On this page, you will find some terms associated with learning language. There are also some related websites that will help explain each term.

1. BICS-- Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills. These are the language skills needed for everyday personal and social communication.

2. CALP--Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency is the language associated with native language literacy and cognitive development. These are the language skills needed to undertake academic tasks in the mainstream classroom.

3. Language acquisition--Children acquire language through a subconscious process during which they are unaware of grammatical rules. Listed below are the levels of language acquisition for ELL students.

Stages of Second Language Acquisition
This is the silent period. English language learners may have up to 500 words in their receptive vocabulary but they are not yet speaking. Some students will, however, repeat every thing you say. They are not really producing language but are parroting.
Early production
This stage may last up to six months and students will develop a receptive and active vocabulary of about 1000 words. During this stage, students can usually speak in one- or two-word phrases. They can use short language chunks that have been memorized although these chunks may not always be used correctly.
Speech emergence
Students have developed a vocabulary of about 3,000 words and can communicate with simple phrases and sentences. They will ask simple questions that may or may not be grammatically correct.

4. Morpheme--The smallest unit of meaning in grammar

5. Phonetics
--The study of the production, transmission, and reception of speech sounds

6. Phonology
--A study of the sounds in any language

7. Vocabulary
--The particular selection or types of words chosen in speech or writing

8. Grammar
--The study of sentence structure, especially with reference to syntax and semantics


9. Punctuation--
The use of standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning.

Segmenting words—The taking apart of individual sounds in a word

11. Blending--
The task of combining sounds rapidly, to accurately represent the word

Cognate--A word related to another word in another language