The Stages of Learning Language Arts
Here’s a simple overview of the learning and teaching stages for language arts. Remember that the ages given are approximate, and students usually pass from one stage to the next in order. Some begin early and pass quickly through the stages, while others take much longer. As long as you keep pouring in good literature, they’ll eventually make it through all the stages.
Stages of learning language arts
- Infant through preschool: Read-alouds and pencil play.
- Preschool through early elementary: Penmanship, copywork, narration, reading instruction.
- Age 7-9: Silent reading; vocabulary from Greek and Latin roots; spelling.
- Age 9-12=/-: Composition, one year of grammar, vocabulary.
- Age 12=/- and up: Classic literature and composition.
Above all, choose good books and read. Read aloud, read silently, listen to audiobooks, and talk about what you’re enjoying (and what you’re not). I think you’ll be amazed at what kids learn and retain just through great books and conversation. It’s part of a pattern set in scripture — to teach at home and away, when you lie down and when you rise up (from Deuteronomy 6:4-9) — throughout all of life, in other words. When a child is steeped in language that is used clearly and properly and books that convey important, meaningful, or delightful things, that child’s mind will be furnished with the ingredients necessary for communication, and teaching language arts will seem surprisingly easy.