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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