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Academic Language: Everyone’s “Second” Language

Being able to speak English fluently does not guarantee that a student will be able to use language effectively in academic settings. Fluency must be combined with higher order thinking skills to create an “academic language,” which allows students to effectively present their ideas in a way that others will take seriously. The author, an ELL teacher, describes her use of “protocols” (a cheat sheet of sentence starters) to build students’ cognitive academic language proficiency.

Analytical Writing in the Content Areas

Because writing is thinking, the organization of students’ writing reflects both the structure of their thinking and the depth of their understanding. Students should be writing in all their classes, explaining what they know and how they know it. It’s essential for content-area teachers to give students meaningful analytical writing assignments. See  An Introduction to Analytical Text Structures for more information and graphic organizers to help with writing instruction.

Assistive Technology Tools: Writing

Learn about assistive technology tools — from abbreviation expanders to word-recognition software programs — that address your child’s specific writing difficulties.

Extended Writing-to-Learn Strategies

Writing enables students to process, organize, formulate, and extend their thinking about what they have been learning. In addition, teachers can also assign writing to help students evaluate what they know and understand about a topic. These writing-to-learn strategies help foster students’ abilities to make predictions, build connections, raise questions, discover new ideas, and promote higher-level thinking.

Key Literacy Component: Writing

Students who don’t write well aren’t able to learn and communicate effectively. This article explains what good writing skills are and how to help struggling young writers gain those skills through proper instruction.