By now it’s a given: if we’re to help our ELLs and SELs access the rigorous demands of today’s content standards, we must cultivate the “code” that drives school success: academic language. Look no further for assistance than this much-anticipated series from Ivannia Soto, in which she invites field authorities Jeff Zwiers, David and Yvonne Freeman, Margarita Calderon, and Noma LeMoine to share every teacher’s need-to-know strategies on the four essential components of academic language. The subject of this volume is conversational discourse. Here, Jeff Zwiers reveals the power of academic conversation in helping students develop language, clarify concepts, comprehend complex texts, and fortify thinking and relational skills. With this book as your roadmap, you’ll learn how to:  • Foster the skills and language students must develop for productive interactions  • Implement strategies for scaffolding paired conversations  • Assess student’s oral language development as you go It’s imperative that our ELLs and SELs practice academic language in rich conversations with others in school, especially when our classrooms may be their only opportunities to receive modeling, scaffolding, and feedback focused on effective discourse. This book, in concert with the other three volumes in the series, can provide both a foundation and a framework for accelerating the learning of diverse students across grade levels and disciplines.

Conclusions, Challenges, and Connections

Conclusions, Challenges, and Connections

This book began by connecting the research on academic language and literacy to conversation-based discourse. A framework for how conversational discourse can foster academic language and literacy was presented, along with the essentials of discourse patterns, such as giving up and taking control, paralinguistic clues, and conversation skills. The conversation skills of clarifying ideas, supporting ideas, evaluating evidence and reasoning, negotiating ideas, and competitive argumentation were introduced as well as how to create a classroom culture of collaboration and specific scaffolds for conversation skills.

Overcoming Challenges

As discussed in Chapter 1, Think-Pair-Shares and partner talk can be used when first embedding academic oral language into one’s classroom, with the eventual goal of developing the conversational skills in this book. ...

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