LA 7.3 Center 3: Building Academic Language and Literacy


Learning Outcome Pedagogical Intent Student Position

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

Assessment: 25pts.

TA: 20 Minutes

Teachers can gather to critique and respond to their Unit Plan and Lessons. They can use the critique to improve these lessons specifically and their teaching practice more generally. 

Students have learned how to recognize, honor, and draw on prior knowledge and cultural experiences in their teaching. They have learned how to identify where students are in learning language and developing literacy. They know how to design lessons and assessments that elicit student knowledge and promote learning.


How to Run the Center: For this center, you will meet in groups of 4 for 20 minutes. Have someone keep time as you work in pairs to review unit plans. The center will be divided into five 4 minute segments. Give each person a number from 1 to 4. Use the following sequence for this learning activity:


  1. Review unit plan in terms of selecting academic language and vocabulary to teach in conjunction with selected texts. Consider the following questions to guide your discussion.
    • How do the unit revisions attend to literacy needs and strengths of all students in the classroom generally, and the two ELLs from the Literacy Profile, specifically? 
    • What changes did you make to attend to the literacy needs of all your students and specifically, you ELLs?
    • How do you see literacy differently based on the specific changes you made to academic language and vocabulary and reading comprehension activities? 
    • How does the unit plan better support academic language development and vocabulary learning?
    • Is there evidence of teaching students to understand and create texts?
    • Does the unit plan provide opportunities for students to learn the language of instruction (how formal/school language is used vs. informal/social language)?
    • Does the unit encourage student to use content language and vocabulary?
  2. Use the Build Literacy, Expand Literacy, and Create Literacy rows of the notes table to record ideas you want to include in your Explanatory Document. 

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