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ERIC Number: EJ796878
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1475-1585
What's Language Got to Do with It?: A Case Study of Academic Language Instruction in a High School "English Learner Science" Class
Richardson Bruna, Katherine; Vann, Roberta; Perales Escudero, Moises
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, v6 n1 p36-54 Jan 2007
This article presents a case study of academic language instruction in a high school "English Learner Science" course. It illustrates how a teacher's understanding of academic language affects her instruction and students' opportunities for learning. We examine a transcript of classroom discourse for the "didactic tension" that exists between this educator's teaching of science vocabulary and students' development of conceptual understanding in science. We assert that the teacher's emphasis on vocabulary serves to obscure important semantic relationships among the phenomena she is teaching about in her lesson, as well as ignores the linguistic resources needed to express those relationships. We propose that the social action accomplished by this didactic tension may be to produce an economy of discourse for English Learners which, contrary to the goals of academic language instruction, serves to withhold from them opportunities to not only to talk, but think, like scientists. We use our findings to call for further research into teachers' beliefs, practices, and discourse related to academic language instruction and the impact of these on students' language as well as content learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A