The English curriculum encompasses three broad areas of study – reading, writing and speaking and listening – and all areas are embedded within the wider curriculum. Students in Grade 4 work on developing their reading so that they are able to read books written at an age appropriate interest level. They will develop their reading accuracy and speed so that they can focus on understanding what they have read and limit the amount of decoding of individual words. Students will use their decoding skills to figure out most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. Teaching and learning in reading is directed more towards developing the students’ vocabulary and the breadth and depth of their reading, making sure that they become independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently. They will develop their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learn to read silently. The students will also be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction across a wide range of subjects and independently justify their views regarding what they have read. In writing, students will continue to build on what they have learnt, particularly in terms of the range of their writing and the more varied grammar, vocabulary and narrative structures from which they can draw to express their ideas. Students will work on developing their ability to write down their ideas with a reasonable degree of accuracy and with good sentence punctuation. They will also work on consolidating their writing skills; enhancing the effectiveness of what they write as well as increasing their competence in vocabulary use, understanding of sentence structure and knowledge of linguistic terminology. Students will begin to explore the idea of how writing can be different from speech. Spelling in Grade 4 should now be correct, including common words, common exception words and other words that they have learnt. Students spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology and etymology. Joined handwriting is taught and students will start to use joined handwriting as the norm and be able to use it fast enough to keep pace with what they want to say. When it comes to speaking and listening, students begin to demonstrate an understanding of figurative language, are able to distinguish shades of meaning among related words and use age- appropriate, academic vocabulary. Students will also have opportunities to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language. In Grade 4, students will become more familiar with and confident in using language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.