Developmental Language Arts (DLA)

Welcome to the CMS Developmental Language Arts (DLA) Page

The Developmental Language Arts Program teaches students strategies that enable them to
read and respond to a variety of texts with greater understanding and appreciation. It also
reviews the basics of writing and vocabulary acquisition in connection with literature,
allowing students to refine their writing skills and overall understanding of language.

Grades Seven and Eight – Students in grades seven and eight who are recommended for Developmental Language Arts meet four times a week throughout the year.

Since the ability to read to learn and to communicate ideas clearly are the foundations of academic success, seventh and eighth grade students who need additional help in reading, writing, or other language skills are recommended for the developmental language arts class in place of a world language. Students learn strategies for reading fiction and non-fiction texts. They work specifically on comprehension skills, vocabulary development, and adjusting their reading to its purpose. They also practice answering comprehension as well as open-ended response questions similar to those found on the ELA MCAS. Instruction in writing is provided, especially as a support for other academic classes. The small group setting provides students with lots of opportunity to process information and ask clarifying questions so as to enhance their understanding of literature. It also allows for additional direct instruction in writing and opportunity to seek feedback on their writing. Finally, the structure of the class helps students to gain confidence as they prepare for increased participation in their other academic classes.

Evaluation – will include a general performance grade based on the thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and accuracy of a student’s classwork; the extent to which the student accepts and acts upon constructive feedback; and the extent to which the student’s work habits demonstrate a serious approach to learning.   Students will also receive a conduct grade.