Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Academic Language

(1) Academic Language

Student teachers must complete the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) to receive credit for student teaching earn and their California Teaching Credentials. Review the Teaching Handbook in your discipline, looking specifically for the concept of "Academic Language". You may wish to review academic language resources for the sciences.

(2) Editing

Research indicates that students edit and revise more when writing on a computer than when writing by hand.

(3) Analysis of your textbook

Readability is a measure of the comprehensibility or understandability of written text. There are many methods and formulas for determining readability and the related reading age. Teachers should be aware of the readability level of their text as well as the reading level of their students.

(4) Equations

Many teachers have the need to incorporate equations into handouts, tests and notes. Equation editors allow you to make equations and then export them as graphics to word processors.

(5) Word Relationships

English dictionaries contain more than 250,000 words, while Spanish dictionaries contain approximately 100,000 words, and most other languages have far fewer. English has an extensive vocabulary and many synonyms. This can cause difficulties for English learners. An electronic thesaurus may be used to help students understand the complex relationship within the English lexicon.

Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

(6) Mastering Content Vocabulary

Although modern English has the largest and most complex lexicon of any language in history, the meanings of many words can be determined if one knows the common prefixes, suffixes and root words. Knowledge of such morphemes is particularly useful for English learners who face the formidable challenge of mastering English vocabulary, with all of its many nuances. According to Richard E. Hodges of the University of Puget Sound ("Improving Spelling and Vocabulary in the Secondary School; 1982, p 30) ,“If you were to examine the 20,000 most used English words, you would find that about 5,000 of them contain prefixes and that 82 percent (about 4,100) of those words use one of only fourteen different prefixes out of all the available prefixes in the language.” Thus, if students master these prefixes, they will know clues to the meanings of thousands of words."

ab- (away from)
be- (on all sides, overly)
de- (reversal, undoing, downward)
dis-, dif- (not, reversal)
ex- (out of, former)
pre- (before)
re- (again, restore)
un- (do the opposite of)
ad- (to, toward)
com-, con-, co- (with, together)
en-, em- (in, into, to cover or contain)
in- (into, not)
pro- (in favor of, before)
sub- (under, beneath)
Five or more related words that share this root
tell, pronounce

dictator (one whose word is law)
diction (enunciation)
edict (a formal pronouncement or command.)
dictum (an authoritative, often formal pronouncement),
dictate (to say or read aloud to be recorded or written by another)

(7) Communicating with English Learners and their families

Southern California is home to a very diverse population (see diversity of Los Angeles County), many of whom are immigrants from non-English speaking countries. Translation programs can help break down some of the language barriers between teachers, their students, and the families of these students.

(8) What is the influence of computers on the development of student writing?

Does technology have an influence on the quality and quantity of student writing?