Teaching Academic Language

What is Academic Language?

Academic language is the language used in textbooks, in classrooms, and on assessments.  It is different in structure and vocabulary from the everyday spoken English of social interactions and must be taught explicitly.
Basic principles of vocabulary instruction:
C - Connect:  Students remember vocabulary when the word is strongly CONNECTED to what they already know and have experienced.
O - Organize: Students remember more information when it is clearly ORGANIZED into meaningful categories
D - Deep-Process: Students remember vocabulary when it is DEEPLY PROCESSED through visual, auditory, physical, or emotional experiences.
E -  Exercise:  Students remember vocabulary when they are given the opportunity to EXERCISE the mind through strategic review and practice in a variety of ways.
Academic Language Function Toolkit    (From Sweetwater Union High School District)
1 minute video about "College Talk"  in the classroom 
How to write Academic Language objective/target   Kinsella - Language Objective


1.  Vocabulary Knowledge Rating
Have students rate the vocabulary based on their knowledge of the term.  This handout provides various formats for VKR.
2. Graphic organizers for vocabulary organization
Frayer Model (4 per page)
Vocabulary Squares (6 per page)
3. Have students create knowledge cards to review vocabulary
Links for online vocabulary tools
Use Google presentation to create vocabulary cards
Sites where students can develop vocabulary: