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Academic Language Understanding Academic Language in Your Discipline Area.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Language Understanding Academic Language in Your Discipline Area."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Language Understanding Academic Language in Your Discipline Area

2 Academic vs Social Language  Role of social language: skill we use when talking with each other in a social setting Activity: Partner up with one or two other people at your table. Share an event that has happened so far this morning using your “Social Language”. (3 min)  Function of academic language: formal language that has its own vocabulary in areas of study Math example: in social terms we could say the word “average” and mean “regular”. In mathematical terms we could say “average” as a mean, mode, and median”

3 Get back with your small group at the table. Each of you jot down some of the language that is used in your academic content area. Talk to your table buddies to see what academic vocabulary words they thought of. ( 3 minutes)


5 Strategies for using Academic language : Seeking information/informing Comparing Ordering Classifying Analyzing Inferring Justifying and persuading Solving Problems Synthesizing Evaluating…an d more.

6 Bloom’s Taxonomy

7 Discourse and Syntax  Discourse is the structure used to write and speak about our content area so that it can be understood.  Syntax is how we organize the symbols, words and phrases together into sentences, paragraphs or graphs in our content area. Often the syntax will determine the meaning

8 Examples:  Criticism or Criticize: social language: “I wish Sally would stop criticizing my hair! I can’t take her criticism anymore.” In the academic language of the visual arts: “ Complete a criticism paper analyzing the messages the artist is presenting.”

9  Compare and contrast: social language: “I’m comparing the prices and functions of cell phones to get the best deal. In the academic language of language arts: “Prepare an oral critique comparing and contrasting the protagonists in A Tale of Two Cities and Faust.”

10 Some words that are used across all content areas are interpret, conflict, analyze, source. Activity: talk to your table partners to come up with other general academic words (3 minutes)

11 Examples for assessing student learning of the academic language  Writing exercises  Oral reports  Comic strips, other…. Activity: On your paper draw a picture with figures, graphs, symbols, numbers, whatever you’re comfortable drawing. Then make them speaking cartoon characters by adding their thoughts or comments in bubbles above so that words and their meanings are associated with the picture. (8 minutes)


13 Academic Language  Understanding the language in your academic area  Some strategies to help your students understand how to use academic language  Examples of how you can assess that they learned the language Questions?

14 References:  Everhart, V.S. (2010). Moving beyond social language: How to teach academic language. CASA Conference  Freeman,Y.S.,&Freeman,D.E.(2009). Academic language for English language learners and struggling readers: How to help students succeed across content areas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.  Zwiers,J.(2008).Buildingacademic language: Essential practices for content classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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