Academic Language

Hi everyone,
This is part one of a series of posts I wrote on Academic Language. Please check back during this week for the entire collection!

We are encouraged to build our students’ vocabulary and as we dig deeper into the CCSS the call for academic language and academic vocabulary is ever present. Have you noticed that these terms are often used interchangeably?  I wanted to understand the differences between these two words and decided to take an in-depth look at the precise meaning of them. I found that the overarching concept is ACADEMIC LANGUAGE:  the specialized language of academic discourse and textbooks.
Many researches insist that proficiency in ACADEMIC LANGUAGE is the most important predictor of academic success for individual students. Students must learn the many skills that are interwoven into the notion of ACADEMIC LANGUAGE. Although vocabulary is an important component, it is only one cog on the wheel we call academic language. 

What is academic language?
ò Language used in classrooms and texts
ò Language used in assessments
Academic includes concise word choice, information bearing vocabulary and complex grammar and sentence structure.

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.  

Check in with us tomorrow for the continuation of this look at Academic Language.
Happy Teaching!

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