Academic writing concepts and connections

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Academic writing concepts and connections

Thus, it is critical for ESL teachers to move beyond the functional English syllabus and to start providing a content-rich, high-standards curriculum that prepares ESL students to become academically successful in content learning.

This article provides a critical needs rationale for implementing a content-based ESL curriculum and discusses ways to implement it. This conversation is fictional, but very plausible. Why were you absent yesterday, Eduardo? My mother left for work already and I cannot drive, so Icall [ed] my uncle, then I wait[ed] for him to come and get my sister.

We took her to the hospital. Eduardo's oral English skills are excellent. The meaning is clearly delivered to the teacher as to why he was absent with minimal hindrance to communication although the fictional student's speech sample indicates that he does not consistently mark the verbs for the past tense.

However, this sort of speech sample is typical among fluent ESL students. When ESL students' basic conversational English skills are as high as this, what should ESL teachers teach to take the student to an even higher level of English?

Should an ESL teacher drill more to help the student express himself more concisely or conduct additional grammar drills for mastery of verb tenses?

The answer to these questions is definitively, no, not for students who can produce this level of fluent oral language. They can adequately survive in social settings, but surviving in academic settings is another matter.

What these ESL students need is strong academic English that helps them perform successfully in content areas because a strong proficiency in oral English does not necessarily translate into ESL students' academic success. ESL teachers can achieve that goal by moving beyond the functional-notional language syllabus and by adopting a CBEC, which targets content-rich, high-standards curriculum with critical thinking skills.

Theoretical Background Cummins ;; theorized that there are two kinds of English proficiency that ESL students must learn. The first is basic interpersonal conversational skills BICS that ESL students need when they carry on face-to-face conversation in social settings.

BICS English is characterized as context-embedded since contextual cues are available to both speaker and listener involved in the conversation, and it is cognitively undemanding. As the vignette illustrates, ESL students can easily recount orally what happened to them personally without difficulty once they attain fluency.

In other words, BICS English is easy to learn, and can be attained in a rather in a short period of time. The other proficiency is cognitive academic language proficiency CALP.

CALP English is characterized as context-reduced, as is found in written texts in content areas such as math, science, and social studies. Due to its decontextualized nature, ESL students struggle to comprehend what they read and to express what they know in writing.

ESL students' content area success matters because ESL teachers, as well as mainstream teachers, are held responsible for their adequate yearly academic progress.

One method is to integrate subject matter and language development through CBEC. Thus, the benefits of CBEC are manifold: First of all, ESL students learn age-appropriate content knowledge that reflects the content learning in the mainstream. While there is a significant gap in background knowledge between ESL students and mainstream students, CBEC can provide ESL students with opportunities to catch up with mainstream students' background knowledge.

When they learn grade-level content in math, science, and social studies, the background knowledge gained from CBEC will facilitate their learning in mainstream classes.

They not only feel that they are being challenged with a high-standards curriculum, but also feel more prepared in mainstream classes because they understand more. Thus, learning is more meaningful and situated.

Third, language learning becomes more purposeful. That is, ESL students learn the language, not about the language. English learning becomes a means to an end, which can accelerate second language acquisition.

They do not just learn how to construct an expository writing, instead they can write about the science experiment result based on the hypothesis they formed.

Fourth, ESL students learn technical vocabulary, which they critically lack. CBEC provides the most meaningful vocabulary learning opportunities for ESL students because they not only learn technical vocabulary but also use it in context.

Thus vocabulary learning is not only facilitated but also enduring.* An emphasis on core academic skills: Academic Writing introduces core concepts used across a variety of disciplines in order to help students recognize patterns that appear in all academic reading and writing situations.

* Connections across contexts: From traditional science reports written for 5/5(1). Oregon Health & Science University.

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academic writing concepts and connections

Click Download or Read Online button to get academic writing concepts and connections by teresa thonney 02 20 . Features * An emphasis on core academic skills: Academic Writing introduces core concepts used across a variety of disciplines in order to help students recognize patterns that appear in all academic reading and writing situations.

* Connections across contexts: From traditional science reports written for fellow scholars to blogs written for general audiences, this interdisciplinary text.

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5. Research findings are limited and inconsistent regarding the extent to which increased family involvement is linked to improved academic achievement among minority and.

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