Chapter 128. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
for Spanish Language Arts and Reading and English as a Second Language
Subchapter B. Middle School


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter B issued under the Texas Education Code, §§7.102(c)(4), 28.002, 28.005, and 29.051, unless otherwise noted.


§128.20. Implementation of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Spanish Language Arts and Reading and English as a Second Language, Middle School, Adopted 2017.

(a) The provisions of this section and §§128.21-128.23 of this title shall be implemented by school districts.

(b) No later than August 31, 2018, the commissioner of education shall determine whether instructional materials funding has been made available to Texas public schools for materials that cover the essential knowledge and skills for Spanish language arts and reading and English as a Second Language as adopted in §§128.21-128.23 of this title.

(c) If the commissioner makes the determination that instructional materials funding has been made available under subsection (b) of this section, §§128.21-128.23 of this title shall be implemented beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and apply to the 2019-2020 and subsequent school years.

(d) If the commissioner does not make the determination that instructional materials funding has been made available under subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner shall determine no later than August 31 of each subsequent school year whether instructional materials funding has been made available. If the commissioner determines that instructional materials funding has been made available, the commissioner shall notify the State Board of Education and school districts that §§128.21-128.23 of this title shall be implemented for the following school year.

Source: The provisions of this §128.20 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5096; amended to be effective August 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 3858.


§128.21. Spanish Language Arts and Reading, Grade 6, Adopted 2017.

(a) Introduction.

(1) The Spanish language arts and reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) reflect language arts standards that are authentic to the Spanish language and Spanish literacy; they are neither translations nor modifications of the English language arts TEKS. The Spanish language arts and reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) embody the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking through the seven integrated strands of developing and sustaining foundational language skills; comprehension; response; multiple genres; author's purpose and craft; composition; and inquiry and research. The strands focus on academic oracy (proficiency in oral expression and comprehension), authentic reading, and reflective writing to ensure a literate Texas. They are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity and nuance in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.

(2) The seven strands of the essential knowledge and skills for Spanish language arts and reading are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes and are recursive in nature. Strands include the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and their application in order to accelerate the acquisition of language skills so that students develop high levels of social and academic language proficiency. Although some strands may require more instructional time, each strand is of equal value, may be presented in any order, and should be integrated throughout the year. It is important to note that encoding (spelling) and decoding (reading) are reciprocal skills. Decoding is internalized when tactile and kinesthetic opportunities (encoding) are provided. Additionally, students should engage in academic conversations, write, read, and be read to on a daily basis with opportunities for cross-curricular content and student choice.

(3) Spanish, as opposed to English, has a closer letter-sound relationship and clearly defined syllable boundaries. The syllable in Spanish is a more critical unit of phonological awareness than in English because of the consistent phoneme-grapheme correspondence. Syllables are important units for Spanish because of their strong effect in visual word recognition (Carreiras et al., 1993) and their major role in predicting Spanish reading success. In addition, Spanish presents a much higher level of orthographic transparency than English and does not rely on sight words for decoding. This orthographic transparency accelerates the decoding process, and the focus quickly moves to fluency and comprehension. However, in English "sight" words are used because of words that are not decodable such as "are" or "one." In Spanish, decoding issues are not as prevalent as issues of comprehension. These specific features of the Spanish language will influence reading methodology and development.

(4) Text complexity increases with challenging vocabulary, sophisticated sentence structures, nuanced text features, cognitively demanding content, and subtle relationships among ideas (Texas Education Agency, STAAR Performance Level Descriptors, 2013). As skills and knowledge are obtained in each of the seven strands, students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth to increasingly complex texts in multiple genres as they become self-directed, critical learners who work collaboratively while continuously using metacognitive skills.

(5) Research consistently shows that language and literacy development in the student's native language not only facilitates learning English and English literacy, but is foundational to cognitive development and learning (Cummins, 2001; Thomas & Collier, 2002; Coelho, 2001). Emergent bilinguals (Sparrow et al., 2014; Slavin & Cheving, 2013) are students who are in the process of acquiring two or more linguistic codes, becoming bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural. Emergent bilinguals are often defined by their perceived deficits (semilinguals) (Escamilla, 2012). However, research has shown that bilinguals develop a unique interdependent system (Escamilla et al. 2007; Grosjean, 1989; Valdes and Figueroa, 1994) in which languages interconnect to increase linguistic functionality. This linguistic interdependence of language acquisition facilitates a transfer of literacy skills from the primary language (L1) to the second language (L2) (August & Shanahan, 2006; Bialystok, 2007; Miramontes, et al., 1997). The strength of learning through formal instruction in Spanish determines the extent of transfer to English (August, Calderon, & Carlo, 2002; Slavin & Calderon, 2001; Garcia, 2001). For transfer to be maximized, cross-linguistic connections between the two languages must be explicitly taught while students engage in a contrastive analysis of the Spanish and English languages (Cummins, 2007). Continued strong literacy development in Spanish provides the foundation and scaffold for literacy development given that a Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) exists between the two languages (Cummins, 1991). Consequently, direct and systematic instruction (Genesee et al., 2005) in the appropriate sequence of Spanish skills with early English as a second language-based literacy instruction is critical to student success. As a result of working within two language systems, students' metalinguistic and metacognitive skills are enhanced when they learn about the similarities and differences between languages (Escamilla et. al., 2014). The extent to which English and Spanish are used is reliant on the type of bilingual program model being used (see Texas Education Code, §29.066).

