Teaching content and academic language concurrently
ones that they have ever heard spoken, and the concepts are often new and com plex. These terms are generally what are referred to as academic vocabulary or yra aebarauontcl ovntce-. Academic vocabulary is developed best when teachers attend to the important terms directly, providing guidance to students in identiFile Size: KB. The term academic language may be used to refer to formal English rules, structure, and content for academic dialogue and text, and the communicative conventions that allow students to meet the demands of school environments.
By Barbara R. Although we have always known the importance of teaching vocabulary, there vocabularh recently been a focus on academic vocabulary, especially vocabulary tiers, across the domains and content areas.
As they describe them, Tier One words are acquired through everyday speech. These words are common and are typically taught at early grades or learned through everyday use around them. Tier Two includes academic words that appear across all texts. They may change meaning due to use, and they present a challenge if experienced in text initially.
Tier Three vocabulary is domain or content area specific. They are critical for building conceptual understanding in content, but they need to be learned via explicit instruction. These words are best taught when they are needed in the context of the lesson.
Tier Two Words provide an opportunity for thorough vocabulary development. These should be words that you focus on in depth, since they will have applications not only what does a vegetarian eat the specified text, but across other texts and areas of the curriculum.
She explains there are four types of words: general academic words, domain- or discipline-specific terms, topic-specific vocabulary, and passage-critical words. First, there is general academic vocabulary, which is not discipline-specific. Students frequently see these words, such as analyzesynthesize what is the concept of academic vocabulary, contrastand restate.
Next, she describes domain- or discipline-specific words, which are frequently used within a specific discipline, such as language arts, history, science or math. These words include terms such as foreshadowinghypothesisrational numberor aerobic exercise.
Within the content area, these words should be reinforced regularly. Third, there are topic-specific words.
They are needed to understand a specific lesson or topic and are typically critical to an understanding of the concept. Direct instruction is usually necessary with these terms. Examples include Holocaustbiomeand impressionism. Finally, passage-critical words are those that are necessary to understand whay specific text.
These words are crucial to comprehension of the passage. Particularly for specialized words, direct instruction is needed. Echolocation: Source. Whichever structure you use, thinking about the different types of vocabulary will help you teach words in a more meaningful way, as opposed to having students simply memorize definitions of random word lists. A fourth popular technique — word walls — is highlighted in this resource at Teaching Tolerance.
Visuals can help students understand new concepts. I was in a social studies classroom in which the teacher was presenting geography terms such as equator, latitude, and longitude. She drew a circle on the board to illustrate the Earth, and then she wrote the word equator across the center. She wrote the word latitude horizontally from west to east where the latitude lines go across the Earth.
Finally, she wrote the word longitude from north to south to clearly illustrate the meaning of the word. She provided visual context for her students as they encountered the terms for the first time. I have used a graphic organizer to help students demonstrate their understanding in ways that required them th synthesize information about a term or concept and refine it down to the key points. Using a graphic organizer, students can discuss different elements of a particular vocabulary term.
Then my students could create their own graphic organizers to take notes about and demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary. I remember one student bringing me a graphic organizer she had completed about the Pythagorean Theorem. She had used right triangles to organize the information. Using visuals helps students connect their learning. We need to experience new words and concepts multiple times in a variety of ways. Too often, we expect students to fully understand a word conecpt they have read it one time.
Your students need to play with words in fun and different ways to help them learn. James Good, a middle school drama teacher, points out that his students find the language of Shakespearean plays challenging. For key scenes, vocabularry students are broken into groups with five acting parts and a group director. They run lines with one another to improve pronunciation and dramatic reading. The director makes suggestions as to simple stage movements that can be done in the small space at the front of the room.
The group discusses appropriate tone, body language, and facial expression. Concerning themselves with the dramatic aspects of presenting to how to find password for 2wire router other three groups more or less forces them to make meaning. We gocabulary to specifically teach students the different meanings of these words.
