What is English Language Arts (ELA)?

ELA is an abbreviation for English Language Arts, which encompasses all areas of the English language. The language arts definition includes reading, writing and composition, grammar, vocabulary, and public speaking, as well as the study of literature from all eras. ELA even includes the study of the history and development of English and its expression as a written language.

Reading and writing have long formed the core focus of ELA education. Proficiency in each is deemed by many as a sign of mastery within the language. In order to deepen reading and writing skills, students often focus on learning vocabulary and have a strong grasp of grammar and sentence structure. Public speaking is an area where mastery of a language is very apparent. It enables a speaker to display their vocabulary skills as well as their level of understanding of the nuances that occur within English as a spoken language.

Literature can be defined as written works but often includes spoken material too. There is a vast array of genres in the literary world from novels to poetry, drama to academic writing.

As with all languages, each of the 'sections' within the English Language Arts overlap. Vocabulary and grammar are of importance when engaging in public speaking, and these elements are also crucial to fully understand the world of literature.

Create an account to begin studying English
Used by over 30 million students worldwide

English Topics

Popular English (ELA) Resources

There are thousands of resources delving into each aspect of English Language Arts. Accessible, bit-sized content is available for a variety of grade levels and learning goals. Study.com has ELA resources for learners with many different goals; browse our courses to help supplement your in-class learning, access tutoring help for personalized study assistance, or find lesson plans to use in the classroom.

English (ELA) Courses

Our library of English Language Arts courses touches upon main topics in language arts. Engaging with these courses allow learners to strengthen areas of the ELA curriculum that they have an interest in and they can also help to provide teachers with great supplementary material for lessons. Study.com ELA courses can be a great resource for instructors looking to align their curriculum planning with common core standards, especially if teaching in states like California and New York that utilize common core as the backbone of student curriculum.

For teachers and parents

Language Arts Lesson Plans for Teachers

English Language Arts teachers can access high-quality lesson plans and activities. Study.com offers hundreds of English Lesson plans, activities, and assignments to support teachers to create holistic lessons. These plans cover the main topics of the ELA curriculum. This library of resources is organized by category.

Lesson plans
  • Language Arts Lesson Plans

    Supplement your planning with these resources that cover the essential topics in Language Arts at a variety of student levels. Incorporate strategies to help students learn and retain the basics of grammar, phonics and spelling.

  • Grammar & Parts of Speech Lesson Plans & Games

    These lesson plans and games can assist instructions looking for fun and varied ways they can teach grammar, including the parts of speech, including verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and nouns as well as syntax.

  • Literary Elements Lesson Plans

    Explore resources and activities that help students establish understandings of literary skills and techniques. Various lesson plans explores components like plot, characters, setting, theme and point of view.

  • Literary Analysis Lesson Plans

    These lesson plans will assist teachers to establish the fundamental aspects of literary analysis including irony, foreshadowing and rhetoric. Engage your students with Study.com's literary analysis activities and scenarios.

  • Writing & Composition: Lesson Plans & Activities

    This collection of resources can help teachers supplement their writing and composition curriculum. Resources include lesson plans, writing prompts, rubrics, and sample questions for a variety of writing styles.

  • Famous Authors Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources

    Introduce your students to famous authors like Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe & Kurt Vonnegut. Use engaging intros and thought-provoking discussion questions to help students connect to these works.

  • Nonfiction Literature Lesson Plans & Resources

    Use these lesson plans to prepare to teach your students about reading and analyzing non-fiction literature. Lesson plans focus on a variety of non-fiction types, including diaries, memoirs and literary & philosophical essays.

  • Poetry Lesson Plans & Activities

    This collection includes activities for identifying techniques used in poetry, as well as analysis of different genres of poetry. These ready to use poetry lesson plans & activities are suited for classroom use.

  • Shakespeare Lesson Plans & Resources

    Use these resources to assist when planning your Shakespeare units. Find essay prompts to let your students explore themes and characterization, or use lesson plans and activities to keep your classroom engaged.

ELA Skills and Practice

Use our English ELA skill practice to help students master important literacy skills. When engaging with any aspect of English Language Arts, you are not only learning content, but also practical skills that can be used as tools in all aspects of education, as well as in the workforce and day-to-day life. English language skills permeate through all aspects of ELA, from reading, writing, and grammar to speaking, listening, and vocabulary. Students can explore and refine their skills by engaging with a variety of reading material, analyzing a range of literary genres, delving into the rules of grammar, and learning how to plan and write in different styles. Various skills can be associated with each part of the English language.

Browse our full ELA skill collection, or explore skills that align to your current grade level learning. Use Study.com's skills to review ELA content from the prior year, or look ahead to see what you can expect to practice next!

You can browse our full ELA skills collection categorized by grade:

Father and son doing homework

English (ELA) Homeschool Curriculum

Homeschool students can access a full homeschool English (ELA) curriculum from Study.com, with lessons, assignments and projects, and resources and guidance for parents. The collection of courses aimed at Middle School includes this course that focuses on the 6th Grade Language Arts: Homeschool Curriculum. For High School level the 9th Grade English: Homeschool Curriculum is one of a number of courses that can be used to ensure a rounded experience of the ELA curriculum. Similarly, if a student is engaging with either AP English Language or AP English Literature these courses will help to prepare them to take the AP exam.

Homeschool solutions
Father and son doing homework

Study.com is an excellent program that can help my children learn anything. The incredible library of videos is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Gloria H.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is included in English Language Arts?

    English Language Arts, or ELA, encompasses all of the components of the language including, reading, writing, public speaking, grammar, vocabulary and literary works.

  • What does an ELA teacher teach?

    An ELA teacher will teach one or all of the language components including, reading, writing, public speaking, grammar, vocabulary and literary works. As each area naturally blends into the others there is often overlap.