Academic Language Part III

Hello everyone,
Here is part 3 of the post I wrote on Academic Language.  Although vocabulary is an important component, it is only one cog on the wheel we call Academic Language. Read on for more information on the components of Academic Language!

Academic language is  complex  and requires us to teach students the following

·      phonological features of English

·      vocabulary and word formation

·      rules (Lexical knowledge)

·      grammar

·      discourse

·      cognition. 

Here is a little more detail on each of these important areas:
·      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.
o   Modals
o   Past tense
For a great activity on phrasal verbs click here to go to my TPT store!  This activity teaches students phrasal verbs and their academic counterparts!

Discourse entails the ability to use words to organize knowledge and exchange ideas,

o   Structured sentence stems

o   Structured reply frames

o   Academic vocabulary word banks


·      Cognition encompasses the mental action of thinking, understanding, learning and remembering.

o   Recognition of grammar to language function

Why is Academic Language Important?
ò The most important predictor of academic success for individual students.
ò Students who can use academic language are more likely to be successful in school and beyond. 
Gatekeepers that block the acquisition of academic language:

  Insufficient exposure to books

ò Insufficient exposure to people who use academic language
ò  Insufficient opportunities to use the language
ò Insufficient motivation to develop and use academic language
ò Insufficient instruction including sufficient and corrective feedback to acquiring academic language  

In summary, I found that academic vocabulary is just a small part of the intricate concept of Academic language and that these two words should not be used interchangeably.   
I would love to hear your comments!
Happy Teaching,


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