N T A Informing & Inspiring New Teachers a Kappa Delta Pi publication Volume 23, No. 2 KDP Executive Director FAYE SNODGRESS Managing Editor SALLY RUSHMORE Assistant Editors KATHIE-JO ARNOFF LAURIE QUAY EMILY ZOSS Art Directowr CHUCK JARRELL Academic Language Development 3 Ways to Help Students Master Content • • By Andrea M. Honigsfeld and Maria G. Dove NTA Advisors THERESA BECCATELLI HEATHER COWHERD ROBERT GRIGGS MADELINE KOVARIK JACQUELINE MANN LISA MURLEY ROBIN QUICK ADRIENNE REDDY GINA RILEY STEPHANIE SCHAEFER TINA SNOW NICHOLAS J. ULIANO ACADEMIC LANGUAGE Academic language is the language competence needed by all students to master cur-riculum content. It is the type of abstract and cognitively demanding language students must learn to understand new concepts as well as the complex information presented in the content areas. It includes the ability to recognize, internalize, and apply the unique ways language is used. Therefore, teachers must examine the word-level, sentence-level, and text-level features with their students. Word-Level Features Most teachers spend some instructional time teaching vocabulary. However, word selection and direct or indirect teaching methods vary by teacher. Consider the types of words that foster academic language proficiency: • Discipline-specific vocabulary: density, hiber-nation, filibuster • Cross-disciplinary words: analyze, compare, sequence • Phrases and idiomatic expressions that are discipline-specific—conservation of energy, goods and services, greatest common factor— as well as cross-disciplinary—for good mea-sure, heart of stone, piece of cake Consider an approach to vocabulary teach-ing suggested by Marzano and Simms (2013): 1. Offer a clear explanation or student-friendly description. 2. Have students restate the definition or example in their own words. 3. Make sure students create a graphic representa-tion for words. 4. Engage students in varied, motivating activities using the words. 5. Create opportunities for students to discuss target vocabulary. 6. Introduce students to games that invite them to use new words. Sentence-Level Features Examining text at the sentence level is essential for helping students to comprehend complex text as well as string together words into meaningful sen-tences. Consider the organization of the following ISSN 1070-7379 published four times during the school year by Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. Send all subscription orders and editorial correspondence to address above, call 1-800-284-3167, or visit KDP Online at www.kdp.org. Subscription rate: $14.00, members, per year, $25.00 for 2 years; $20.00, nonmembers, $35.00 for 2 years. Single copies, $7.00 (+s&h). Third-class bulk permit paid at Columbus, Ohio. Postmaster does not return issue to publisher with address change. Subscriber must send changes to: Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. ©2015 Kappa Delta Pi. All rights reserved.