Eighth-Grade English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

eight-grade-languageIn their final year of middle school, eighth-graders learn skills they’ll expand upon in high school, including analyzing differences in perspective in reading and writing. Here are some examples of what your daughter or son will learn over the year, questions to ask his or her teachers and tips for reinforcing ELA skills at home.

Reading Literature and Informational Text

  • Read several texts about the same topic and analyze their differences in perspective and use of facts.
  • Understand an author’s use of allusions and allegory and what they add to a story or nonfiction text.
  • By the end of eighth grade, demonstrate fluency and independence when reading challenging, grade-appropriate books, stories, essays and other nonfiction texts.


  • Outline a text’s claims and arguments and determine whether they are reasonable and supported by evidence.
  • Write informative papers that contain thoughtful word choices and well-constructed ideas, details and facts.
  • Write fiction that includes a point of view, active verbs, and character development.

Speaking and Listening

  • Use appropriate speech for different audiences; respond to questions or comments in a thoughtful way.
  • Participate in a variety of discussions — in class, in groups and one-on-one — about complex, grade-appropriate topics; express opinions rooted in facts and be receptive to others’ arguments.


  • Learn and use new words to build an eighth grade-level vocabulary; use knowledge of Greek and Latin roots as a tool to figure out unfamiliar words.

Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

The Common Core State Standards for the eighth grade also include literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. It is important to note that these literacy standards supplement content standards in the aforementioned subjects — not replace them. Individual states determine how to fold these standards into existing standards.

Learn More: Click to view related resources.