Examples of language function words are compare, explain, describe, interpret, justify, evaluate, sequence, analyze, and create. All students need direct, explicit instruction of academic language. Children are being asked to apply their basic understanding of skills, like recall and memory, and perform more complex tasks, such as defend or summarize. Check out some various examples and functions of this way of writing and then test your knowledge with a quiz! Are we trying to, information? Embedding the use of academic language in your classroom is a good start, but direct instruction will be necessary as well. It’s the vocabulary students need to learn and is necessary for their success in school. Synthesize: draw connections between components, Evaluate: make value judgments about things, assess their value and usefulness, "better", "worse", "more suited", "less desirable", Justify: give reasons for a particular position, action; convince others of your positions, persuade, Argue: provide arguments for or against something, Analyze: separate whole into parts, focus on connections between parts (e.g., compare and contrast, sequence, cause and effect, classify, order). The language functions go well beyond just learning the content vocabulary. In education, academic languagerefers to the words we use mostly in schools in places like text books, lessons, assignments and tests. Thus a second consideration for selecting a language function of focus in a lesson is make sure to vary the levels of thinking and language your lessons address across time so that students are exposed to a variety of levels of language/thinking. Therefore, direct instruction of academic language insures an accurate assessment. Academic language is the language needed by students to do the work in schools. This type of language is used to convey information in an objective way. A Focused Approach to Constructing Meaning, by Dutro and Levy explains further these functions and how best to support students. “It is the language used in school to help students develop content knowledge and the language students are expected to use to convey their understanding of this knowledge.” California ELA/ELD Framework, p.41. For example: Unemployment levels are down 5% this month. Language demand means the assignment or product the student makes, such as essay, paragraph, sentence, speech, lab report, reflection, play, poem, comic strip, magazine article. This is a great example of why we need language to be able to think about concepts - because language and thinking and intrinsically connected and two sides of the same coin! For example, “I’m sorry” represents the function of apologizing and, “Good Morning!” represents the function of greeting. Learning, using, and applying academic language is constantly ongoing as new concepts are taught on … D) "identify and investigate a design solution" definitely calls for "evaluation" as you need to make decisions about what is better and worse, etc. (www.colorincolorado.org) Definition 2: : express basic qualities of things, people and places, what they look like, etc. Explain: give reason, describe how something works, give examples of, etc. For example, you can look at the academic standards for your grade or content area and there are easily identifiable language functions/thinking evident in these standards. Generally, such an approach was introduced by J. R. Firth, who created a basis for British linguists, considering language as an interpersonal and interactive tool. Examples include predict, summarize, infer, or determine. We know that 'describe' is one of the lowest thinking skills; similarly, language associated with 'describe' is less complex that language associated with some other language functions, such as 'evaluate'. The language functions go well beyond just learning the content vocabulary. Before you read on below to find out what the associated language functions are for the text sections A, B, C, and D, try to identify them on your end using the list of possible language functions above: The language functions/thinking skills associated with the standards/benchmark above are the following: C) analyze (cause/effect) * Note here that even though the word "describe" is used (describe the positive and negative impact…) the language function/thinking is not "describe" but "describe impact", which entails cause/effect. Robert Marzano, an educational researcher and author, offers these six simple steps for instructing academic language. 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