(6) English language learners (ELLs) are expected to meet standards in a second language, and their proficiency in English directly impacts their ability to meet these standards. The comprehension of text throughout the stages of English language acquisition requires scaffolds such as adapted text, translations, native language support, cognates, summaries, pictures, realia, glossaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, and other modes of comprehensible input. Strategic use of the student's first language is important to ensure linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic development in English. ELLs can and should be encouraged to use knowledge of their first language to enhance vocabulary development; vocabulary needs to be in the context of connected oral and written discourse so that it is meaningful.

(7) Current research stresses the importance of effectively integrating second language acquisition with quality content area education in order to ensure that ELLs acquire social and academic language proficiency in English, learn the knowledge and skills, and reach their full academic potential. Instruction must be linguistically accommodated in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) and the student's English language proficiency level to ensure the mastery of knowledge and skills in the required curriculum is accessible. For a further understanding of second language acquisition needs, refer to the ELPS and proficiency-level descriptors adopted in Chapter 74, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Required Curriculum).

(8) Oral language proficiency holds a pivotal role in school success; verbal engagement must be maximized across grade levels (Kinsella, 2010). In order for students to become thinkers and proficient speakers in science, social studies, mathematics, fine arts, language arts and reading, and career and technical education, they must have multiple opportunities to practice and apply the academic language of each discipline (Fisher, Frey, & Rothenberg, 2008).

(9) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(b) Knowledge and skills.

(1) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking--oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. The student is expected to:

(A) listen actively to interpret a message, ask clarifying questions, and respond appropriately;

(B) follow and give oral instructions that include multiple action steps;

(C) give an organized presentation with a specific stance and position, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, natural gestures, and conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively; and

(D) participate in student-led discussions by eliciting and considering suggestions from other group members, taking notes, and identifying points of agreement and disagreement.

(2) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell. The student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate and apply phonetic knowledge by:

(i) differentiating between commonly confused terms such as porque/porqué/por qué/por que, asimismo (adverbio)/así mismo (de la misma manera), sino/si no, and también/tan bien;

(ii) decoding palabras agudas, graves, esdrújulas, and sobresdrújulas (words with the stress on the last, penultimate, and antepenultimate syllable and words with the stress on the syllable before the antepenultimate);

(iii) decoding words with hiatus and diphthongs; and

(iv) using knowledge of syllable division patterns and morphemes to decode multisyllabic words;

(B) demonstrate and apply spelling knowledge by:

(i) spelling palabras agudas, graves, esdrújulas, and sobresdrújulas (words with the stress on the antepenultimate, penultimate, and ultimate/last syllable and words with the stress on the syllable before the antepenultimate);

(ii) marking accents appropriately when conjugating verbs in simple and imperfect past, perfect conditional, and future tenses; and

(iii) spelling words with diphthongs and hiatus; and

(C) write legibly in cursive.

(3) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively. The student is expected to:

(A) use print or digital resources to determine the meaning, syllabication, pronunciation, word origin, and part of speech;

(B) use context such as definition, analogy, and examples to clarify the meaning of words;

(C) determine the meaning and usage of grade-level academic Spanish words derived from Greek and Latin roots, including metro-, grafo-, scrib-, and port-; and

(D) differentiate between and use homographs, homophones, and commonly confused terms such as porque/porqué/por qué/por que, sino/si no, and también/tan bien.

(4) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--fluency. The student reads grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. The student is expected to adjust fluency when reading grade-level text based on the reading purpose.

(5) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--self-sustained reading. The student reads grade-appropriate texts independently. The student is expected to self-select text and read independently for a sustained period of time.

