What Are the Six Language Arts?


Quick Answer

The four traditional language arts are speaking, listening, writing and reading. The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association added two additional arts: visually representing and viewing. Tied to experiences from birth, the language arts form an essential part of how we communicate with one another.

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Full Answer

Traditionally, there have been only four language arts; listening, speaking, reading and writing. However, the growing importance of visual media in today's society has led to viewing and visually representing becoming more important as a means of communicating.

Listening is the act of making connections between spoken words and the meaning of those words. Speaking comprises taking command of words and using them to communicate orally with others. Reading is the act of translating written symbols into the oral sounds they represent and understanding their meaning. Writing is the process of encrypting written symbols, so that they communicate information to others.

Viewing involves processing and interpreting images that represent words and connecting a sequence of images in computer programs, videos and websites with spoken words. Visually representing is the presentation of information through either still or motion pictures. The presentation can be pictures alone or accompanied by written or spoken words.

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