English Language Arts 4-6

Course Outline

Society has changed, and is changing in multiple ways and the definition of what it means to be literate is no longer a fixed target. Our students will need to be able to navigate a wide range of text, both traditional and new communication technologies, and they will require a flexible and sustainable repertoire of skills and strategies to be successful with these multiple literacies. Key skills the students will require are those of flexible, critical, independent thinking and the ability to recognize their own leaning strengths and needs (metacognition).

The English 4-6 curriculum has been created with the vision of providing students many opportunities to develop critical thinking and metacognition through speaking and listening, reading and viewing, and writing and other ways of representing. This curriculum is shaped by the principles of enabling and encouraging students to become reflective, articulate, literate individuals who use language successfully for learning and communication in personal and social contexts.

This curriculum is based on the premise that learning experiences in English language arts should help students develop language fluency not only in a school setting but also in their lives and in the wider world, in addition to contributing toward their achievement of the essential graduation learnings (see Foundation for the Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum, pages 5-9).

English 4-6 has been developed to support teachers in the implementation of the English language arts curriculum. It provides a comprehensive framework on which teachers of English language arts, grades 4 through 6, can base decisions concerning assessment, learning opportunities, instruction, and resources. These guidelines

  • reflect current research, theory and classroom practice,
  • provide a coherent, integrated view of the learning and teaching of English language arts,
  • place emphasis on the student as a learner and partner in their own learning,
  • provide flexibility for teachers in planning instruction to meet the needs of all learners,
  • suggest experiences and strategies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning and teaching process.

English language arts encompasses the experience, study, and appreciation of language, literature, media, and communication. It involves language processes: speaking, listening, reading, viewing, writing, and other ways of representing. The use of these interrelated language processes is fundamental to the development of language abilities, cultural understandings, and critical thinking.

Language is learned most easily when the various processes are integrated and when skills and strategies are kept within meaningful language contexts. This curriculum guide specifies that English language arts be taught in an integrated manner so that the interrelationship between and among the language processes will be understood and applied by the students. This integrated approach should be based on students’ prior experiences with language and on meaningful activities involving all the language arts. As a necessary part of this integrated approach, this guide also highlights the importance of the explicit teaching of skills and concepts.


  • Learners will communicate effectively and clearly respecting cultural contexts.
  • Learners will demonstrate a variety of ways to select and comprehend from a range of culturally diverse print and digital texts.
  • Learners will select, interpret, and combine information from culturally diverse contexts.
  • Learners will respond personally and critically to a range of culturally diverse texts.
  • Learners will use writing and other representations to explore, clarify and reflect upon thoughts and experiences.
  • Learners will create text, independently and collaboratively, using a variety of types of writing for a range of audiences and purposes.
  • Learners will use a range of strategies within the writing process to enhance the clarity, precision, and effectiveness of their writing.

Updated January 10, 2024