Language arts is the generic name given to the study and improvement of language skills within the school setting. Traditionally, the primary divisions in language arts are literature and language, where language in this case refers to both linguistics and specific languages. According to the International Council of Teachers of English, the five strands of the language arts are reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing (visual literacy).
Reading, by definition, is the ability and knowledge of a language that allows comprehension by grasping the meaning of written or printed characters, words or sentences. Reading involves a wide variety of print and nonprint texts that helps a reader gain an understanding of what is being read. Reading of texts that are often included in educational curriculum include fiction, nonfiction, classic, and also contemporary works. Reading goes beyond calling words to understanding the information presented in a written or a visual context..
Composition is defined as the combination of distinct parts or elements to form a whole and the manner in which these elements are combined or related. The following are examples of composing in language arts:
- The art or act of composing a literary work
- The structure or organization of literature
- A short essay, especially one written as an academic exercise (an essay is a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative)  There are many types of short essays, including, but not limited to:
- Five-paragraph essay
- Argumentative essay
- Cause and effect essay
- Comparative essay.
Compositions may also include: