Language arts refer to literature and languages. Languages comprise of five different skills which include speaking, reading, writing, listening and visual literacy. The language art is further classified into content standards where we have speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
On the other hand, TESOL standards refer to an area that is used worldwide to teach English language to individuals whose native language is not English. TESOL is used to teach people who take English as a second language. The goals of TESOL which all students are expected to have a competence in are social,l cultural, and academic languages. These three goals have three content standards each of which upon the student meets all the nine standards will make the student presumed to have a proficiency in English as a second language.
In comparison, the two standards define the proficiency expected from students as follows; i) Speaking as the ability of human beings to communicate verbally through a combination of words in a logical manner. 2) Writing as a mean of communication whereby language is represented in the form of text by the use of symbols or signs. 3) Reading as the ability to acquire, communicate and share information through the process of decoding text so that to have a clear understanding of the text. 4) Visual literacy as the ability to derive meaning from information, negotiate and interpret the information that is in the form of an image.
Comparing the format and content of the standards, the two standards are divided into various standards. The Language Arts is divided into four standards while TESOL standards are divided into nine standards. All these standards aim at improving the proficiency of students in English. Also, the two standards touch on listening skills, writing skills, reading skills, speaking and visual literacy and on how to improve them. In addition, the format of the standards is such that they have performance indicators expected of the students at different levels. In language arts, we have elementary level, intermediate and commencement level while in, TESOL, we have the starting level, emerging, developing, expanding and bridging levels. The performance indicators in language art are the ability of the student to read books, to digest information communicated and grow in terms of independence while in, TESOL, the indicators are proper use of grammar, how to organize information and demonstrate verbal communication.
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The difference between the two standards is that Language art is used by the native English speakers to read, write, listen and speak, for information understanding, while TESOL is used by non-native speakers. The standards of TESOL in the first goal are aimed at using English to achieve personal growth and social cooperation while Language art standards aim at helping students write, listen, read and speak with a view of obtaining information and understanding. This is through the collection of data, ideas, facts and concepts and using knowledge gathered. The other contrast is that, in TESOL, the second standard’s goal is to use English for academic purposes i.e. to achieve academic goals, while in Language art, the second standard is used to help students obtain skills for self expressions and literally response in an artistic way. In TESOL, the third standard’s goal aims at using English to improve understanding of the cultural, academic and social knowledge by enhancing learning strategies while standard three in Language Art aims at helping students write, listen, speak and read for critical evaluation and analysis through analysis of experiences, information and ideas presented to them by others. The other difference is that Language Art has sample of work done by students and it provides evidence of the attainment of the standards, while in TESOL there are no student samples. Language Art format clearly shows the key ideas, performance indicators and sample tasks expected of a student, while TESOL has a general approach towards the expectations of the students.
In conclusion the standards aim at improving the proficiency of students learning English on different levels. They are standards geared to bring students together through the use of one language, which is English. They have been designed to cater for different level needs of students in their growth and, therefore, they are easy to understand and follow. Therefore, those students who learn fast are able to pursue their careers with ease be it in political science, engineering, law or medicine.
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