What is academic language and why use it?

Academic language is the language commonly used in texts, various subjects, lectures, and in testing. It is also often associated with higher order thinking. One of the main reasons to use academic language is so your students/kids can show what they know.

To illustrate, perhaps your child knows how to add and subtract, but when it comes to a test that asks for the “sum” or the “difference,” will they understand the question?

Some examples of academic language are: sum, difference, product, characteristics, attributes, setting, plot, genre, form, infer, predict, synthesize, analyze, critique, interpret, etc. There is also specific academic language for specific subjects.

Get in the habit of using academic language with your students/children. When it comes time for testing, they will thank you!