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Language Arts as Liberal Arts


Laura Berquist


Language Arts involve a habit of making, as do all arts. They are liberal arts, however, which means that the thing made is relized in the maker. The common feature of what is made in the language arts is speech. One makes a statement, one makes an argument and one makes a speech. Now, St. Albert tells us that “nature makes possible, art makes easy, and practice makes powerful.” Also, because these arts are intellectual, they involve a true course of reasoning: they concern the right way of making their products. So, in our curriculum, we want to have our children work on clear thinking, so that they have something ordered to say, we want them to practice composition, both orally and in writing, since they need repeated action, and we want to present the art according to the true course of reasoning, that is, we want to present it in such a way that the student is able to follow the steps that will result in the product he is aiming for. That is what this talk is about: what are the right steps to follow?