An effective English Language Arts curriculum provides a balance of instruction in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing skills for students who progress at different developmental rates. The curriculum is flexible and combines both preplanned and spontaneous activities that integrate all aspects of language use. The development of strategic readers is the goal of all content areas that require reading for learning. An effective reading program includes a variety of literature and is not limited to a single source for instruction. There is a balance of classics and contemporary literature; a balance of cultures and gender represented in the literature; and a balance of student-choice and teacher-choice of reading materials. Writing instruction allows the student to move recursively, shifting back and forth between the steps of the writing process (rehearsing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). Students use background knowledge and experience in conjunction with critical thinking skills to problem solve the best approach for communicating information. Consequently, students need to write for real and varied purposes in a variety of forms. Capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling are taught by direct instruction (mini-lessons) and within the context of written communication, rather than by assigning isolated worksheets or textbook exercises. Word processing enhances the writing process if students have frequent access to computers and become proficient in using a word processing program. Handwriting instruction focuses on legibility and follows a consistent method. Evaluation is an essential part of the teaching-learning process. Its purpose is to nurture growth, rather than judge final performance. Evaluation of any language trait is based on multiple samples and observations, using a variety of assessment methods. Teachers use assessment information to provide appropriate instruction for each student, so that all students can continuously progress.