International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

DOI: 10.61494/ijspe

Academic Language Development in Action: Building Teacher Capacity through the Development of Academic Language

Dr. Catherine Elise Barrett and Dr. Kimberly Smith-Burton


This research focuses on engaging teacher education candidates in curriculum development that promotes a greater foundational understanding of mathematical concepts through the development of Academic Language. When students fully understand the demands of language, mathematics content area knowledge is acquired on a deeper conceptual level and this understanding of language can then be applied successfully across disciplines. This research demonstrates how students’ language and discipline knowledge are indelibly connected and presents strategies to develop direct and explicit instruction of tier-three, field-specific Academic Language. The researchers focus on how to provide pre-service educators with strategies to promote efficacy in the translation of a general understanding of vocabulary into a deeper knowledge of complex, conceptually dense words found in content specific language. The result of regularly incorporating academic language instruction into segments of learning in mathematics is a more profound overall understanding of discipline concepts.