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Academic Language Functions

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Joseph Libolt

on 22 April 2013

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Transcript of Academic Language Functions

Academic Language Functions and
Supporting Language Learners What is a Language Function?

"Language functions refer to the ways students use language in the lesson. The lesson may call for students to describe, compare, summarize, or analyze, for example" (SIOP pg. 32).

"Language functions are the content and language focus of the learning task represented by the active verbs within the learning outcomes." (from the Teacher Performance Assessment - TPA)

For Example: Common language
functions in history/social studies include
interpreting maps, graphs, and data
tables; evaluating and interpreting an author/presenter/historian’s purpose and
message; examining evidence an author/presenter/historian uses to support claims; analyzing arguments in favor of a perspective; writing/presenting persuasive
arguments; analyzing and/or describing causes of historical, economic, geographic, and political events; and defending argument with evidence." (TPA, 2012) Objectives:

Our goal for today (and anytime we use this chart with teachers)

-Teachers get an overview of the
language function and its language
-Teachers develop strategies to scaffold
student access of the language
function. What are the goals of this chart?

Provides a scaffolded way to help teachers think through the language demands in their classes and with ELLs at different language proficiency levels

Guides a teacher’s thinking step-by-step through the process of identifying linguistic demands and providing support for ELLs in meeting those demands

Makes explicit the internal thinking process of identifying complex language demands and how to be intentional about providing appropriate support Turn and Talk

How do you currently support mainstream teachers in their work with ELLs and academic language?
What challenges and/or successes have you encountered in your work around supporting ELLs with academic language?
How do you see this chart benefiting this work?
How might you change this chart to fit your context?
Full transcript