Teaching Academic Language

"Vocabulary knowledge, for English learners, is the single best predictor of academic achievement across subject matter domains." - --Kevin Feldman & Kate Kinsella


English learners need high-quality, direct instruction from the start. This includes authentic encounters with written texts that focus on meaning and communication. However, they also need explicit teaching and guidance in those aspects of English oral and written language with which they might not be familiar- word identification skills, vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, syntax and English spelling and sound patterns. Such instruction will prevent English language learners from falling farther and farther behind their mainstream peers


Let's Watch the Activity...

Ms. Durazo demonstrates how she is assuring her students' academic language learning of the concept of ordinal numbers...let's take a look!

What is Academic Language and Why Does It Work?

Academic Language comprises the terms associated with literature and language arts (character, vowel, punctuation, context clues etc.), as well as vocabulary needed to learn the content-area subjects such as mathematics, social studies, and science.

In order to provide English learners access to grade level content as listed in the California Reading/Language Arts Framework, teachers need to directly teach the academic language required for mastery in that subject. In addition, English learners need to be explicitly taught the structure of English. Lessons should include the sounds of English, grammar, writing, phonics and structural analysis.