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
Research and Best Practices
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Listen Well, Learn Well: Working with Auditory Learners

Auditory—or aural—learners are students who tend to learn best when instruction or information is delivered orally. Other characteristics of aural learners include a preference for talking, listening, and other social interactions; an ease of remembering names and songs; and a need for verbal praise and support. Some researchers estimate that...

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Students and educators alike look forward to the lazy summer months when the pool, not the school, governs their days. However, taking three months away from the classroom—an approach that is common in most school systems—also results in a decline in reading proficiency that disproportionately affects low-income students. Moreover, research...

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Thursday, March 15, 2018
Adolescent Literacy Crisis or Crisis of Student Engagement?

It is widely acknowledged today that too many adolescents lack sufficient literacy skills. The United States Department of Education has even declared a “crisis” in adolescent literacy, stating that “the literacy skills of many students in grades 4–12 are so alarmingly low that the students have difficulty meeting the academic...

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Friday, December 15, 2017
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In a 2011 paper prepared for the United States Department of Education, American Institutes for Research fellow Terry Salinger made a stark declaration: The literacy skills of many students in grades 4 to 12 are "so alarmingly low" that these students will struggle with not only high school, but also...

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