Academic Language In Second Language Learning

Edited by:
M. Beatriz Arias, Arizona State University
Christian J. Faltis, University of California, Davis

A volume in the series: Research in Second Language Learning. Editor(s): Bogum Yoon, State University of New York at Binghamton.

Published 2013

Language in academic settings, also referred to academic language, has gained attention in the field of second language learning owing to new understandings of the complexities of language inherent in learning academic content, and new efforts to assess English learners’ language proficiency in the context of school learning. The concept of academic language as distinct from social language has been in the academic literature since the mid-1950s, and surfaced as a major construct in the field of bilingual education in the 1980s. Many readers will be familiar with the ideas of BICS and CALP, first introduced by Jim Cummins in the 1980s. This book presents a critique of academic language as a separable construct from social language, and introduces current research efforts to understand how English learners interact, interpret, and show understanding of language in academic contexts in ways that re-think and go beyond the distinction between social and academic language.

The book is organized into three main sections, each with a range of chapters that consider how academic language plays into how children and youth learn academic content as emergent bilingual students in school settings. A Foreward and Afterward offer commentary on the book and its contents. The intended audience for this book is graduate students, teacher educators, and researchers interested in issues of language and content learning for English learners, the new mainstream of schools across the nation. There is something for a wide range of readers and students of second language acquisition in this volume.

Foreword, M. Beatriz Arias. SECTION I: LANGUAGE IN ACADEMIC CONTENTS. Demystifying and Questioning the Power of Academic Language, Christian Faltis. Developing Academic English With English Language Learners: A Study of Mainstream Classroom Practices, Shanan Fitts and Erica Bowers. Pedagogical Language Knowledge and the Instruction of English Learners, Audrey Lucero. SECTION II: ACADEMIC LANGUAGE IN LANGUAGE TEACHING. Exploring Academic Language in Exemplary Beginning Teachers Through a Constructivist Inquiry Approach, Barbara J. Merino, J. Richard Pomeroy, Al Mendle, and M. Cecilia Gómez. Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness in Digital Contexts, Tomás Galguera. Educators’ Conceptions of Academic Literacy and Language, Steven Z. Athanases and Juliet Michelsen Wahleithner. SECTION III: LANGUAGE IN SUBJECT-AREA CONTENT. Academic Language in the Social Studies for English Learners, Luciana C. de Oliveira. Scaffolding Academic Language in Science for English Learners, Frank Ramírez-Marín and Doug Clark. English Language Learning and Learning Academic Language in Mathematics, James A. Middleton, Silvia Llamas-Flores, and Paula Patricia Guerra Lombardi. Afterword, Karen E. Lillie. About the Contributors.