Academic Discourse


Unpacking Academic Discourse (PDF) (html)

Academic Discourse Resources
"Although the ability to read, write, and discuss the content of the reading is all part of academic literacy, the ability to present ideas orally deserves attention because of its importance to students for lifelong success in higher education and careers. Researcher Mike Schmoker calls good academic discourse "argumentative literacy—the soul of education."1 As such, academic discourse is critical to rigor. When students can discuss what they read, think critically, and defend their positions, teachers get a clear picture of how well students understand and apply the knowledge. In addition, students cement their learning by articulating it and having a dialogue with their peers about their ideas.
The English-language arts standards for listening and speaking reinforce the importance of rigorous academic discourse. At the middle school level, students employ rhetorical strategies to deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly. In addition, students evaluate oral presentations and media communications." (from the California Department of Education)