English Language Arts K-9 Overview

In 2016, British Columbia rolled out a redesigned English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum, one that is centered on teaching that “questioning what we hear, read, and view contributes to our ability to be educated and engaged citizens.” Designed around the six language arts elements (reading, listening, viewing, writing, speaking, and representing), the ELA curriculum places a heavy focus on digital media literacy, with a particular emphasis on critical literacy:

Critical literacy is a lens through which all text is viewed as being constructed for a purpose. Students should be taught to question text, challenge authorial authority, investigate an author’s beliefs, and detect bias in relation to others’ texts, as well as their own. Critical literacy also allows students to determine viewpoints that may be missing and to examine a variety of other perspectives.[1]

In order to engage in active citizenship, and to avoid manipulation by others, it is crucial that students be able to assess and analyze text. Teaching students to read critically is especially important in an era in which they are exposed to an almost continuous stream of media and information.”

Thus, many curricular expectations in B.C. English Language Arts courses relate to media and digital literacy. Media and digital literacy skills and concepts can be found in many of the Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies and specific course content.

Select a grade level under English Language Arts K-9 for a list of digital literacy-related outcomes and links to supporting resources from the MediaSmarts site. (Note: as many of our lessons can be adapted to suit different grade levels, specific lessons may be listed for more than one grade. Teachers should also note that individual lessons often satisfy a number of learning outcomes.)

[1] Booth, D. (2011). Caught in the middle: Reading and writing in the transition years. Pembroke Publishers Limited.