I am now involved in the fascinating task of enhancing my students’ Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. Although it is supposed that students at tertiary education have been exposed to this type of languagefor many years, it comes as a surprise that they return written assignments using poor and basic vocabulary. It is time to expand their vocabulary and help them build up appropriate discourse.
At the moment I’m using two strategies. One is to provide students with Academic Phrases (sometimes related to Oral Language, sometimes related to Written Language) in small cards. Students are asked to laminate and compile them. This is proving successful in some cases, specially for the written assigments (not so much for the oral ones).
Another resource I’m using is a web my colleague prof. Ana Halbach suggested:
It can be very useful to spot academic language used in text and to raise students’ awareness on the use of vocabulary and structures.
Finally, I’m also researching on didactic materials for Infant Education. I was curious to know if they are developing CALP in any way. Many bilingual teachers have told me that the vocabulary included in textbooks for this level is not useful for their “classroom life”, and does not help to develop cognitive skills. I find this a really interesting and intriguing topic.
What about you?
Are you CALP-aware in your lessons? Do you work on CALP? What has proved successful to you?
Source of image: <a href=”Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“>Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net