The New Mexico State Board of Education strives to fulfill the following goal: Establish clear and high standards in all academic and vocational subjects and ensure that assessments are aligned with content, benchmarks, and performance standards; require alignment of school curricula with performance standards and revise on a regular basis. (Adopted, July 1999)
These English Language Arts Content Standards and Benchmarks have been designed:
- To describe the disciplinary content and skills students should learn at specific grade levels;
- To help teachers create classroom instruction and authentic assessments that address a substantive core curriculum that can be applied to student successes across all disciplines; and
- To serve as the basis for a statewide assessment of student learning.
The English Language Arts Content Standards and Benchmarks is a spiraling framework in the sense that many skills, once introduced, develop over time. While the Performance Standards are set forth at grade specific levels, they do not exist as isolated skills; each exists in relation to the others.
New Mexico Content Standards and Benchmarks identify what students should know and be able to do across all grade levels. Each Content Standard is elaborated into three grade-span Benchmarks that are further defined by specific grade level Performance Standards. They illustrate how learners at every level continue to build and expand their knowledge by using similar language skills with increasing sophistication, refinement,
It is the expectation that students will achieve the standards. Thus, it is important to note that multiple assessments, including statewide assessments, are necessary to fully capture what students know and what they are able to do.
The Genres Unit includes identifying and comparing key characteristics of literary genres, as designated by a work's subject, theme, style, and time period. Some examples of genres are science fiction, poetry, drama, British literature, and multicultural literature.
Language Arts Processes
Language Arts Processes is an integrated language arts unit. It addresses multiple processes: reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing. This unit includes language processes used in real-world, career, and other settings as well as traditional school settings. Language Arts Processes also deals with multiple forms of text: written, oral, and visual.
The Language Expressions Unit focuses on language conventions, structure, usage, and language study. It also addresses parts of speech, figures of speech, syntax, paragraph and sentence structure, word agreement, modifiers, and grammar.
The Language Mechanics Unit includes comprehending and applying the rules that govern punctuation and capitalization when writing and editing written works.
The Listening Unit includes identifying and distinguishing between sounds and patterns in sounds, constructing meaning from information delivered verbally, and understanding and responding to verbal information.
The Media Unit includes the study of information and entertainment communications. Topics include: advertising, art, journalism, film, and media messages, forms and productions.
The Reading Operations Unit includes constructing meaning from fiction and non-fiction selections at comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and judgment levels of understanding. It includes skills which address identifying, discussing, and comparing both concrete and abstract elements of selections (setting, plot, characterization, genre, historical period, theme, tone, moral message, and psychological and political implications).
The Speaking Unit focuses on techniques and strategies (voice modulation, body language, ordering of ideas, visual aids, etc.) to convey meaning and to present information and opinions to groups. This unit includes formal and informal communication, debate skills, and verbal/nonverbal communication.
The Spelling Unit includes studying language and word structure knowledge to discern the correct spelling of words. It includes skills related to editing passages for correct spelling by making connections between spelling, meaning, and structure.
The Vocabulary Unit includes studying and applying knowledge of word structure (bases and affixes), concrete analogies, synonyms, antonyms, and syllables. It also includes applying knowledge of connotation, denotation and words with multiple levels of meaning.
The Writing Unit focuses on each stage of the writing process: prewriting, writing, revising, and publishing. It includes skills covering a variety of organizational formats and purposes for writing (communicating ideas, opinions, and feelings, clarifying thoughts, and solving problems). Some example writing formats are expository, narrative, poetry, and drama.
Study and Research Skills
The Study and Research Skills Unit includes developing organization and research skills needed to find appropriate resources, to judge resources as relevant or not relevant to a given topic, to categorize and synthesize information, to take notes in class, and to study for exams.