There are so many acronyms in education. I think two of the most important ones in thinking about language education are BICS and CALP. Take a look at the chart below to start thinking about these 2 different kinds of language that language learners produce:
Why is it important to know the difference between these two kinds of language? Well, it helps us understand why a learner who has been in the United States for 2 years can speak English in informal settings with relative comfort and ease, but has a lot of difficulty reading the history textbook and writing an essay in formal English. This difference also tells us that even with concerted effort to learn a language it may take 5-7 years before a learner reaches academic proficiency. We need to give students a lot of time to learn language so that they can be academically proficient. How does your program address the research on BICS and CALP?
Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.