“Academic English” Lists

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 18, 2008 1 min read
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One trend I’ve noticed in the field of teaching English-language learners is that lots of educators are talking about how best to impart “academic English"—the language of school as opposed to social English—as efficiently as possible.

At TESOL‘s annual conference recently, Kaye Wiley Maggart, who has written books for ELLs published by Pearson Education, encouraged teachers to refer to word lists developed by linguists to make sure students are learning the vocabulary they need to do well in school and on standardized tests. She recommended an academic word list developed by Averil Coxhead from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

I see that Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher of ELLs at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, has also just recommended the same list on his blog, and has noted that the list comes with exercises.

Educators: What tools and strategies are you finding useful to make sure that your students acquire “academic English?” Has the laser-like focus on “academic English” in the field been fruitful, and if so, how? Or is it just the latest buzz phrase?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.