Making Academic Language Accessible For English Language Learners

Frank Toland, Leah Nillas, Faculty Advisor, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


One of the most troubling aspects of school for English Language Learners (ELLs) is academic language. Dicerbo, Anstrom, Baker and Rivera (2014) define academic language as "the language used in school to help students acquire and use knowledge" (452). As the academic rigor increases and content knowledge becomes more important than language development, ELL’s academic language falls further behind resulting in high dropout rates. The purpose of this research is to find ways in which teachers can help ELLs adjust to academic language. This literature review highlights ELL student backgrounds, the standards and assessments used for ELLs, teacher and ELL interaction, and ways to adjust to academic language in the classroom. Analysis of data suggested that ELLs are not provided with the resources needed to succeed in the mainstream classroom. Synthesis of data also implies that teachers lack the preparation necessary to make the classroom adjustments needed for ELLs to succeed.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 16 2016


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