International Journal of Applied Linguistics

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 17 Issue 1 (March 2007), Pages 1-158

Teacher practices and perspectives for developing academic language (pages 93-116)

This study investigates the ways in which middle school teachers in the USA develop academic language in intermediate‐level English learners who attend mainstream content classes. Analysis of field notes, transcripts, and student work show that (a) academic language and higher‐order thinking skills are closely linked, and (b) classroom discourse patterns and activities both develop and impede language growth. The teachers used four principle communication strategies: questioning, gestures, connecting to background knowledge with examples and analogies, and personifying. The results suggest that students, despite growth in certain dimensions of cognition and language, also learn counter‐productive “rules of school”. This research is intended to benefit the millions of ‘non‐mainstream’ students worldwide who struggle in schools that have been created and shaped to serve mainstream purposes.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>