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English Language Arts

Language-Learning Processes

Knowledge about the processes used to read, interpret, write and produce written and media texts is central to the development of critical literacy. The processes detailed in the following chart are: response process, writing process and production process (media texts). It is anticipated that these different processes develop throughout elementary school as students work with increasingly complex purposes, texts and audiences. Any process is by definition nonlinear in its development, as well as context- and text-dependent in its application, making it vital that students’ work consistently with these language-learning processes throughout each cycle of elementary school. 

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

  1. Response Process
1 2 3 4 5 6
In a given context or situation, the student understands how to apply the stages of the reading process to read and interpret a text: 
  1. Prereading/Viewing
    1. Understands the purpose for reading, listening to and/or viewing (e.g. for enjoyment, to learn something, to escape to new places, for instructions).
    1. Uses prior knowledge (e.g. what s/he already knows about the topic, author, genre/text type)
    1. Previews the text (e.g. attends to the cover, dedication, title page and author’s notes for clues that will add to understanding or enjoyment of the text)
    1. Uses knowledge of the genre/text type to be viewed/read: immersion into models of the text type to determine important structures and features of the text type, and how these contribute to meaning in the text (e.g. understands the structure and features of familiar text types such as main character, sequence of events in narratives [stories]; visual features in information-based texts)
    1. Builds needed background knowledge and experiences (e.g. of content, setting and/or author, in a variety of ways such as watching a documentary on a related topic, reading a picture book on a similar theme before reading a chapter book, using the Internet)
  1. During Reading/ Viewing 
    1. Makes explicit connections between own personal experiences and story experiences
    1. Applies knowledge of cueing systems to construct meaning
    1. Uses a variety of reading strategies to make meaning of different text types
    1. Relies on common structures and features of literary, popular and information-based texts to construct meaning (e.g. narrative structure: beginning, middle, end; or a feature such as dialogue)
    1. Relies on common structures and features of media texts to construct meaning
    1. Recognizes the most common rhetorical conventions of information-based texts to build meaning, namely:
      1. Description of ideas and concepts
      1. Sequence/chronology
      1. Compare/contrast
      1. Problem-solution
      1. Cause- effect
    1. Uses the purpose for reading and clues in the text to determine important aspects of a text (e.g. nonfiction features that signal importance such as boldface print, italics)
  1. After Reading/Viewing: Interpreting the Text
    1. Constructs a personal response to the text (i.e. constructs meaning)
    1. Uses details and evidence in the text to infer
    1. Integrates new information with what is already known to construct meaning
    1. Uses evidence to distinguish between own thinking, values and beliefs and those presented in the text (e.g. figures out what values are important to a character)
    1. Uses other readers’ interpretations to clarify and extend own ideas (e.g. discusses information, ideas and new insights with peers)
    1. Understands that all spoken, written and media texts are constructed by people to appeal to a specific or target audience
    1. Understands that texts must be questioned, since they are constructed by people with specific purposes in mind:
      1. Determines the specific or target audience by selecting details from the text (e.g. a magazine ad all in pink is probably targeting girls)
      1. Identifies and locates information about who wrote the text (i.e. its writer/producer) and why (i.e. the purpose)
      1. Examines how the message attracts and holds the reader’s/viewer’s attention
      1. Distinguishes fact from opinion, and real from imaginary
      1. Considers who/what has been left out of the text and why this might be
      1. Identifies some of the ways that the author/producer has tried to influence the reader/audience
  1. Writing Process
1 2 3 4 5 6
In a given context or situation, the student understands how to apply stages of the writing process to write a text:
  1. Prewriting:
    1. Understands the purpose for the writing (e.g., to entertain, to inform, to communicate)
    1. Selects topic and text type based on purpose and audience
    1. Examines models of text type through immersion into the text (e.g. features of text, strategies author used to craft the text)
  1. Drafting, i.e. initial version(s) of texts
    1. Writes to a specific familiar audience of family, friends and teacher
    1. Writes to a specific wider audience on self-selected and assigned topics, issues and concerns
    1. Uses a structure that fits the type of writing (e.g. letter format, narrative)
    1. Adjusts writing decisions to purpose and audience (e.g. the register and syntax of a postcard, flyer and letter are different)
    1. Connects needs and expectations of a specific audience to writing decisions (e.g. provides additional details or information, sequences events or information to enhance reader’s comprehension)
  1. Revision, i.e. making changes to content of text and/or message and/or meaning
    1. Rereads for clarity
    1. Adds descriptive words and sufficient details
    1. Sequences information, events
    1. Deletes unnecessary details and/or information
  1. Editing, i.e. rearranging/re-ordering what has already been written and proofreading
    1. Checks for spelling, punctuation and capitalization
    1. Checks for conventions of grammar
    1. Rearranges sentences and paragraphs for clarity and effect
  1. Publishing
    1. Selects personally significant pieces of writing to publish
    1. Selects layout and highlights relevant structures and features to enhance the presentation
    1. Feedback: seeks and provides throughout all stages of the writing process
  1. Production Process (Media)
1 2 3 4 5 6
In a given context or situation, the student, working within a team, applies all stages of the media production process to produce a text:
  1. Preproduction
    1. Understands the purpose for the production (e.g. to sell something, to influence the way people think, to give information, to entertain)
    1. Selects text type depending on purpose, audience and context
    1. Examines models of text type to be produced through immersion into the type (e.g. unique features of a text, target audience, how message/meaning is communicated)
    1. Drafts storyboard (i.e. a plan or representation of the project)
    1. Identifies and gathers material, resources, expertise for the production
    1. Determines criteria for production of a familiar text type (e.g. features of an effective poster or PSA, target audience)
  1. Production
    1. Uses prior knowledge of media text type from experiences with similar texts, immersion into text
    1. Uses images and/or print and/or sound to produce a familiar media text
    1. Uses storyboard and/or other planning resources to guide production of the text
    1. Uses appropriate technology resources for the specific production as needed (e.g. downloading digital images for a multimedia picture book, using a still or video camera, adding visual effects and/or animation to a comic strip)
  1. Postproduction
    1. Reviews images, records narration, adds titles or text, adds transitions, depending on the production and its message/meaning
    1. Edits, depending on technology resources
    1. Considers feedback from peers and others
    1. Presents text to intended audience
    1. Evaluates the effectiveness of the text given audience and purpose

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