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ERIC Number: EJ974805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0261-4448
The Development of Linguistic Complexity: A Functional Continuum
O'Dowd, Elizabeth
Language Teaching, v45 n3 p329-346 Jul 2012
Following the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), which mandates standards-based accountability for the academic progress of all students, much attention has been given to integrating language and content instruction for English learners (ELs) in K-12 classrooms in the US. Although TESOL and other state-approved language proficiency standards acknowledge that academic English requires progressive linguistic complexity to tackle progressively complex content, they give no indicators for this progression beyond some generalizations about increased sentential variety. An enlightening characterization of linguistic complexity comes from Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), specifying how grammatical choices actually construct meaning, making a strong case for explicit, proactive instruction, and calling for a systematic analysis of the language our English learners need to master. This paper describes an ongoing project to answer this call by charting a developmental continuum of complexity for school-age English learners. Its preliminary analysis is based on some 90 compositions, collected over the course of a year from more than 30 students in a New England middle school classroom.
Cambridge University Press. 100 Brook Hill Drive, West Nyack, NY 10994-2133. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Fax: 845-353-4141; e-mail: subscriptions_newyork@cambridge.org; Web site: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=LTA
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001