Academic language is the set of words, grammar, and organizational strategies used to describe complex ideas, higher-order thinking processes, and abstract concepts.

Jeff Zwiers (2008)

How do we empower diverse learners with the academic language essential for school success?  Let’s discuss this important topic on Monday, August 18th at 6pm EST during #thetileonechat on Twitter.

Thank you, Tiawana Giles (@TiawanaG) for this opportunity to be a guest moderator this week for your great Twitter chat!

For readers who like to have time to think about questions early, I’m posting each question now in this blog. As a chat participant, I love it when moderators post questions in advance, as it gives me “think time” before the chat so I can put more focus into reading and responding to others when the chat begins. If you’d like a heads up of questions in advance, read on.  If not, don’t worry, I’ll post each of the following one at a time during the chat to facilitate the conversation.

Chat Questions:

Q1: Welcome to #thetitleonechat. Please introduce yourself and share the languages and/or dialects spoken in your school communities.

Q2: How might schools best honor student’s home language and/or non-standard English dialects as assets?

Q3: What are powerful ways to support students in varying their language use by context and purpose?

Q4: What aspects of academic language present the greatest challenges for students in your school(s)?

Q5: What strategies do you find most effective for helping students UNDERSTAND academic language in reading complex texts?

Q6: What strategies are most effective for helping students USE academic language in speaking and writing?

Q7: How do you gather formative data about students’ use and understanding of academic language in school?

Q8: What question would you most like answered about the teaching and learning of academic language?

Q9: Please read the “A8″ posts of others and reply to a question someone else has asked.

When you reply to each post, remember to use A and the number of the question (e.g. A2).  Also always use the hashtag #thetitleonechat so we see your post.  For more details on how to participate in a Twitter chat, read this blog by Azure Collier  for essentials on joining in.

Some Resources on Academic Language:

I look forward to facilitating the sharing of more ideas and resources tomorrow during #thetitleonechat.


Quote Citation:  Zwiers, J. (2008). Building Academic Language: Essential Practices for Content Classrooms, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,  p. 20.

I am a keynote speaker, author and educational leader helping educators teach and lead for equitable schools. My books include EL Excellence Every Day, Breaking Down the Wall & Opening Doors to Equity. I'm a descendant of colonizers and enslavers deeply committed to transforming my family legacy for healing.

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