Janet Allen shares a chart that helps. Understanding how to make homemade guacamole seasoning various aspects of academic vocabulary, as well as strategies to support vocabulary instruction, is a key part of our overall instruction. A former teacher, school leader and university teacher educator, s he is a best-selling author of 21 books including Rigor vocavulary Not a Four Letter Word and Rigor and Differentiation how to make cube puzzle game formula the Classroom: Tools and Strategies Routledge, A nationally recognized expert in the areas of rigor and motivation, she collaborates with schools and districts for professional development.
Barbara can be reached through her website or her how to repair scratched cds with toothpaste. Follow her on Twitter BarbBlackburn. Tags: academic vocabulary Barbara R. MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents.
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Using Menus to Differentiate Literature. Where Reading and Writing Converge. Promote Student Efficacy and Lifelong Learning. Blackburn Although we concrpt always known the importance of teaching vocabulary, there has recently been a focus on academic vocabulary, especially vocabulary tiers, across the domains and content areas. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not vocbaulary published. Thanks for the timely article and the great resource tips, Sara. Hi Kevin, Thanks for the comment!
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Jul 29, · Academic Vocabulary can be defined as words that are not tied to any particular course or content area. These are words that students may be exposed to during any subject or class, whether it is math or social science. Remember that academic language is more than vocabulary, so also think about the English syntax that is used in various content areas. For example, the passive voice is often used in scientific texts: “In photosynthesis, the sun is captured by plants and is converted into . Said somewhat differently, vocabulary instruction is most effective when it is rich, deep, and extended” (p. 14). Concept circles (Vacca & Vacca, ) offer one such approach, giving students experiences with several key interconnected words from an academic reading.
Click here to view. Download white paper. As students progress through school, they are expected to demonstrate increasing levels of sophistication in their language and reading skills across all content areas. In order to gain knowledge through independent reading and participate in meaningful discussions in the classroom, students must master the complex words and phrases that characterize the language of school. Proficiency in these skills, otherwise known as academic language , is critical for reading comprehension and overall academic success.
Across the country, educators and policymakers have begun to acknowledge the importance of academic language, as well as its notable absence from curriculum and assessment. Recent national and state standards reflect a shift towards academic language by calling for instructional focus on words that appear across content areas, as well as opportunities for students to develop knowledge of words and concepts through discussion and reading Baker et al, These demands are particularly challenging for students with impoverished experience or limited exposure to English.
Many students struggle with academic language because their exposure to language outside of school does not include advanced words and phrases. Without exposure to advanced English language skills at home, ELLs face double the demands of language learning.
The term academic language may be used to refer to formal English rules, structure, and content for academic dialogue and text, and the communicative conventions that allow students to meet the demands of school environments. For actionable, instructional purposes, these specialized language skills include advanced vocabulary and syntax that help students unlock key elements of both oral and written language.
These skills support the listener or reader in gaining a rich understanding of the message being delivered. Vocabulary and syntactic knowledge in oral and written language encompass specific skills that allow students to meet academic demands across the curriculum. Though commonly used to denote breadth of knowledge of word definitions i. Proficiency in word parts and relationships helps students acquire new vocabulary, reason about the meaning of unfamiliar words, and comprehend the sophisticated vocabulary that characterizes academic language, including:.
Morphologically complex words words with multiple parts, including prefixes and suffixes e. General-academic words that are high frequency and may be abstract or have multiple meanings, e. Discipline-specific words that typically contain Greek combining forms, e.
Syntactic knowledge refers to the understanding of parts of speech and rules that govern how words and phrases combine into sentences, and how sentences combine into paragraphs. To comprehend connected text, students must master basic grammatical rules as well as sophisticated knowledge of words and phrases that are used to establish referents, organize ideas, denote relationships between concepts, and develop text cohesion, including:.
Use of connective words requiring sentence-level inferencing, e. Resolution of pronoun reference, e. The reader needs to connect the pronoun their to the noun native plants. Grammatical agreement between subjects, verbs, and tense, e. Vocabulary knowledge and syntactic knowledge help students engage with text and progress towards deep reading comprehension with increasing independence by supporting their abilities to:.
Using language from the curriculum, educators of all disciplines can provide students with repeated exposure to and application of high-utility vocabulary words, both general-academic and discipline-specific, instruction in word-learning strategies and word relationships, and practice with complex syntactic forms.
