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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Conceptualizaing Academic Language

  • Author(s): Solomon, Jeff
  • Rhodes, Nancy C.
  • et al.

In much of the research literature, academic language is described in discrete linguistic terms, focusing in particular on lexis and syntax. The purpose of this report is to explore academic language on a broader discourse-level of analysis. Examining three linguistic exchanges from a bilingual elementary school, the authors show how academic tasks influence academic language discourse styles (registers) in fifth grade class lessons. The authors also compare the research literature and their own classroom research with the results of a survey on academic language that they distributed to ESL educators.

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