Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2023

Publication Title

The Collection






Academic language proficiency is essential for success in school, especially for English Learners (ELs). However, it is a skill which receives little attention. Many ELs frequently exit from language assistance programs because they perform well on social language tests and sound proficient in language interchange, due to strong basic interpersonal communication skills. However, they may still struggle in content areas due to poor academic language proficiency. This article’s main goals are to illustrate the value of academic language comprehension and offer teaching techniques that will help ELs develop this skill. These strategies, which play to English Learners’ strengths, incorporate cognates and academic word lists into instruction.


Reproduction of pages in this publication is hereby authorized provided the use of materials is for educational, noncommercial purposes and if the number of copies does not exceed 100 copies. Before reproduction, place full citation in a prominent location on the document. Virginia State Literacy Association (VSLA).

Original Publication Citation

Gupta, A. (2023). Building academic language proficiency for English learners. The Collection, 3, 1-5.