FACTUAL FRIDAY: The Meaning of Academic English Language

What:  Academic English Language

The Meaning: Academic English Language (AEL) is the language used in the classroom, in textbooks, and on tests. It is different than everyday spoken language in many respects, including vocabulary and structure. In fact, no one speaks Academic English Language. However, AEL has become accepted as the foundation for successfully completing high school, finishing college, and then moving on to a career – so it’s a priority for our students to master it.

The Problem: Because many students struggle with AEL, they are falling behind. The results of a lack of proficiency in AEL have been carefully documented:

The Findings:

▪                Students in grades Pre-K-12 were unable to understand materials written in Academic English Language and received lower scores on tests especially in high school.

▪                A lack of proficiency in AEL proved to be a significant factor in dropping out of high school, especially for students struggling with English Language Learning (ELL).

▪                Failure rates increased among students who went to college unprepared for courses taught using Academic English.

The Learning Continuum:

Academic English can be taught and learned at every grade level by every student, even when English is not a first language. English Language Learner (ELL) students can be learning AEL as they improve their English.  Students working on AEL skills can continue to reach proficiency. Both can collaborate and learn from one another as they strive to reach the same goal. Academic English can be part of learning to write, read, speak, and understand English. And AEL can be incorporated into every domain taught in school including Science, Technology, English Language Arts, and Mathematics.

Next Steps:

Wherever you are in your progress toward preparing for the Common Core State Standards, CTB/McGraw-Hill can help with the resources you will need as you teach your students to become proficient in Academic English.

For more information on how we can help, visit academicenglishlanguage.com for all our capabilities and to download our free eGuide today!

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