(6) Comprehension skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses metacognitive skills to both develop and deepen comprehension of increasingly complex texts. The student is expected to:

(A) establish purpose for reading assigned and self-selected text;

(B) generate questions about text before, during, and after reading to deepen understanding and gain information;

(C) make and correct or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of genre, and structures;

(D) create mental images to deepen understanding;

(E) make connections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society;

(F) make inferences and use evidence to support understanding;

(G) evaluate details read to determine key ideas;

(H) synthesize information to create new understanding; and

(I) monitor comprehension and make adjustments such as re-reading, using background knowledge, asking questions, and annotating when understanding breaks down.

(7) Response skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student responds to an increasingly challenging variety of sources that are read, heard, or viewed. The student is expected to:

(A) describe personal connections to a variety of sources, including self-selected texts;

(B) write responses that demonstrate understanding of texts, including comparing sources within and across genres;

(C) use text evidence to support an appropriate response;

(D) paraphrase and summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order;

(E) interact with sources in meaningful ways such as notetaking, annotating, freewriting, or illustrating;

(F) respond using newly acquired vocabulary as appropriate;

(G) discuss and write about the explicit or implicit meanings of text;

(H) respond orally or in writing with appropriate register, vocabulary, tone, and voice; and

(I) reflect on and adjust responses as new evidence is presented.

(8) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--literary elements. The student recognizes and analyzes literary elements within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse literary texts. The student is expected to:

(A) infer multiple themes within and across texts using text evidence;

(B) analyze how the characters' internal and external responses develop the plot;

(C) analyze plot elements, including rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and non-linear elements such as flashback; and

(D) analyze how the setting, including historical and cultural settings, influences character and plot development.

(9) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student recognizes and analyzes genre-specific characteristics, structures, and purposes within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts. The student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate knowledge of literary genres such as realistic fiction, adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, humor, and myths;

(B) analyze the effect of meter and structural elements such as line breaks in poems across a variety of poetic forms;

(C) analyze how playwrights develop characters through dialogue and staging;

(D) analyze characteristics and structural elements of informational text, including:

(i) the controlling idea or thesis with supporting evidence;

(ii) features such as introduction, foreword, preface, references, or acknowledgements to gain background information; and

(iii) organizational patterns such as definition, classification, advantage, and disadvantage;

(E) analyze characteristics and structures of argumentative text by:

(i) identifying the claim;

(ii) explaining how the author uses various types of evidence to support the argument; and

(iii) identifying the intended audience or reader; and

(F) analyze characteristics of multimodal and digital texts.

(10) Author's purpose and craft: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses critical inquiry to analyze the authors' choices and how they influence and communicate meaning within a variety of texts. The student analyzes and applies author's craft purposefully in order to develop his or her own products and performances. The student is expected to:

(A) explain the author's purpose and message within a text;

(B) analyze how the use of text structure contributes to the author's purpose;

(C) analyze the author's use of print and graphic features to achieve specific purposes;

(D) describe how the author's use of figurative language such as metaphor and personification achieves specific purposes;

(E) identify the use of literary devices, including omniscient and limited point of view, to achieve a specific purpose;

(F) analyze how the author's use of language contributes to mood and voice; and

(G) explain the differences between rhetorical devices and logical fallacies.

(11) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--writing process. The student uses the writing process recursively to compose multiple texts that are legible and uses appropriate conventions. The student is expected to:

(A) plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for a particular topic, purpose, and audience using a range of strategies such as discussion, background reading, and personal interests;

(B) develop drafts into a focused, structured, and coherent piece of writing by:

(i) organizing with purposeful structure, including an introduction, transitions, coherence within and across paragraphs, and a conclusion; and

(ii) developing an engaging idea reflecting depth of thought with specific facts and details;

(C) revise drafts for clarity, development, organization, style, word choice, and sentence variety;

(D) edit drafts using standard Spanish conventions, including:

(i) complete complex sentences with subject-verb agreement and avoidance of splices, run-ons, and fragments;

(ii) consistent, appropriate use of verb tenses;

(iii) conjunctive adverbs;

(iv) prepositions and prepositional phrases and their influence on subject-verb agreement;

(v) pronouns, including personal, possessive, objective, reflexive, prepositional, indefinite, and relative;

(vi) subordinating conjunctions to form complex sentences and correlative conjunctions;

(vii) capitalization of proper nouns, including abbreviations, initials, acronyms, and organizations;

(viii) punctuation marks, including commas in complex sentences, transitions, and introductory elements; and

(ix) correct spelling, including commonly confused terms; and

(E) publish written work for appropriate audiences.

