Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.
By C. Landeros-Peña
Language Arts is a professional journal published by the NCTE National Council of Teachers of English. This journal provides a wealth of information for elementary/middle school teachers and teacher educators. Language Arts is published bimonthly (September, November, January, March, May, and July).
Language Arts offers teachers of K-8, current research that includes both theory and classroom practice, review of children’s and adolescent literature, as well as reviews of professional material that encompasses all aspects of language arts. Each journal is organized by theme. The cover of each journal is illustrated with some sort of art or picture. Along with the title the theme is printed on the front cover of each journal. For example, the January, 2011 issue contains bright, colorful, artwork that really makes the cover stand out. The theme of this issue is “The Rights of the Reader” which allows the reader to know that all the discussions in this issue will be focused on how educators can protect and preserve the rights of readers in our schools. The theme titles for 2010 are as follows, January-Who is Reading? What is being read?; March-Collaborations for change; May-Locating Standards in Language Arts Education; July-Inquires and Insights; September; Language Arts in a 2.0 World; and November; From the Beginning.
As I reviewed several journals I liked that each issue follows the same format, which includes sections titled, Thoughts from the Editors, Research Directions, Focus on Policy, Profiles and Perspectives, Professional Book Reviews, Children’s Literature Review, and In Closing. On the section, Thoughts from the Editors, the editors discuss the selection of the theme. They also give a short explanation of the articles selected for that issue. Language Arts in my opinion is a very well written journal that is easy to read and understand. The themes selected are those that I feel are crucial to language arts teachers everywhere. I especially liked the fact that this journal provides current research in both theory and classroom practice. I read several articles dealing with issues that as educators we deal with everyday, such as bilingual education, maximizing the use of authentic literature in the classroom, Web 2.0, and the importance of collaboration between students, teachers, and families, to name a few. I also found the section Professional Book Reviews to be a good resource. The professional books chosen for each issue follow the theme as well. This section gives a thorough description along with a picture of each book. This is ideal for educators because searching for professional books by theme would be a lot easier to do. Teachers could read and decide for themselves whether a particular book would be useful for their particular need. The Children’s Literature Review was also a wonderful section that I was grateful was included. The children’s books selected for each issue also follow the theme. The Children’s Literature Review is broken up into 3 sections which include Books for Younger Readers, Books for Intermediate and Middle Readers, and books for Mature Readers. Just like the Professional Book Reviews this sections gives a description along with a picture of the book. I think this is really important because it allows teachers K-8 the opportunity to preview books that may be useful in their classrooms.
Language Arts is a journal that I have found to be extremely useful for teachers of K-8th grade. Not only does this journal include current research in theory but it also includes how it can be successfully applied into our classrooms.