fact, at its earliest beginnings, poetry was sung or chanted.

If we impose endless drills on our students, or make classwork or homework meaningless to them, or excessively tedious, we will lose whatever natural enthusiasm they have for language. Educators warn against endless "skill, drill, kill" exercises to drive whatever love for language our learners might bring to class.

That does NOT mean we must avoid homework and exercises. Not all learning is fun. At a certain point, students MUST learn certain basics of grammar and usage, writing, literature, and other features of language.

However, learning CAN be fun. Good teachers can design games for learning, or for that matter find them in up-to-date textbooks and on the Internet. Good use of the Internet and computers in the classroom is essential today, and of course that is as true for a language Arts teacher as it is for a social studies teacher. In fact, a good language arts teacher will interweave social studies, science and the like into his or her classes. For maximum interest and learning, this can be done every day.

Language arts teachers need to know how children develop from birth to adulthood, and how to evaluate them and to assess them during each phase of their development. They must know the use of assessment tools as well as evaluation instruments.

Language arts teachers must know the content of the courses you the education student have been taking alongside your education courses. You will be teaching the basics of grammar and usage, the fundamentals of writing, literature, poetry and song. You will have to know how to write yourself, and to know forms of literature as well as how to teach language arts in the classroom. You will need to know how to organize your classroom.

So you, language arts teacher, what do you think YOU should know? This is not my assignment, it is yours. What does your teacher say you should know to be an effective language arts teacher? Even more important, what do YOU think you should know?

Isn't there a reason that you take courses other than the education course you are taking now? You take other science and humanities courses, I am sure. What role would you say they have in your education as a future language arts teacher? What do you think your role will be in the future?

Imagine yourself in the classroom. What do you think you want to be doing in your classrooms? What should you learn to ground you towards your future experiences, to arm you for the future encounters that you inevitably will have? The classroom is yours to control. The educational setting it becomes will be entirely up to you.

You must set the pace and the style in the class. Students will follow your lead. When they are out of control, as they will sometimes likely be, how will you return your classroom to an environment fitting for you to teach them? These are all questions you must ask and answer. My writing this will not help you do that.

Think about all these things. Write down the key words from your question. As I said, go over all lecture notes, all homework, learning journals you might have kept, all readings including articles and pages from textbooks. Highlight and/or write down every last thing on this subject. When you see a direct quote that looks particularly appealing or supportive of your position, be sure to write down where you got it so you can cite it in your paper. Cite your teacher's words. All this will make your paper look more authoritative.

I strongly advise against using any sentences I wrote above. I just wanted to give you MY ideas to get you thinking. Now you must read and write. Once you start getting something on paper, and if you have taken good notes in summary or map or outline form, and once you have done some very good hot thinking, your paper will begin to write itself.

Start now. Don't put it off. Send me a draft. NEVER submit a paper that someone else has not read. We can NOT see our own errors. Take what you have written to a writing clinic or to a friend who writes well, even one who doesn't. Someone else can notice errors that you will not.

You can probably consider everything you have been learning in your teacher training as part of what you will need to know as a language arts teacher. As I said before, it will be up to you to integrate all this and everything you learn while you are in school, and then to apply it once you get out into the field. Essay assignments like this will help you think about that and to become psychologically prepared.

Get started. Send me a draft if you want but you must have your first draft proofread and then polished as a second draft before you submit it. Good luck.

Solution Preview

I can not write this for you. I am going to make some suggestions before writing my suggestions. What does your teacher/course say a language arts teacher does? What is his/her role? You must find this in your lecture notes and in your texts - chapters and articles. Then you have to apply it to yourself.

Remember that when we teach English, we address speaking, listening, reading and writing. This will be true at all levels, from pre-K though college. At a pre-school and kindergarten level, we are teaching letters and sounds, what sound symbols make, how words are put together. We are also teaching how to listen to the stories we tell them, and to the stories and jokes children at that age bring to school, sometimes on a certain day, sometimes on a certain hour each day. Listening to literature, parrticularly poetry but also of course drama and even novels, is a developmental skill. We can have chosen lectors reading particular pieces for fluency, for paying attention to the beauty of a piece. I knew a university professor who made it a point, in one class in how to teach language arts, to read a part of a novel each day.

We are teaching our students to learn how to communicate by the written and spoken word. All communication involves a speaker or sender of a message and a listener or receiveer of the message, spoken or written. You are giving students the tools for doing this well. Even at the earliest levels, we can have writers read their work to the rest of the class once it has been edited by themselves and others, including the teacher, and then read it to the rest of the class.

One thing we want to communicate as much as anything else is ...

Solution Summary

This essay addresses the following questions: What will I need to know to be an effective language arts teacher? How will the knowledge help me to become an effective language arts teacher? It is an original essay of about 1200 words with links for further study. The issues addressed are what is in the purview of the language arts teacher and how does s/he apply that in the field. Listening, speaking, reading and writing in all its various forms are part of the language arts class's daily fare. Knowledge of assessment and evaluation instruments, formal and informal, is critical, as is knowledge of the Internet and other information technology such as personal computers. Good language arts teachers will interweave what s/he knows from other humanities and sciences and use those as multi-disciplinary classes to keep interest and make learning fun. Games harvested from the Internet and textbooks can also promote learning of basic skills, avoiding "skill, kill, drill" in favor of motivated learning. Language arts teachers ultimately want their students to become self-motivated lovers of language in all its forms who can continue their education in the classroom, in their careers, and in life.

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