(12) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student uses genre characteristics and craft to compose multiple texts that are meaningful. The student is expected to:

(A) compose literary texts such as personal narratives, fiction, and poetry using genre characteristics and craft;

(B) compose informational texts, including multi-paragraph essays that convey information about a topic, using a clear controlling idea or thesis statement and genre characteristics and craft;

(C) compose multi-paragraph argumentative texts using genre characteristics and craft; and

(D) compose correspondence that reflects an opinion, registers a complaint, or requests information in a business or friendly structure.

(13) Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes. The student is expected to:

(A) generate student-selected and teacher-guided questions for formal and informal inquiry;

(B) develop and revise a plan;

(C) refine the major research question, if necessary, guided by the answers to a secondary set of questions;

(D) identify and gather relevant information from a variety of sources;

(E) differentiate between primary and secondary sources;

(F) synthesize information from a variety of sources;

(G) differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism when using source materials;

(H) examine sources for:

(i) reliability, credibility, and bias; and

(ii) faulty reasoning such as hyperbole, emotional appeals, and stereotype;

(I) display academic citations and use source materials ethically; and

(J) use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.

Source: The provisions of this §128.21 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5096; amended to be effective August 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 3858.


§128.22. English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 7, Adopted 2017.

(a) General requirements.

(1) The essential knowledge and skills as well as the student expectations for English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 7 are described in §74.4 of this title (relating to English Language Proficiency Standards) as well as subsection (b) of this section and are aligned to the knowledge and skills and student expectations in Chapter 110 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading) with additional expectations for English language learners (ELLs).

(2) English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 7 may be substituted for English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 7. All expectations apply to English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 7 students; however, it is imperative to recognize critical processes and features of second language acquisition and to provide appropriate instruction to enable students to meet these standards.

(b) Introduction.

(1) The ELLA Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) embody the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking through the seven integrated strands of developing and sustaining foundational language skills; comprehension; response; multiple genres; author's purpose and craft; composition; and inquiry and research. The strands focus on academic oracy (proficiency in oral expression and comprehension), authentic reading, and reflective writing to ensure a literate Texas. The strands are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity and nuance in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.

(2) The seven strands of this course mirror the essential knowledge and skills for English language arts and reading, which are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes and are recursive in nature. Strands include the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and their application in order to accelerate the acquisition of language skills so that students develop high levels of social and academic language proficiency. Although some strands may require more instructional time, each strand is of equal value, may be presented in any order, and should be integrated throughout the year. Additionally, students should engage in academic conversations, write, read, and be read to on a daily basis with opportunities for cross-curricular content and student choice.

(3) Text complexity increases with challenging vocabulary, sophisticated sentence structures, nuanced text features, cognitively demanding content, and subtle relationships among ideas (Texas Education Agency, STAAR Performance Level Descriptors, 2013). As skills and knowledge are obtained in each of the seven strands, students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth to increasingly complex texts in multiple genres as they become self-directed, critical learners who work collaboratively while continuously using metacognitive skills.

(4) ELLs are expected to meet standards in a second language; however, their proficiency in English influences the ability to meet these standards. To demonstrate this knowledge throughout the stages of English language acquisition, comprehension of text requires additional scaffolds such as adapted text, translations, native language support, cognates, summaries, pictures, realia, glossaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, and other modes of comprehensible input. ELLs can and should be encouraged to use knowledge of their first language to enhance vocabulary development; vocabulary needs to be in the context of connected discourse so that it is meaningful. Strategic use of the student's first language is important to ensure linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic development in English.

(5) Current research stresses the importance of effectively integrating second language acquisition with quality content area education in order to ensure that ELLs acquire social and academic language proficiency in English, learn the knowledge and skills, and reach their full academic potential. Instruction must be linguistically accommodated in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) and the student's English language proficiency levels to ensure the mastery of knowledge and skills in the required curriculum is accessible. For a further understanding of second language acquisition needs, refer to the ELPS and proficiency-level descriptors adopted in Chapter 74, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Required Curriculum).

(6) Oral language proficiency holds a pivotal role in school success; verbal engagement must be maximized across grade levels (Kinsella, 2010). In order for students to become thinkers and proficient speakers in science, social studies, mathematics, fine arts, language arts and reading, and career and technical education, they must have multiple opportunities to practice and apply the academic language of each discipline (Fisher, Frey, & Rothenberg, 2008).

(7) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

(1) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking--oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) listen actively to interpret a message and ask clarifying questions that build on others' ideas;

(B) follow, restate, and give increasingly complex oral instructions to perform specific tasks, answer questions, or solve problems;

(C) present a critique of a literary work, film, or dramatic production, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, a variety of natural gestures, and conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively;

(D) engage in meaningful discourse and provide and accept constructive feedback from others; and

(E) develop social communication and produce oral language in contextualized and purposeful ways.

