You are here

Mastering Academic Language

Mastering Academic Language
A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement

February 2013 | 240 pages | Corwin
A legacy of the No Child Left Behind legislation of 2001 is that the significant achievement gaps between language minority students (ELLs and other speakers of non-Standard English) were made painfully visible to educators and the general public. Unfortunately, disaggregating data or 'exposing the cracks beneath the wallpaper' (Johnson/Avelar La Salle, 2010) alone is an insufficient remedy. Addressing these gaps remains a salient theme of our nation's school reform agenda and will be for years to come.

Over the years, Corwin has published a number of works that aim to help close achievement gaps between ELs and non-ELs as well as children of color and their White counterparts. Some of these titles are aimed at school leaders and suggest that a 'top down' approach emphasizing culture shifts and policy changes are the most effective starting points. (see, e.g., Lindsey et al., Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders, Singleton, Courageous Conversations about Race, and the upcoming Walking the Equity Walk by John Browne. Other titles start with changing practices at the classroom level, e.g., Bonnie Davis' How to Teach Students Who Don't Look Like You. The proposed title which falls into this second category highlights the importance of mastering Academic Language as a key to school success and closing achievement. It is grounded in an originaláfour-pronged framework that describes how academic language learning is a (1) sociocultural, (2) literacy learning, (3) academic, and (4) a cognitive (higher order thinking skill) process.á Written in a teacher-friendly voice, the book emphasizes what can be done to strategically plan and deliver high quality learning, school and parent engagement environments using this four pronged framework. It is also well-suited to the work of teacher teams and includes a number of reflective prompts and professional development activities.

About the Author
1. A Call for Reframing
2. Using a Four-Pronged Framework
3. Learning as a Sociocultural Process
4. Learning as a Developmental Process
5. Learning as an Academic Process
6. Learning as a Cognitive Process
7. Engaging in Parent Partnerships
8. Making Data-Driven Decisions

"This book engages teachers in active reflection on the nature of academic language and how it is used in different content areas across the curriculum. It highlights the need for instruction to connect to students' lives, stimulate their intellectual curiosity and cognitive growth, and expand their power to use multiple forms of language in creative and powerful ways. It represents an extremely useful tool for school communities to promote academic learning for all students."

Jim Cummins, Professor of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
OISE/University of Toronto

"Mastering Academic Language provides a practical look at the sociocultural foundations of academic language, relevant classroom and student examples, and a helpful framework for organizing and enacting the complex processes of developing language across a variety of contexts."

Jeff Zwiers, Researcher
Stanford University, CERAS 527

"This book is a must read for teachers and administrators. It provides a comprehensive approach to helping EL students learn academic language, key to success in the content areas. This book provides an excellent opportunity for leaders as a book study with its guidance and reflections throughout the chapters."

Maria Gillentine, Title III Program Specialist
Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, GA

"Educators of all levels and expertise will enjoy this easy read which connects every aspect of student achievement from vocabulary acquisition to assessment to individualizing instruction."

Michael Clyne, 5th Grade Teacher
Kanoheda Elementary School, Lawrenceville, GA

"Mastering Academic Language artfully weaves together vignettes with high-quality research while providing a new lens with which to see schooling and the achievement gap."

Christine Landwehrle, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction
Rumson School District, Nashua, NH

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781452255439