ELD Weekly Bulletin
Title III/ELD Listserv - January 19, 2016
Eight Strategies for Teaching Academic Language
by Todd Finley
"Change your language and you change your thoughts." -- Karl Albrecht
Understanding Academic Language
Academic language is a meta-language that helps learners acquire the 50,000 words that they are expected to have internalized by the end of high school and includes everything from illustration and chart literacy to speaking, grammar and genres within fields.
Think of academic language as the verbal clothing that we don in classrooms and other formal contexts to demonstrate cognition within cultures and to signal college readiness. There are two major kinds: instructional language ("What textual clues support your analysis?") and language of the discipline (examples include alliteration in language arts,axioms in math, class struggle in social studies and atoms in science). No student comes to school adept in academic discourse -- thus, thoughtful instruction is required.
Where to Start
It would be a mistake to think that academic language is a garbage pail category involving any word, depending on the context. A banana daiquiri is a fine adult beverage that most first graders cannot define, but is not an example of academic language. Nor do Tier 1 words such as and or house fit the category, although these basic words are important to teach English-language learners (ELLs).
If you are new to incorporating academic language into your lessons, a good place to begin is with Tier 2, high-frequency, general instruction words (such as paraphrase, summarize, predict and justify) that learners need to know for completing an activity, but that are not a lesson's primary learning objective. These words are critical to students' successful processing of academic tasks and appear in the Common Core State Standards and on standardized tests.
Teaching Academic Language
Academic language requires that students move away from social language, with its more simplistic grammar and Anglo-Saxon vocabulary (body, chew,mellow), to sophisticated grammar with Greek and Latin words (aesthetics, ctenophora, heuristic). However, do not ban informal communication from the classroom, because this relaxed discourse is critical for social bonding, cooperative learning, interpreting literature and information processing. Students should be taught to look at and through both registers. "Think in terms of uncovering the subject -- that is, making the ways of using language and the ways of thinking in the subject explicit to your students," writes Pauline Gibbons, the author of three books in the field of English language education.
Mapped: 7,000 Languages around the World
There are thought to be more than 7,000 languages around the world, shared between almost seven billion speakers.
These languages are spread unevenly across the globe, with Asia and Africa being home to higher levels of linguistic diversity.
Some languages could be spoken by fewer than 36 people - with Pitcaim, the country with the fewest speakers per language, having two languages for a population of just 36 speakers.
ELD Department Meetings - January 14, 2016
We look forward to seeing you at the next elementary (3:30pm) and secondary (4:30pm) department meetings on February 11th at Wilson Teaching and Learning Academy.
ACCESS Test Planning Resources
Materials pick up at Enrollment Center: February 4 & 5, 2016
ACCESS 2.0 & Alternate ACCESS
- ACCESS 2.0 Q&A PowerPoint
- ACCESS 2.0 Accessibility & Accommodations Descriptions
- ACCESS 2.0 Headphone Specifications
- ACCESS 2.0 Sample Items
Upcoming Title III Events
January 19, 8:30am - ACCESS Kindergarten New Test Administrator Training
January 19, 8:30am - ACCESS 2.0 Test Coordinator Part 1 Training
January 19, 12:30pm - ACCESS Kindergarten Veteran Test Administrator Training
January 19, 12:30pm - ACCESS 2.0 Online Test Administrator Training
January 19, 2:00pm - ACCESS Kindergarten Veteran Test Administrator Training
January 20, 8:30am - ACCESS 2.0 Online Test Administrator Training
January 20, 8:30am - ACCESS 2.0 Paper-based Test Administrator Training
January 20, 12:30pm - ACCESS 2.0 Online Test Administrator Training
January 20, 12:30pm - ACCESS 2.0 Test Coordinator Part 2 Training
January 21, 3:30pm - SIOP Seminar: Comprehensible Input (Elementary)
January 21, 4:30pm - SIOP Seminar: Comprehensible Input (Secondary)
All sessions are listed for enrollment in MyLearningPlan unless noted.
ELD Weekly Bulletins for SY2015-2016
January 11, 2016 January 4, 2016 December 18, 2015 December 14, 2015 December 5, 2015 December 2, 2015 November 30, 2015 November 16, 2015 November 9, 2015 November 5, 2015 November 2, 2015 October 26, 2015 October 19, 2015 October 12, 2015 October 5, 2015 September 28, 2015 September 21, 2015 September 14, 2015 September 7,2015 August 31, 2015 August 24, 2015 August 19, 2015 August 17, 2015 August 10, 2015 August 3, 2015 July 27, 2015