Media Education in the English Language Arts Curriculum
In the Saskatchewan elementary English Language Arts curriculum, media-related objectives are provided under foundational objectives for speaking, listening, writing, reading, and representing and viewing.
English Language Arts: Aim and Goals
The aim of English Language Arts for Grades K-12 is to graduate a literate person who is competent and confident in using language for both functional and aesthetic purposes. Traditionally, this literacy has been defined as “the ability to use print and written information to function in a given society.” More recently, the definition has been expanded to include a wide range of language systems in order to meet the linguistic needs of specific occasions. Literacy is therefore considered the ability to “read” (i.e., listen, read, view) and “write” (speak, write, represent) all forms of text – including the mass media and multimedia.
The goals of the Grades K-12 English Language Arts curriculum are to:
- develop students’ English language abilities as a function of their thinking abilities
- promote personal and social development by extending students’ knowledge and use of the English language in all its forms
- develop enjoyment as well as proficiency in speaking, listening, viewing, writing, reading, and representing
- develop an appreciation of, as well as a response to, all forms of text.
Grades K–5: Media Literacy in English Language Arts
Media is a powerful tool for improving and expanding language learning in the classroom. At the elementary level, students experience and use media to share and enjoy stories, information and ideas. Students have opportunities to explore various ways of preparing, preserving, displaying and presenting meaning to others. Classroom experiences enable students to interpret, critique and evaluate the purpose and effectiveness of various media.
Saskatchewan Education. (1997) English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Primary Level (Grades K-5)
Grades 6 – 9: Media Literacy in English Language Arts
Media and technology can play an important role in the language arts program. Students live in an information age filled with a variety of technology and multimedia learning tools. In addition to books, newspapers, radio, and television, students have access to a range of media and communication technologies (e.g., voice mail, electronic mail, fax, Internet, CD-ROM, laptop computers, camcorders). These texts and tools are useful for achieving the English language arts oracy and literacy objectives and offer opportunities for critical viewing and representing.
Regardless of the text form, students must identify their purposes by determining what they need, where to find it, and how to access it. They must select reliable and relevant information and sources and, using an appropriate format, communicate the results. As with other tools, the value of any technology depends upon how effectively students are able to use it. Students need to determine not only what they want to communicate, but how they can do it most effectively.
With appropriate teacher support and guidance, students can learn to take responsibility for their learning and to access and use the required information. In addition to print resources, students can use:
computer networking and telecommunications for data access and participation in learning communities
technological and multimedia resources such as the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, videotape, videodisc, computer software, simulation, and modeling tools
mass media, including television, radio, film, newspapers, and magazines
local community resources, including social service agencies, libraries and resource centres,
businesses, and individuals with expertise in particular areas
Saskatchewan Education. (1997) English Language Arts: A Curriculum Guide for the Middle Level (Grades 6-9)
On the left menu you will find outcome charts containing media-related learning outcomes from the English Language Arts curriculum, with links to supporting resources on the MediaSmarts site. 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.