January 8, 2015

Words we use in ELD!

Hi everyone,
Happy Thursday!  Many teachers ask what the definition is of many of the words we use in English Language Development (ELD).  Here are the definitions of a few I would like to share with you today.  What are some of the words you get asked about or words you want defined?
Happy Teaching,

Academic Language:  Formal language that is usually found in assessments and text books.  It is the part of language associated with literacy and uses precise and specific vocabulary and technical terms.

Academic Words:  Words specific to a particular content or concept.They are the words a student must understand in order to access the curriculum of a certain academic content area.

BICS:  Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills

CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

Cognates: Words in different languages related to each other by the same root.

Descriptors:  Broad categories of behaviors that students can demonstrate when they have met a standard.

False Cognates:  Words from different languages that sound alike and are similar in form but are unrelated in meaning.

Fluency:  The ease of comprehension in listening and reading and production speaking and writing.

Forms: Building blocks of language

Functions:  the reason to communicate


  1. This is great information and essential to teaching ESLs. GE teachers must also understand that academic language and social language differ greatly and an ESL student will understand social language before academic. One suggestion in regards to the accessibility of this information, it's hard to read. The font color is clashing with the background of the site. Perhaps next post change the font color.

  2. Hi Hollie,
    Thanks for your comments. I agree with you that GE teachers need to understand the difference between social and academic language. Sorry the font color clashed for you. Sometimes my sense of design doesn't work! :)

  3. I really don't know about these abbreviations
    Thanks for sharing
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    1. Glad to help you understand some of these abbreviations. Understanding some of the basic vocabulary of a new subject is half the battle!
      Happy Teaching,

  4. Thanks for sharing the definitions of a few words
    Nice Post and Keep Sharing
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