(2) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate and apply phonetic knowledge; and

(B) write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly.

(3) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) use print or digital resources to determine the meaning, syllabication, pronunciation, word origin, and part of speech;

(B) use context such as contrast or cause and effect to clarify the meaning of words;

(C) determine the meaning and usage of grade-level academic English words derived from Greek, Latin, and other languages, including omni, log/logue, gen, vid/vis, phil, luc, and sens/sent; un-, re-, -ly, and -er/or; and -ion/tion/sion, im- (into), non-, dis-, in- (not, non), pre-, -ness, -y, -er (comparative), -est, and -ful;

(D) identify and use words that name actions, directions, positions, sequences, and locations;

(E) use multiple-meaning words, homographs, homophones, and commonly confused terms correctly; and

(F) investigate expressions such as idioms and word relationships such as antonyms, synonyms, and analogies.

(4) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--fluency. The student reads grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to use appropriate fluency (rate, accuracy, and prosody) and adjust fluency when reading grade-level text based on the reading purpose.

(5) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--self-sustained reading. The student reads grade-appropriate texts independently. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to self-select text and read independently for a sustained period of time.

(6) Comprehension skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses metacognitive skills to both develop and deepen comprehension of increasingly complex texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) establish purpose for reading assigned and self-selected texts;

(B) generate questions about text before, during, and after reading to deepen understanding and gain information;

(C) make and correct or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of genre, and structures;

(D) create mental images to deepen understanding;

(E) make connections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society;

(F) make inferences and use evidence to support understanding;

(G) evaluate details read to determine key ideas;

(H) synthesize information to create new understanding; and

(I) monitor comprehension and make adjustments such as re-reading, using background knowledge, asking questions, and annotating when understanding breaks down.

(7) Response skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student responds to an increasingly challenging variety of sources that are read, heard, or viewed. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) describe personal connections to a variety of sources, including self-selected texts;

(B) write responses that demonstrate understanding of texts, including comparing sources within and across genres;

(C) use text evidence to support an appropriate response;

(D) paraphrase and summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order;

(E) interact with sources in meaningful ways such as notetaking, annotating, freewriting, or illustrating;

(F) respond using newly acquired vocabulary as appropriate;

(G) discuss and write about the explicit or implicit meanings of text;

(H) respond orally or in writing with appropriate register, vocabulary, tone, and voice; and

(I) reflect on and adjust responses as new evidence is presented.

(8) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--literary elements. The student recognizes and analyzes literary elements within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse literary texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) infer multiple themes within and across texts using text evidence;

(B) analyze how characters' qualities influence events and resolution of the conflict;

(C) analyze plot elements, including the use of foreshadowing and suspense, to advance the plot; and

(D) analyze how the setting influences character and plot development.

(9) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student recognizes and analyzes genre-specific characteristics, structures, and purposes within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate knowledge of literary genres such as realistic fiction, adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, humor, myths, fantasy, and science fiction;

(B) analyze the effect of rhyme scheme, meter, and graphical elements such as punctuation and capitalization in poems across a variety of poetic forms;

(C) analyze how playwrights develop characters through dialogue and staging;

(D) analyze characteristics and structural elements of informational text, including:

(i) the controlling idea or thesis with supporting evidence;

(ii) features such as references or acknowledgements, chapters, sections, subsections, bibliography, tables, graphs, captions, bullets, and numbers; and

(iii) organizational patterns that support multiple topics, categories, and subcategories;

(E) analyze characteristics and structures of argumentative text by:

(i) identifying the claim;

(ii) explaining how the author uses various types of evidence and consideration of alternatives to support the argument; and

(iii) identifying the intended audience or reader; and

(F) analyze characteristics of multimodal and digital texts.

(10) Author's purpose and craft: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses critical inquiry to analyze the authors' choices and how they influence and communicate meaning within a variety of texts. The student analyzes and applies author's craft purposefully in order to develop his or her own products and performances. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) explain the author's purpose and message within a text;

(B) analyze how the use of text structure contributes to the author's purpose;

(C) analyze the author's use of print and graphic features to achieve specific purposes;

(D) describe how the author's use of figurative language such as metaphor and personification achieves specific purposes;

(E) identify the use of literary devices, including subjective and objective point of view;

(F) analyze how the author's use of language contributes to mood, voice, and tone; and

(G) explain the purpose of rhetorical devices such as direct address and rhetorical questions and logical fallacies such as loaded language and sweeping generalizations.

