Building Academic Language Skills and English Language Learners (ELL) through Dialogue, Discussion, and Discourse

It has been said that we are all language learners; we never learn all of the words in a given language. Our vocabulary continually expands as we learn new concepts and skills, or integrate new technology in our lives. For our students, the demands of the newer more rigorous state standards and increased instructional demand for all students to develop deeper academic language.

Throughout the course, teachers will learn strategies for increasing the amount and quality of academic interactions, as well as ensuring that they focus on content, utilizing the academic language of the content areas. Vocabulary instruction, as well as other key aspects of academic language instruction for English learners, will be integrated into instruction. Teachers will build lesson plans that show more formal, academic language and vocabulary instruction and integration based on the course of study.

As a result of this course, teachers will increase the amount of academic language use and practice in the classroom, thereby also deepening English learners’ vocabulary, reading and writing skills. Research shows that as English learners increase the amount and quality of their oral interactions, their reading and writing skills are also enhanced as they more deeply learn the academic vocabulary and text structures of the content areas.

This course has been divided into the following modules:

  1. Defining Constructive Dialogue
  2. Dimensions and Foundations of Constructive Dialogue
  3. Building an Environment of Accountability with Constructive Dialogue
  4. Determining Linguistic Demand
  5. Assessing Student Conversation and Discourse





Setting Instructional Outcomes


Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques


Engaging Students in Learning


Using Assessment in Instruction