Academic Language

Reading science tells us that academic language skills are critical to students’ success in school. In fact, academic language skills are significantly predictive of students’ ability to understand what they read. But understanding where students require support with academic language, and developing instruction and programs that help students master academic language skills, can seem daunting. How do you identify students’ needs so you can focus instruction appropriately, and how do you track progress, and how do you provide teachers with the tools they need to help all students, including English Language Learners, master the academic language skills they need to become successful readers? With Lexia, you can:

  • Efficiently screen students’ academic language skills

  • Help students develop the academic language skills necessary to comprehend increasingly sophisticated texts

  • Empower teachers with a carefully crafted scope-and-sequence that teaches key academic language skills

watch academic language webinar

Who Lexia Helps


Lexia develops fundamental academic language skills early in elementary school with age-appropriate tasks and resources that target growing students’ oral language skills through activities in listening comprehension, visualizing, and categorization.

As students transition from learning how to read to reading to learn in upper elementary school and beyond, academic language skills become significantly predictive of overall reading success.  Lexia addresses key elements of academic language, targeting not just vocabulary breadth (how many words a student knows), but also focusing on word parts like prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots.  Lexia also provides students with activities to understand the grammatical structures of texts, which becomes increasingly important as students encounter more complex texts in upper elementary school and beyond.

Lexia provides students with an explicit and structured personalized learning experience that helps them progress from developing oral language skills to building the knowledge of academic vocabulary and sophisticated grammatical structures they need to be prepared for college, careers, and adult life.  

Teachers and Leaders

Screening language skills can often take hours of 1:1 on time with a speech language pathologist. Lexia provides educators with valuable screening data on these critical skills in less than an hour with no special training required to administer the assessment. 

Discretely screening academic language skills helps instructional leaders identify curriculum and professional development needs around academic language and align district and school-wide literacy initiatives to support teachers and students.

Lexia empowers teachers by providing student-driven online learning and teacher-directed offline instruction that help students master academic language skills.


How Lexia Helps

Lexia targets the development of students’ academic language skills through explicit instruction that helps students acquire the “language of school.” Vocabulary instruction includes work with spatial concepts, multiple meaning words, and figurative language. 

Lexia also teaches structural analysis skills that help students to learn word parts (such as prefixes and Greek combining forms) that are frequently found in academic texts.  Lexia’s comprehension work builds from listening comprehension to higher order thinking skills and understanding text structure. Lexia also helps students build fluency skills, such as understanding sentence structure and phrasal chunking, which are particularly important for English Language Learners.

With Lexia, educators can efficiently screen students’ academic language skills and access a library of resources written by literacy experts that help students to develop the academic language skills critical to successful reading comprehension.


See How Lexia Can Support Academic Language Development
S. Y. Jackson Elementary School, Albuquerque Public School District, NM
Claude A. Wilcox Elementary School — Pocatello-Chubbuck District 25, ID
Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Irving Park, IL, A Distinctive Schools Campus
Research and Best Practices
Academic Language: From Theory to Practice
Academic Language: From Theory to Practice

As described in “ Understanding Academic Language and its Connection to School Success ” (Friedberg, Mitchell, & Brooke, 2016), academic language is critical for reading comprehension and overall academic success. Often referred to as “the language of school”, academic language encompasses the words and phrases that characterize the texts, discussions, and assessments that students encounter in educational settings.

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Assessment: The Key to Uncovering Opportunities for Student and Teacher Growth
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Education leaders frequently discuss using assessments to guide student learning, but it’s also important to recognize how assessments can guide educator efficacy and career growth. According to a 2010 white paper on teacher assessment and evaluation from the National Education Association (NEA), the purpose of assessment is twofold: to improve...

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How Growth Mindset Can Benefit Students Struggling with Reading
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
How Growth Mindset Can Benefit Students Struggling with Reading

When was the last time you completed a monumental task? Maybe you ran a marathon, started a new job, or learned to play a musical instrument. There were probably moments when you felt overwhelmed by the work ahead or even considered dropping out entirely. What kept you going? How did...

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Advantages of Learning Management Systems in K–12 Classrooms
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Advantages of a Learning Management System in the K–12 Classroom

Learning management systems (LMS) are software or web-based applications that provide a central, integrated space for educational resources, including content resources, assessment tools, grading tools, and administrative tools. They offer a portal through which students are able to access learning materials and see their assignments and grades, and make administrative...

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Understanding Informational Text: 7 Motivating Activities for Early Readers
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Understanding Informational Text: 7 Motivating Activities for Early Readers

Your students are still learning to read, so when should they begin reading to learn? Right now! In fact, reading informational text builds background knowledge, supports the development of academic language, and can capitalize on students' natural curiosity about the world around them. Informational text often develops a topic by...

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5 Strategies for Engaging Reluctant Readers
Thursday, February 1, 2018
5 Strategies for Engaging Reluctant Readers

A reluctant reader is, quite simply, any student who does not show an interest in reading. These students may actively resist reading, mask their dislike by clowning around or misbehaving when asked to read, become easily frustrated during reading, or need to be coaxed into picking up a book. Identifying...

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