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Mastering Academic Language

Mastering Academic Language
A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement

December 2012 | 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
Key features
(1) Provides a much-needed guide to understanding the need for some students (especially ELLs and SELs) to learn academic language explicitly and for teachers to design and deliver high quality learning school and parent engagement environments for this purpose.

(2) Based on an original four 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.

(3) Suitable for team and individual professional learning, the book incorporates reflective prompts in every chapter. 

(4) Includes richly detailed case studies to help sensitize teachers to the backgrounds and needs of Academic Language Learners and their families.

(5) Ideally suited for use in school- and district-wide common core initiatives.


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ISBN: 9781452255439
CAD$ 48.95

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