Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know
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From the website: “This article written by Colorín Colorado Manager Lydia Breiseth helps educators understand the role that academic language plays in their classrooms and in ELL student success. The article also includes information on social vs. academic language, as well as numerous examples of the different kinds of academic language needed for all students to fully participate in classroom activities and assignments.”
Written for teachers who have English language learner (ELL) students, this article offers practical ideas and strategies to help teachers support ELLs’ academic language development. Especially appreciated is the inclusion of “Looking beyond vocabulary”: too often, people think of only vocabulary when they think about academic language. However, sentence and discourse structures are equally important in academic language as is vocabulary. A nice addition is the discussion questions provided after every section to help teachers think about particular issues as they relate to their students and classroom contexts. For example, after the “Planning for purpose and products” section, discussion questions include: “As you consider how academic language is used in your discipline, what kinds of assignments are students expected to produce in your classroom?” This article also links to the many related resources available on the Colorin Colorado website and outside resources.