Alicia Fernandez: Building Academic Vocabulary Across Subjects for Academic Achievement


ETAP 623 Spring 2014 | Alicia Fernandez Portfolio | Alicia's Personal page |

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Hello and welcome to the mini-course!

The notion of academic vocabulary may conjure up thoughts of SAT test prep words or terms that might stump Watson on Jeopardy. However, that is NOT what academic vocabulary instruction is about.

Academic vocabulary instruction is about focusing on the words that repeat themselves throughout K-16 education and are often pivotal to deciphering instructions for assignments and tests. These terms include those used in learning objectives and activities, such as: analyze, evaluate, compare, contrast, classify, compile, synthesize, support, etc.

The bulk of words that students encounter in texts will be acquired in the language of everyday speech. However, as they progress in their educational journey, the academics texts and tests become denser and the vocabulary is more complex and abstract. Research has shown that students who receive early and frequent exposure to cross-disciplinary academic vocabulary instruction tend to have much better reading comprehension skills, which lead to better overall academic outcomes.

The purpose of this course is to facilitate the inclusion of academic vocabulary in all subjects. Please continue on to UNIT 1 to learn more about this and why it is so essential to lifelong learning.

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UNIT 1: What is academic vocabulary instruction? Why is it essential to successful learning outcomes across the curriculum?

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UNIT 2: How to teach academic vocabulary across the curriculum?

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UNIT 3: How can academic vocabulary instruction be implemented across the curriculum?

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