Language Standards - Sixth Grade Standards for Language
Standards for Language
The Language standards include the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English, but they also approach language as a matter of craft and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific.
The language standards for sixth grade offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.
Beginning in grade 3, skills and understandings that are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*).
Conventions of Standard English
L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
- Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
- Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.*
- Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).*
- Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.*
L.6.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.*
- Spell correctly.
Knowledge of Language
L.6.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
- Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.*
- Maintain consistency in style and tone.*
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
L.6.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
- Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
- Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
- Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
- Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
L.6.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
- Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.
- Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).
L.6.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for Language The standards define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number. The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Note on range and content of student language use:
To be college and career ready in language, students must have firm control over the conventions of standard English. At the same time, they must come to appreciate that language is as at least as much a matter of craft as of rules and be able to choose words, syntax, and punctuation to express themselves and achieve particular functions and rhetorical effects. They must also have extensive vocabularies, built through reading and study, enabling them to comprehend complex texts and engage in purposeful writing about and conversations around content. They need to become skilled in determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases they encounter, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies to aid them. They must learn to see an individual word as part of a network of other words—words, for example, that have similar denotations but different connotations. The inclusion of Language standards in their own strand should not be taken as an indication that skills related to conventions, effective language use, and vocabulary are unimportant to reading, writing, speaking, and listening; indeed, they are inseparable from such contexts.