Supporting Academic Language

HELP Math is unique in its focus on academic language in the context of instruction. It targets vocabulary development and academic English with the following research-based strategies:

  • Pre-teach essential vocabulary in context – Building background knowledge (Marzano); KEY WORDS Activity in many lessons
  • Repeat and practice of essential words in various different contexts – Academic language is included in every activity and presented in a variety of contexts
  • Integrate Academic Language throughout the instruction and interactivity – simultaneous development of math concept and language mastery
  • Academic Language is modelled with guided practice, repeated, visualized, explained, and practiced again so that it is rendered understandable/comprehensible, and can be mastered so that the language is ready to be used to develop additional concepts (when a new concept is introduced, key vocabulary is additionally scaffolded, ensuring mastery)
  • Synchronicity – of audio, visual, and text, which creates connection between words, symbols, and meaning
  • Visual representations - HELP Math provides a visual illustration of concepts (e.g., a figure), as well as English and native language (Spanish) audio and interactivity (e.g., click the butterfly).
  • Extra and content-specific vocabulary explained in English and Spanish through hyperlinks and key terms dictionary - always includes text, audio and visual. This pedagogical functionality is included in “Formulas” and “Need More Help” scaffolds
  • Scaffolding the linguistic load through repeated exposure to Academic Language in a variety of contexts (e.g., during instruction, learning games, etc.)
  • Clear description of academic tasks
  • Appropriate speech (pace of virtual math coach, sentence structure, paraphrasing)
  • Interactive Notepad - building students’ reasoning and writing skills using academic language
  • Interactive Notepad can be used for KWL activities, for example:
    - What is my objective for today (know and understand by the end of the class)?
    - What do I know about this already (prior knowledge)?
    - What new vocabulary was introduced today?
    - One question that I would like to ask my teacher is…




HELP Math is effective in developing academic language for Common Core math success

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