(11) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--writing process. The student uses the writing process recursively to compose multiple texts that are legible and uses appropriate conventions. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for a particular topic, purpose, and audience using a range of strategies such as discussion, background reading, and personal interests;

(B) develop drafts into a focused, structured, and coherent piece of writing by:

(i) organizing with purposeful structure, including an introduction, transitions, coherence within and across paragraphs, and a conclusion; and

(ii) developing an engaging idea reflecting depth of thought with specific facts, details, and examples;

(C) revise drafts for clarity, development, organization, style, word choice, and sentence variety;

(D) edit drafts using standard English conventions, including:

(i) complete simple, compound, and complex sentences with subject-verb agreement and avoidance of splices, run-ons, and fragments;

(ii) consistent, appropriate use of verb tenses;

(iii) conjunctive adverbs;

(iv) prepositions and prepositional phrases and their influence on subject-verb agreement;

(v) pronoun-antecedent agreement;

(vi) subordinating conjunctions to form complex sentences and correlative conjunctions such as either/or and neither/nor;

(vii) correct capitalization;

(viii) punctuation, including commas to set off words, phrases, and clauses and semicolons; and

(ix) correct spelling, including commonly confused terms such as its/it's, affect/effect, there/their/they're, and to/two/too; and

(E) publish written work for appropriate audiences.

(12) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student uses genre characteristics and craft to compose multiple texts that are meaningful. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) compose literary texts such as personal narratives, fiction, and poetry using genre characteristics and craft;

(B) compose informational texts, including multi-paragraph essays that convey information about a topic, using a clear controlling idea or thesis statement and genre characteristics and craft;

(C) compose multi-paragraph argumentative texts using genre characteristics and craft; and

(D) compose correspondence that reflects an opinion, registers a complaint, or requests information in a business or friendly structure.

(13) Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) generate student-selected and teacher-guided questions for formal and informal inquiry;

(B) develop and revise a plan;

(C) refine the major research question, if necessary, guided by the answers to a secondary set of questions;

(D) identify and gather relevant information from a variety of sources;

(E) differentiate between primary and secondary sources;

(F) synthesize information from a variety of sources;

(G) differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism when using source materials;

(H) examine sources for:

(i) reliability, credibility, and bias; and

(ii) faulty reasoning such as hyperbole, emotional appeals, and stereotype;

(I) display academic citations and use source materials ethically; and

(J) use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.

Source: The provisions of this §128.22 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5096; amended to be effective August 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 3858.


§128.23. English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 8, Adopted 2017.

(a) General requirements.

(1) The essential knowledge and skills as well as the student expectations for English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 8 are described in §74.4 of this title (relating to English Language Proficiency Standards) as well as subsection (b) of this section and are aligned to the knowledge and skills and student expectations in Chapter 110 of this title (relating to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading) with additional expectations for English language learners (ELLs).

(2) English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 8 may be substituted for English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 8. All expectations apply to English Learners Language Arts (ELLA), Grade 8 students; however, it is imperative to recognize critical processes and features of second language acquisition and to provide appropriate instruction to enable students to meet these standards.

(b) Introduction.

(1) The ELLA Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) embody the interconnected nature of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking through the seven integrated strands of developing and sustaining foundational language skills; comprehension; response; multiple genres; author's purpose and craft; composition; and inquiry and research. The strands focus on academic oracy (proficiency in oral expression and comprehension), authentic reading, and reflective writing to ensure a literate Texas. The strands are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity and nuance in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.

(2) The seven strands of this course mirror the essential knowledge and skills for English language arts and reading, which are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes and are recursive in nature. Strands include the four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and their application in order to accelerate the acquisition of language skills so that students develop high levels of social and academic language proficiency. Although some strands may require more instructional time, each strand is of equal value, may be presented in any order, and should be integrated throughout the year. Additionally, students should engage in academic conversations, write, read, and be read to on a daily basis with opportunities for cross-curricular content and student choice.

(3) Text complexity increases with challenging vocabulary, sophisticated sentence structures, nuanced text features, cognitively demanding content, and subtle relationships among ideas (Texas Education Agency, STAAR Performance Level Descriptors, 2013). As skills and knowledge are obtained in each of the seven strands, students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth to increasingly complex texts in multiple genres as they become self-directed, critical learners who work collaboratively while continuously using metacognitive skills.

