English Language Arts

Photo shows a student using two hands to read braille.

The BC Ministry of Education English Language Arts curriculum encompasses skills that “[equip] students with the language and literacy skills they will need for success in school, community, career, and life.” These skills include exploring how language can be used for different purposes and how stories can be used to learn about the world, share perspectives, and make connections.

Check out the English Language Arts Curriculum category in #Outreaching - the blog of the PRCVI Outreach Team.

Connections to the Expanded Core Curriculum

Knowledge and skill development in the Core and Expanded Core Curricula are mutually reinforcing and together enrich student learning. Below are examples of connections between Languages and the ECC. 

Sensory Efficiency Skills

  • Students with low vision use optical devices to access print materials and resources (i.e., accessing call numbers to find a book in a library).
  • A student who uses dual media (print and braille) determines which medium (vision, touch) is best suited to gathering information.

Recreation and Leisure

  • Using reading and writing activities to explore recreation and leisure choices, such as genres of literature or creative writing.
  • Adapting literacy-based games to be accessible (i.e., accessing a role-playing app with a braille display).

Career Education

  • Creating meaningful documents such as cover letters, resumes, or letters to post-secondary professors.
  • Using stories to explore various careers, community roles, and perspectives.

English Language Arts - Students with Visual Impairments

From a young age, we are exposed to an environment that is rich with literacy opportunities, from books to signs and posters to advertisements. Students with visual impairments require access to these literacy experiences in a format that is accessible to them. Teaching literacy skills to students with visual impairments requires close collaboration between the teacher of students with visual impairments and the general education teacher (Holbrook, D’Andrea, & Wormsley, 2017). One of the key factors in literacy for students with visual impairments is the assessment and monitoring of literacy skills and the determination of the whether a student should use print, braille, or both (Holbrook, 2009).

Examples of Adaptations for English Language Arts

  • Having classroom materials provided in large print or braille and classmates ensuring that their own materials that may be exchanged (e.g., for proofreading or peer feedback) ware also accessible.
  • Using optical devices or assistive technology to access print, video, online content, and other multimedia.
  • Using seat copies, manipulatives, or assistive technology to access projected demonstrations (i.e., discussion of a sentence or essay structure with manipulation of text).

Resources to Support Instruction

PRCVI Library Catalogue

Beaver, J. M. (2006). DRA-2: Developmental reading assessment: Grades k-3. Lebanon, IN: Celebration Press. [Assessment Kit.]

Beaver, J. M & Carter, M. A. (2006). DRA-2: Developmental reading assessment: Grades 4-8. Lebanon, IN: Celebration Press. [Assessment Kit.]

Duckworth, B. (1983). Brigance diagnostic comprehensive inventory of basic skills: Green level. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind.

Johns, J. L. (2017). Basic reading inventory: Pre-primer through grade twelve and early literacy assessments. (Adapted into Unified English Braille by PRCVI.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Spicknall, S., Ferrell, K.A. & Swenson, A. (2018). Building on Patterns prekindergarten starter kit. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind. [Resource Kit.]

Wormsley, D. P. (2018). Individualized Meaning-Based Approach to Braille Literacy. New York, NY: AFB Press. [Professional Text.]

American Printing House for the Blind. (2018). Braille Buzz. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind. [Resource Kit.]

Web-Based Resources

SET-BC. (2008). Reading strategies for students with visual impairments: A classroom teacher’s guide. Vancouver, BC: SET-BC.


Holbrook, M. C. (2009). Supporting students’ literacy through data-driven decision-making and ongoing assessment of achievement. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 103(3), 133-136.

Holbrook M. C., D’Andrea, F. M., & Wormsley, D. (2017). Chapter 12: Literacy skills. New York, NY: AFB Press. pp. 374-426.



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