In addition, evaluating both academic language and reading comprehension skills through use of authentic academic texts will help educators to identify students who need support coordinating vocabulary and syntactic knowledge with comprehension strategies.
Students need a strong foundation in age-appropriate language to aid their comprehension and expression in the classroom and support them towards engaging with more complex language as they progress through school. For early elementary students who are learning to read, academic language can be taught via oral language instruction. Foster a language-rich classroom that includes opportunities for students to learn and apply new vocabulary when following directions, describing, participating in conversations, and listening and responding to stories.
Provide explicit instruction in word relationships and categories, high-utility vocabulary e. Teach word-learning strategies for acquiring new vocabulary, including the use of sentence-level context clues and word analysis skills. Demonstrate self-monitoring of comprehension when encountering complex language and ideas in texts read aloud. To meet these challenges, upper elementary and secondary students need instruction in more sophisticated academic language skills, including advanced vocabulary and grammatical structures.
Educators can help older students build their vocabularies, learn ways to reason about unfamiliar words, and think critically about what they have read with the following strategies:. Combine exposure and modeling with guided practice and independent, repeated oral and written application.
In addition to developing vocabulary, students need explicit instruction in the ways that words connect to other words, phrases, and concepts; new words must be learned and applied alongside the language structures within which they appear Nagy and Townsend, With opportunities to read, write, say, and hear language that varies in form and function across contexts, students can internalize syntactic knowledge skills.
To teach syntax skills, educators can use the following strategies:. When discussing texts, coach students through the meaning of sentences that require careful interpretation, especially those that require connections or inferences about multiple ideas. Provide students with sentence frames that chunk complex sentences into meaningful phrases and demonstrate how changes in word choice and order affect meaning, subject-verb agreement, and pronoun usage.
Enhance lessons and conversations using academic language with pictures, video, and other multimedia to help students with language weaknesses connect definition and function to concepts and their current background knowledge. Although this instruction is particularly critical for struggling readers and English Language Learners, all students will benefit from targeted instruction in the words, phrases, and forms that constitute academic texts and discussions.
Baker, S. Teaching academic content and literacy to English learners in elementary and middle school NCEE Department of Education. Bowers, P. Effects of morphological instruction on vocabulary acquisition. Reading and Writing, 23 5 , Corson, D. The learning and use of academic English words.
Language Learning, 47 , Foorman, B. Examining general and specific factors in the dimensionality of oral language and reading in 4thth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 3 , Nagy, W. How many words are there in printed school English? Reading Research Quarterly, 19 , — Words as tools: Learning academic vocabulary as language acquisition.
Reading Research Quarterly, 47 , Washington, DC: Author. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 64 , Uccelli, P. Beyond vocabulary: Exploring cross-disciplinary academic-language proficiency and its association with reading comprehension. Try Core5 Student Lessons. Preview the student experience and various personalized learning activities in the SIX areas of reading.
Get Them Now. Skip to main content. What is Academic Language? What are key elements of Academic Language? Proficiency in word parts and relationships helps students acquire new vocabulary, reason about the meaning of unfamiliar words, and comprehend the sophisticated vocabulary that characterizes academic language, including: Morphologically complex words words with multiple parts, including prefixes and suffixes e.
To comprehend connected text, students must master basic grammatical rules as well as sophisticated knowledge of words and phrases that are used to establish referents, organize ideas, denote relationships between concepts, and develop text cohesion, including: Use of connective words requiring sentence-level inferencing, e.
The reader needs to connect the pronoun their to the noun native plants Grammatical agreement between subjects, verbs, and tense, e. Vocabulary knowledge and syntactic knowledge help students engage with text and progress towards deep reading comprehension with increasing independence by supporting their abilities to: Acquire knowledge through reading and synthesize it with previously learned material Analyze audience, structure, purpose, and tone of texts Evaluate evidence, main ideas, and details in what they read How do you teach Academic Language?
Academic Language Instruction for Early Elementary Students Students need a strong foundation in age-appropriate language to aid their comprehension and expression in the classroom and support them towards engaging with more complex language as they progress through school.
To teach syntax skills, educators can use the following strategies: When discussing texts, coach students through the meaning of sentences that require careful interpretation, especially those that require connections or inferences about multiple ideas.