What Is a Language Arts Teacher?

Language arts teachers teach literacy skills.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2014
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A language arts teacher is a teacher who provides students with literacy skills. Literacy is deemed an important part of overall education, no matter what people plan to do later in life, and it can also be extremely useful when students enter the workforce and the world. People who teach language arts need to be certified, with the specifics of the certification varying depending on the educational level at which the language arts teacher provides instruction. Numerous colleges and universities offer coursework which helps people to prepare for a career in teaching.

The scope of language arts instruction is very broad. Literacy goes beyond basic reading and writing skills, although these are critical and are among the earliest skills developed. A language arts teacher shows students how to engage with the works they are reading, helping students analyze text, explore narrative styles, and think critically about what they read. For example, a language arts teacher might invite students to read a story and then talk about the emotions brought up by the story and the devices used by the author to evoke specific feelings.


In the realm of writing, a language arts teacher provides grounding in composition skills. This includes teaching students the basics of grammar, but it also involves teaching students about style. Students learn about different types of writing, how to select an appropriate style, and how to manipulate style to achieve desired effects. They also have an opportunity to explore various forms of composition, ranging from essays to poetry.

A language arts teacher can also provide instruction in a foreign language. The same skills are taught, and students may also be provided with cultural context so that they can understand the languages they learn more fully. For example, a language arts teacher providing instruction in French might discuss the history of French-speaking culture with the students, and talk about how French speakers around the world have many different accents and dialects.

People who offer instruction in language arts usually have a passion for and an interest in language. Someone who wants to become a language arts teacher may also opt for additional teaching certifications. For example, a certification in the social sciences can be useful for a teacher who wants more employment opportunities. Certification requirements for teachers vary around the world and people who want to pursue careers in teaching should consult government agencies which regulate the practice of teaching to find out what they need to do to become teachers.


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