Book Chapter

How Students Acquire Social and Academic Language

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Topic tags:
ELL, BICS, CALP, academic language
Special populations:
English Language Learners
Contact hours:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS II: Teachers establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students.
    • Element C: Teachers engage students as individuals, including those with diverse needs and interests, across a range of ability levels by adapting their teaching for the benefit of all students.

PD resource content

Resource material

In this book chapter, the author dispels some myths about the acquisition of language and offers example activities that a teacher might use to support students in developing social and academic language.

Resource Links


Haynes, J. (2007). How Students Acquire Social and Academic Language. Getting Started with English Language Learners. Retrieved from


Lara Jackson's picture
Lara Jackson
I appreciate the distinction between social and academic language, how they are acquired differently and serve a different purposes in the student's life. And just because a student is proficient in one does not mean he is proficient in the other.