Chapter I L2 acquisition theory
Chapter II Basic Interpersonal Skills ( BICS)
Capter III Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency ( CALP)
What is Language Development?
Speak and listen to
Language develops through
Learners need to be exposure to
language in a rich environment
How does Language Develop?
Language develops through meaningful conversations: talking
about books, daily events, places they’ve visited. These
activities help increase vocabulary and increases the ability to
understand stories and how things function
Stage 1: Pre-Production
simple language but
cannot produce language
– Minimal comprehension
– No verbal production
Stage 2: Early Production
more complex language
and can make one or two
– Limited comprehension
– One/two word responses
Stage 3: Speech Emergence
Students can speak in
phrases and sentences.
– Increased comprehension
– Some basic errors in speech
– Reading limited to what is
– Writing limited to brief
Stage 4: Intermediate Fluency
Students can combine phrases
and sentences into longer
passages of language, oral and
– Good comprehension
– Use of complex sentences
– Some errors in written language
Summary of Language Acquisition
The child learns by unconsciously generating rules.
Errors often indicate that learning is taking place.
Students learn language in meaningful, supportive, and
Students understands more than they can say.
they will acquire a lot of time to become fluent.
Learning vs Acquisition
Focus on forms to be Focus on need to
Error correction is a critical Error is accepted as
Learning is a conscious Acquisition is an unconscious
process of internalizing
Rules are taught inductively
and deductively Rules are not taught unless
Lessons are characterized by requested
teacher developed drills and Lessons are characterized by
exercises student-centered situational
Who defined BICS and CALP?
Jim Cummins differentiated between social
language (BICS) and academic language (CALP)
ESL students acquire BICS rather quickly (e.g., 1-2
years) in the U.S.
It takes longer to learn CALP (e.g., about 5-7
What are BICS?
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
are language skills needed in social situations.
ELLs use BICS during social interactions in a
meaningful social context (e.g., party, talking to a
friend, face to face conversation).
What is CALP?
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency refers to
formal academic learning.
This level of language learning is essential for
students success in school.
ELLs need time and support to become proficient
in academic areas.
BICS vs. CALP
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
Conversational fluency: social language
Includes “Silent Period”
Lasts 1 – 3 years
Early production: 1000 words (0-1 year)
Speech Emergence: 3000 words (1-2 years)
(first 2 years)
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
Academic proficiency: “school” language
Intermediate fluency: 6000 words (1-5 years)
Advanced and continuing language development: 7000 words+ (5-7 and
even 10 years)
What processes are affected by BICS
Focusing on Cognitive and Language
Cognitive Process Language Process
Analysis Semantic meaning
Synthesis Functional meaning
BICS & CALP
Social Language Academic Language
– Simpler language – Technical vocabulary,
– Usually face to face complex grammar
– Precise understanding is – Often lecture, or reading
seldom required – Precise understanding is
– Familiar topics required
– Clues from body language, – New/difficult topics, abstract
social context knowledge
– Opportunities to clarify – Fewer clues (clues are
– More difficult to clarify
3 Principles for Engaging ELLs
Interaction Critical Thinking
Principle #1: Social Interaction
Take time to summarize learning frequently during
Give students an opportunity to talk about content
with a partner, during instruction.
Principle #2: Comprehensibility
Use diagrams and picture cues to reinforce the
concepts and processes of a content area.
Provide hands-on learning opportunities.
Principle #3: Critical Thinking
Explicitly model the thinking processes of a content
area during instruction.
Ask frequent questions to check for understanding
My concern is that my students need to
improve communicative oral skills in English.
How can I implement some strategies to help
them to communicate in the second language
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