(4) ELLs are expected to meet standards in a second language; however, their proficiency in English influences the ability to meet these standards. To demonstrate this knowledge throughout the stages of English language acquisition, comprehension of text requires additional scaffolds such as adapted text, translations, native language support, cognates, summaries, pictures, realia, glossaries, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, and other modes of comprehensible input. ELLs can and should be encouraged to use knowledge of their first language to enhance vocabulary development; vocabulary needs to be in the context of connected discourse so that it is meaningful. Strategic use of the student's first language is important to ensure linguistic, affective, cognitive, and academic development in English.

(5) Current research stresses the importance of effectively integrating second language acquisition with quality content area education in order to ensure that ELLs acquire social and academic language proficiency in English, learn the knowledge and skills, and reach their full academic potential. Instruction must be linguistically accommodated in accordance with the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) and the student's English language proficiency levels to ensure the mastery of knowledge and skills in the required curriculum is accessible. For a further understanding of second language acquisition needs, refer to the ELPS and proficiency-level descriptors adopted in Chapter 74, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Required Curriculum).

(6) Oral language proficiency holds a pivotal role in school success; verbal engagement must be maximized across grade levels (Kinsella, 2010). In order for students to become thinkers and proficient speakers in science, social studies, mathematics, fine arts, language arts and reading, and career and technical education, they must have multiple opportunities to practice and apply the academic language of each discipline (Fisher, Frey, & Rothenberg, 2008).

(7) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.

(c) Knowledge and skills.

(1) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking--oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) listen actively to interpret a message by summarizing, asking questions, and making comments;

(B) follow, restate, and give complex oral instructions to perform specific tasks, answer questions, or solve problems;

(C) give an organized presentation with a specific point of view;

(D) advocate a position using anecdotes, analogies, and/or illustrations employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, a variety of natural gestures, and conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively;

(E) participate collaboratively in discussions, plan agendas with clear goals and deadlines, set time limits for speakers, take notes, and vote on key issues; and

(F) develop social communication and produce oral language in contextualized and purposeful ways.

(2) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--beginning reading and writing. The student develops word structure knowledge through phonological awareness, print concepts, phonics, and morphology to communicate, decode, and spell. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate and apply phonetic knowledge; and

(B) write complete words, thoughts, and answers legibly.

(3) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) use print or digital resources to determine the meaning, syllabication, pronunciation, word origin, and part of speech;

(B) use context within or beyond a paragraph to clarify the meaning of unfamiliar or ambiguous words;

(C) determine the meaning and usage of grade-level academic English words derived from Greek, Latin, and other languages, including ast, qui, path, mand/mend, and duc; auto, bio, graph, meter, phon, port, and tele; and terr, chrono, audi, geo, dict, photo, and ject;

(D) identify and use words that name actions, directions, positions, sequences, and locations;

(E) use multiple-meaning words, homographs, homophones, and commonly confused terms correctly; and

(F) investigate expressions such as idioms and word relationships such as antonyms, synonyms, and analogies.

(4) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--fluency. The student reads grade-level text with fluency and comprehension. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to adjust fluency when reading grade-level text based on the reading purpose.

(5) Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--self-sustained reading. The student reads grade-appropriate texts independently. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to self-select text and read independently for a sustained period of time.

(6) Comprehension skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses metacognitive skills to both develop and deepen comprehension of increasingly complex texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) establish purpose for reading assigned and self-selected texts;

(B) generate questions about text before, during, and after reading to deepen understanding and gain information;

(C) make and correct or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of genre, and structures;

(D) create mental images to deepen understanding;

(E) make connections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society;

(F) make inferences and use evidence to support understanding;

(G) evaluate details read to determine key ideas;

(H) synthesize information to create new understanding; and

(I) monitor comprehension and make adjustments such as re-reading, using background knowledge, asking questions, and annotating when understanding breaks down.

(7) Response skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student responds to an increasingly challenging variety of sources that are read, heard, or viewed. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) describe personal connections to a variety of sources, including self-selected texts;

(B) write responses that demonstrate understanding of texts, including comparing sources within and across genres;

(C) use text evidence to support an appropriate response;

(D) paraphrase and summarize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order;

(E) interact with sources in meaningful ways such as notetaking, annotating, freewriting, or illustrating;

(F) respond using newly acquired vocabulary as appropriate;

(G) discuss and write about the explicit or implicit meanings of text;

(H) respond orally or in writing with appropriate register, vocabulary, tone, and voice;

(I) reflect on and adjust responses as new evidence is presented; and

(J) defend or challenge the claims using relevant text evidence.

