Academic Language Overview. Academic Language Takeaways. Academic language is different from everyday language. Some students are not exposed to this language outside of school. Much of academic language is discipline-specific.
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Academic language development is making the language explicit to expand students’ control over language and improve their language choices according to the purposeand audience for the message.
Academic language also offers structuresfor developing as well as expressing explanations, evaluations, and analyses.
Developing students’fluency in academic language provides access to the “language of school” and academic success.
The purposes of Academic Language areto clearly and explicitly define, classify, analyze, explain, argue, interpret and evaluate ideas for all pupils.
Academic Language also includes instructional language needed to participate in learning and assessment tasks including
Technical vocabulary: triangle, metaphor, metabolize
Words whose technical meaning is different than everyday language: “balance” in chemistry, “plane” in mathematics, “ruler” in history/social science, “force” in science
Have a general structure – e.g., narratives, explanations, arguments
Argument proposing causes of an historical eventSubject-Specific Genres/FORMS
Representing word problems mathematically
Causal conditional connectives: because
Comparative connectives to introduce counterpoints: consequently, thereforeStructures ofArgument Genre/FORM
Mental verbs used to express opinions: like, believe
Move from personal to impersonal voice
Connectives used for logical relations and to link points
Argument with evidence: Proposition, argument, conclusion
Discussion: statement of issue, arguments for, arguments against, recommendation
Elaborated discussion: statement of issue, preview of pro/con, several iterations of point/elaboration representing arguments against, several iterations of point/elaboration representing arguments for, summary, conclusion
Abstractions: government, electron, linear equation, acid
Nominalizations, verbs or adjectives becoming nouns to enable more dense text or more cohesive text:
organize into…→ this organization…
…were revealed. The trigger for this revelation was…
More precise connector words and phrases, going beyond “and” or “but” to “in contrast” or “Given this, it follows that…”.