July 25

Updated 8th Grade English TEKS

§110.24. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 8, Adopted 2017.

(a) Introduction

(1) The English 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. 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 the essential knowledge and skills for English 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, 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) English language learners (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.

Strand One:  Foundational Language Skills

Oral Language

(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 by summarizing, asking questions, and making comments;

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

(C) 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; and

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


(2) 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 within or beyond a paragraph to clarify the meaning of unfamiliar or ambiguous words; and

(C) determine the meaning and usage of grade-level academic English words derived from Greek and Latin roots such as ast, qui, path, mand/mend, and duc.

Strand 3:  Response Skills

Using Text Evidence

(6) 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:

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

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

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

Strand Four:  Multiple Genres

Argumentative Texts

(8) 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:

(E) analyze the 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

Rhetorical Devices and Logical Fallacies

Strand Five:  Author’s Purpose and Craft

(9) 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:

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

Strand Six:  Composition

Writing Process

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

(iv) pronoun-antecedent agreement;

(v) correct capitalization;

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

(vii) 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.


(11) 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.

Strand Seven:  Inquiry and Research

(12) 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, 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 §110.24 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 4999; amended to be effective, August 1, 2019, 44 TexReg 3835.




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