Table of Contents

Teaching Literacy in the Technical Subjects

The Standards for Literacy (pages 79–89 of the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy) define what students should know and understand in order to master content across disciplines and be prepared to graduate high school career and college ready. Supporting students in mastering the Standards for Literacy is a shared responsibility of all educators, regardless of the subject they teach.

The Standards set requirements not only for English language arts (ELA) but also for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Just as students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, so too must the Standards specify the literacy skills and understandings required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines. Literacy standards for grade 6 and above are predicated on teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects using their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields. It is important to note that the 6-12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are not meant to replace content standards in those areas but rather to supplement them."

Source: CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy


What are “Technical Subjects?”

The CCSS define technical subjects as courses that are devoted to “a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other workforce-related subject” and “a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music” (CCSS for ELA/Literacy: Appendix A). The content of this module encompasses a wide range of disciplines, and expands to include literacy instruction in technical subjects also taught in the elementary grades such as visual and performing arts (VAPA), physical education, and world language.