LA 4.1 Characteristics of Academic Language

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Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

Utilize knowledge and skills to construct learning environments that support development of English language proficiency: literacy, academic, and cognitive development. (footnote language and definition)

Assessment: 25 pts.

TA: 50 Minutes

Teachers can use their understanding of the characteristics and importance of students' development of academic language to guide their planning and teaching. 

Students have inventoried their literacy practices, developed principles for creating literacy rich and literacy focused classroom. Now they explore the characteristics of acdemic language.



  1. Discuss in heterogenous groups of 4-5 (elementary/secondary) the characteristics of academic language presented in the article Words as Tools from HW 3.5. Discuss the following questions:
    • What did you learn from reading the article that you want to implement in your language and literacy teaching practices?
    • What are your favorite quotes from the article that you could use to inspire your students to foster word consciousness? (Fostering word awareness means having an awareness and interest in words and their meanings.)
    • What are the definitions of these characteristics of academic language?
    • Why are they important for elementary and secondary teachers to understand?
    • How can they be attended to in the literacy teaching practices of elementary and secondary education professionals?
  2. Create a document that lists each of the following Characteristics of Academic Language  and they provides a definition or description of each:

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