(8) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--literary elements. The student recognizes and analyzes literary elements within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse literary texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) analyze how themes are developed through the interaction of characters and events;

(B) analyze how characters' motivations and behaviors influence events and resolution of the conflict;

(C) analyze non-linear plot development such as flashbacks, foreshadowing, subplots, and parallel plot structures and compare it to linear plot development; and

(D) explain how the setting influences the values and beliefs of characters.

(9) Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student recognizes and analyzes genre-specific characteristics, structures, and purposes within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) demonstrate knowledge of literary genres such as realistic fiction, adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, humor, fantasy, science fiction, and short stories;

(B) identify structural elements such as rhyme, repetition, and alliteration and analyze how language contributes to the meaning of a poem;

(C) analyze the effect of graphical elements such as punctuation and line length in poems across a variety of poetic forms such as epic, lyric, and humorous poetry;

(D) analyze how playwrights develop dramatic action through the use of acts and scenes;

(E) analyze characteristics and structural elements of informational text, including:

(i) the controlling idea or thesis with supporting evidence;

(ii) features such as footnotes, endnotes, and citations; and

(iii) multiple organizational patterns within a text to develop the thesis;

(F) analyze characteristics and structures of argumentative text by:

(i) identifying the claim and analyzing the argument;

(ii) identifying and explaining the counter argument; and

(iii) identifying the intended audience or reader; and

(G) analyze characteristics of multimodal and digital texts.

(10) Author's purpose and craft: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses critical inquiry to analyze the authors' choices and how they influence and communicate meaning within a variety of texts. The student analyzes and applies author's craft purposefully in order to develop his or her own products and performances. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) explain the author's purpose and message within a text;

(B) analyze how the use of text structure contributes to the author's purpose;

(C) analyze the author's use of print and graphic features to achieve specific purposes;

(D) describe how the author's use of figurative language such as extended metaphor achieves specific purposes;

(E) identify and analyze the use of literary devices, including multiple points of view and irony;

(F) analyze how the author's use of language contributes to the mood, voice, and tone; and

(G) explain the purpose of rhetorical devices such as analogy and juxtaposition and of logical fallacies such as bandwagon appeals and circular reasoning.

(11) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--writing process. The student uses the writing process recursively to compose multiple texts that are legible and uses appropriate conventions. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for a particular topic, purpose, and audience using a range of strategies such as discussion, background reading, and personal interests;

(B) develop drafts into a focused, structured, and coherent piece of writing by:

(i) organizing with purposeful structure, including an introduction, transitions, coherence within and across paragraphs, and a conclusion; and

(ii) developing an engaging idea reflecting depth of thought with specific facts, details, and examples;

(C) revise drafts for clarity, development, organization, style, word choice, and sentence variety;

(D) edit drafts using standard English conventions, including:

(i) complete simple, compound, and complex sentences with subject-verb agreement and avoidance of splices, run-ons, and fragments;

(ii) consistent, appropriate use of verb tenses and active and passive voice;

(iii) conjunctive adverbs;

(iv) prepositions and prepositional phrases and their influence on subject-verb agreement;

(v) pronoun-antecedent agreement;

(vi) subordinating conjunctions to form complex sentences;

(vii) correct capitalization;

(viii) punctuation, including commas in nonrestrictive phrases and clauses, semicolons, colons, and parentheses; and

(ix) correct spelling, including commonly confused terms such as its/it's, affect/effect, there/their/they're, and to/two/too; and

(E) publish written work for appropriate audiences.

(12) Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student uses genre characteristics and craft to compose multiple texts that are meaningful. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) compose literary texts such as personal narratives, fiction, and poetry using genre characteristics and craft;

(B) compose informational texts, including multi-paragraph essays that convey information about a topic, using a clear controlling idea or thesis statement and genre characteristics and craft;

(C) compose multi-paragraph argumentative texts using genre characteristics and craft; and

(D) compose correspondence that reflects an opinion, registers a complaint, or requests information in a business or friendly structure.

(13) Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes. Based on the student's language proficiency level, the student is expected to:

(A) generate student-selected and teacher-guided questions for formal and informal inquiry;

(B) develop and revise a plan;

(C) refine the major research question, if necessary, guided by the answers to a secondary set of questions;

(D) identify and gather relevant information from a variety of sources;

(E) differentiate between primary and secondary sources;

(F) synthesize information from a variety of sources;

(G) differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism when using source materials;

(H) examine sources for:

(i) reliability, credibility, and bias, including omission; and

(ii) faulty reasoning such as bandwagon appeals, repetition, and loaded language;

(I) display academic citations and use source materials ethically; and

(J) use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.

Source: The provisions of this §128.23 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5096; amended to be effective August 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 3858.


For more information, email rules@tea.texas.gov.