From Words to Wisdom
Supporting Academic Language Use in PreK–3rd Grade
Erica M. Barnes Jill F. Grifenhagen David K. Dickinson Susan B. Neuman
Teachers College Press
This practical guide shows teachers how to introduce academic language to young children, with an emphasis on appreciating and leveraging linguistic diversity. New educational standards are asking students to master content-area concepts and increasingly complex texts in earlier grades. This practitioner-friendly text provides instructional materials, sample dialogues, and assessment tools to facilitate academic language use in PreK–3 classrooms. The authors describe the word, sentence, and discourse levels of academic language, while encouraging teachers and students to consider purpose, participants, discipline, and context. Strategies are provided to help readers adapt language for a variety of academic purposes across mathematics, science, play, mealtimes, and ELA instruction. The text includes discussion questions, reproducible activities, planning materials, assessment tools, and handouts to facilitate smooth implementation into classroom practice. From Words to Wisdom will empower teachers to build bridges to academic success for all young learners.
- Expands teachers’ understanding of academic language beyond vocabulary to include syntax and discourse-level features.
- Includes specific strategies, activities, and suggestions for teaching from and with academic language across multiple settings and disciplines.
- Addresses all students, including multilingual and linguistically diverse speakers.
- Incorporates user-friendly features, such as text boxes, vignettes, assessment protocols, and sample teaching materials.
Erica M. Barnes is an associate professor in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning at the University of Albany and a former teacher, teacher consultant, and progress monitoring specialist. Jill F. Grifenhagen is an assistant professor of literacy education at North Carolina State University and a former early elementary classroom teacher and instructional coach. David K. Dickinson is professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.