“Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives. They will need literacy to cope with the flood of information that they will find everywhere they turn.”
1999 IRA Position Paper
To be successful in the 21st century, the ability to read, write and communicate with confidence and competence is essential. For today’s students the English language arts is far more complex -- from creating a presentation to analyzing multi-media texts to sharing information in global communities. With an entire generation of digital natives, twenty-first century literacy encourages interaction (Web 2.0) which actively involves the student in responding and creating products. In order to meet these challenges, all teachers, such as content area teachers, librarians, special educators and literacy coaches must be involved in building students’ knowledge and in the understanding of difficult content. The 21st Century Reading and English Language Arts Content Standards and Objectives provide the rigorous, relevant and challenging curriculum for these educators. As teachers use this document to guide instruction along with their creativity and expertise, all students will be prepared to make sense of the world around us and to communicate our understandings with others.
As we move forward and continue to make progress on improving English language arts instruction, the following topics are addressed to provide a pathway for not just a one-time initiative but rather an ongoing process: