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Teaching Your Secondary ELLs the Academic Language of Tests

Focusing on English Language Arts

Dr. Robert J. Marzano writes, “Teaching specific terms in a specific way is probably the strongest action a teacher can take to ensure that students have the academic background knowledge they need to understand the content they will encounter in school.” Teach your English language learners unfamiliar language features before they encounter these words in core content areas and standardized test questions.


  • Utilize evidence-based, teacher-friendly lesson plans that help English learners deal with unfamiliar language on standardized test questions.
  • Examine background information on the relevance of lesson plans, materials lists, and graphic organizers.
  • Learn differentiated teaching strategies to meet the needs of students at different proficiency levels.
  • Study word lists divided by content area and grade level, along with practical strategies for classroom use.

Teaching Your Secondary ELLs the Academic Language of Tests


Chapter 1: Teaching the Language of the Reading-Objective Questions
Chapter 2: Teaching the Language of Revising and Editing
Chapter 3: Teaching the Language of the Open-Ended Response
Chapter 4: Teaching the ELA Academic Vocabulary
Appendix: The ELA Academic Vocabulary Word Lists