The features of academic language taught in this course are words and discourse structures

What is academic language?

Academic language is:

  •  the language used in the classroom
  •  the language of text books
  •  the language of assessments
  •  the language of academic success
  •  the language of power

It is different in structure and vocabulary from the everyday spoken English of social interactions.  Many students have trouble comprehending the academic language used in school and college classrooms. 


Low academic language skills have been shown to be associated with low academic performance in a variety of educational settings.


Students who are underprepared in academic language:

  • are less able to distinguish between important and unimportant information in lectures  and text
  • are less able to restate and summarize information
  • are less able to summarize text
  • are more likely to misunderstand lecture and text book meaning