Category: funnies

Why we need to teach academic vocab

The two videos below make an excellent case for why we need to teach academic vocabulary explicitly.

Firstly, John Cleese gives us a tour of the inner workings of the human brain…

… then we are treated to a game of cricket through the eyes and ears of our American cousins.

While these two clips do a great job of satirising two situations where the language can sound utterly incomprehensible to even the most proficient user of English, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that many ELLs risk finding ‘normal’ mainstream lessons just as baffling as what you have just watched.

There is a good summary of why and how we should teach academic vocabulary here.

An invaluable resource for delving deeper is Pauline Gibbons’ book ‘English Learners Academic Literacy and Thinking‘. We have a copy in the EAL office, which colleagues are welcome to consult.