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Preparing Mainstream Secondary Content-Area Teachers to Facilitate English Language Learners’ Development of Academic Language


by George C. Bunch — 2010

Given the increasing likelihood that secondary teachers either are or will be responsible for teaching English learners (ELs) and other language minority students from immigrant backgrounds, this chapter explores recent efforts to conceptualize and act upon what mainstream secondary teachers need to know about language. While widespread agreement exists regarding the importance of “academic language” for ELs in secondary school, there is less agreement about how this language should be conceptualized or how teachers should be prepared to facilitate students’ development of it. The chapter reviews different conceptions of academic language and argues for the importance of collaborative efforts between content-area and language specialists to promote ELs access to mainstream curriculum and opportunities to expand their linguistic repertoire for increasingly challenging academic endeavors.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 109. No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 14, 2010, p. 351-383
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18486, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 7:05:59 PM

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About the Author
  • George Bunch
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    E-mail Author
    GEORGE C. BUNCH is assistant professor of education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on how conceptions of academic language impact the education of language minority students, both in K-12 schools and higher education. He has authored or coauthored articles appearing in Linguistics and Education, Language and Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, TESOL Journal, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, Journal of Staff Development, and Issues in Teacher Education.
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