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When teachers ask students to write for a variety of purposes and across different genres, students learn language functions.According to Gibbons (1991), a multitude of language functions for speaking occur in the classroom each day, including the following: The term language structure refers to what students say: the phrasing, key words, and grammatical usage that students acquiring English will need in order to participate in a lesson.
In the 1980s, the field of second-language acquisition was widely influenced by theories developed by Krashen and Terrell (1983) and Cummins (1984).
Krashen proposed five hypotheses to explain how another language is acquired, and Cummins introduced us to the differences between basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS), or conversational language, and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), or what we now know as academic language.
Subject: Social Studies Content Objective: To understand the period of the 1920s and the women's rights movement Language Objective: To learn contractions in order to make comparisons Because students will be comparing what women could and couldn't do—and what they did and didn't do—in the 1920s, they will need the language function of comparing. The language objective is to learn contractions in order to make comparisons.
Conversational language differs from academic language. Conversational language is the informal, chatty way of talking that students use with family and friends, whereas academic language is language used at school and characterized by longer, more complex sentences that contain vocabulary less frequently heard than the vocabulary in everyday spoken English.
Students will learn more English when engaged in the action of talking with other students than through typical teacher-directed activities designed solely to deliver content. Language structure, by contrast, refers to the words themselves and how they are strung together into phrases and sentences.
Participation in oral activities has a dual purpose: it develops conceptual understanding and increases language use. Language functions exist in both oral and written communication.A powerful reciprocal relationship links talking and writing.Talking allows students to develop ideas and language they can use while writing, and writing allows them to develop ideas and language they can express orally.Mathematics, on the other hand, focuses on generalizations and principles, using academic language such as if …then, for instance, generally, it could be argued that, and therefore.The language structure is using the sentence starters "I think" and "In my opinion." The language objective is therefore using these starters to express opinions.Subject: Mathematics Content Objective: To comprehend the differences between two or more polygons Language Objective: Using more than and less than to compare polygons The language function includes both identifying and comparing in a two-step process.For example, "experiments were conducted by the scientists." Students in the process of learning English need teacher modeling of this type of language use and time to interact with others and use the passive voice when they "talk science." Just as science is known for passive voice, history is known for chronological discourse, because it's written according to a time sequence.Certain transitional words, also known as signal words, accompany historical text and are used by authors to link ideas together.In this chapter, we sort through the research to investigate language functions and structures; highlight what it means for students to use productive accountable talk and "sound like a book"—that is, to express their reasoning using academic language; and show how function, structure, and discourse fit into a framework that will help teachers identify the content-area academic language needed to explicitly teach their students.Language can best be understood as action, rather than form or function alone (Walqui, 2012); students learn to do things with language when they participate in meaningful activities that engage and challenge them.