Strategies for Helping English Learners

Strategies for English Learners

Academic Language Takes Longer for English Learners to Master

ELs must learn two types of language. Social language is everyday language. We use it to talk with family and friends. We hear it on TV and radio. It takes at least two years to learn to use social language well.

Academic language is the language of schooling. It has a lot of special words that relate to the routines of classrooms and schools. Making things even more difficult, every subject has its own set of special words. It takes a long time (six, seven, or even more years) to get good at academic language. So, an EL who uses social language effectively might still struggle with academic language.