Mastering Academic Language: A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement

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SAGE Publications, Dec 19, 2012 - Education - 240 pages

The achievement gap is a language gap—and you can bridge it!

Mastering academic language is the "make or break" skill for school success. This much-needed book shows how teachers can scaffold instruction for students who struggle to learn, speakers of non-standard English, and English learners, helping students from all backgrounds to thrive in school. Readers will find:

  • Practical teaching strategies based on the four key facets of academic language fluency
  • Richly detailed case studies about students’ experiences with academic language across the content areas
  • Guidance on family involvement
  • Thought-provoking study questions, along with performance assessment tools

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About the author (2012)

Debbie Zacarian is known for her work in advancing student engagement and achievement. Her explanations of current research into practical instructional, leadership, family-school engagement, and strength-based teacher evaluation systems are widely practiced.

An expert in policies and practices, Dr. Zacarian provides professional development, strategic planning and policy work with school districts and state agencies. She served as a consultant for the Massachusetts Parent Information Resource Center and Federation for Children with Special Needs.

For over a decade, Dr. Zacarian served on the faculty of University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She was also the founding director of the Center for English Language Education and Academic Achievement at the Collaborative for Educational Services where she led and provided professional development for thousands of educators and wrote policies for many urban, suburban and rural districts. She was also the founding director of the Amherst Public Schools bilingual and English learner programming where she and the district received many local, state and national honors.

Her professional books include:
• In It Together: How student, family and community partnerships advance engagement and achievement in diverse classrooms (with Michael Silverstone)
• Mastering Academic Language: A Framework for Supporting Student Achievement
• Transforming Schools for English learners: A Comprehensive Framework for School Leaders
• The Essential Guide for Educating Beginning English Learners (with Judie Haynes)
• Teaching English Language Learners Across the Content Areas (with Judie Haynes)

In addition, CorwinTeachALL, a planning, observation, and evaluation mobile app tool for teachers, coaches, and supervisors was created in partnership with Dr. Zacarian.

Bring Debbie Zacarian to you! Debbie is available for workshops, keynotes, and consulting services. Click to learn more about her workshops:

Unleashing the Power of Academic Language
Transforming Practice Using Research-Based Data Tools
Transformational Leadership and Supervision Practices for Educators of English Learners
Supporting Success for Beginning English Language Learners

For a recording of Debbie Zacarian's webinar, Unleashing the Power of Academic Language, please click here:

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