Academic language is a complex concept and requires teaching students the phonological features of English, vocabulary and word formation rules (Lexical knowledge), grammar, discourse, and cognition. I wrote a blog post about the difference between academic language and academic vocabulary, what follows is a brief summary.
Academic language is the overriding concept and has the following facets interwoven into it:
· Vocabulary and word formation includes teaching prefixes, suffixes and roots, tier 1, 2, and 3 words (here is where academic vocabulary comes in), parts of speech, multiple meanings of words and the grammar rules that apply to word formation and usage.
· Phonological features include the sound patterns and intonation of English.
· Grammar comprises the correct use, rules, and understanding of the parts of speech, word classes, inflections, increasing word complexity, understanding complex sentence structures and syntax.
· Discourse entails the ability to use words to organize knowledge and exchange ideas,
· Cognition encompasses the mental action of thinking, understanding, learning and remembering.
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Happy Teaching! Lori