Reading, writing, listening and speaking are all considered part of language arts. As in all of life, language arts is an essential element of all that happens at Garden Street Academy. Language arts is integrated into all other subject areas for several reasons. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking use the same sound-symbol system, so learning in one mode reinforces learning in the others. All the processes whether receptive, as in listening or reading, or expressive, as in speaking or writing, share the common cognitive practice of thinking, which is basic to all learning. Finally, children use reading, writing, listening and speaking together naturally as they interact with others to communicate and learn.
We have a literature based program with reading materials coming from our extensive library and use of trade books rather than a class anthology series. We work with the students to participate in discussions and reflections about a variety of literature. We look at curriculum development in the area of language arts with an eye toward Vygotsky’s theories that suggest social interactions affect language growth and that language stimulates cognitive development. As a school we understand the unique mixture of biological, psychological, social and environmental factors that affect our children’s learning and use of language inside and outside the classroom; we therefore pay close attention to individual needs while progressing throughout language arts curriculum.