Literacy Support Across Content Areas
Courtney L Hanks
This essay will address the importance of literacy skills being supported across all content areas. This need for literacy support is not only the responsibility of the English or Language Arts teacher, but that of every teacher, in every content area, whom have student learning as their top priority. Without literacy support within the content area classrooms, the majority of students lack the tools needed to comprehend complex, content specific texts. By implementing literacy support strategies into content curriculum, higher order thinking skills develop and information can be retained.
Imagine a world where, every child is placed with a highly qualified teacher, and remains with that teacher throughout their entire educational experience. Every teacher’s goal would be to turn out highly literate, life long learners. Each teacher would be accountable to provide instruction, scaffolding, modeling, literacy tools, and the support to hold it all together. Instruction would begin at the “literacy” ground level, starting with the ABCs and basic language skills, and progressing towards the ultimate goal by using each new skill and subject as a building block for the learning still to come. Of course in the real world, teachers don’t have access to every student’s prior learning experiences, nor can they be sure that every student comes to them with a complete set of building blocks needed to move forward. Yet, the ultimate goal that every student becomes literate, life long learners is the same. Literacy skills and content instruction require support throughout all of a student’s education. Teaching and supporting literacy across all content areas, by all teachers, not just reading and writing teachers, is a way to promote higher level thinking skills, and turn out life long learners.
Throughout the elementary years, literacy...