BICS involve those language skills and functions that allow stu dents to

Bics involve those language skills and functions that

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proficiency (CALP). BICS involve those language skills and functions that allow stu-dents to communicate in everyday social contexts that are similar to those of the home, as they perform classroom chores, chat with peers, or consume instructional media as they do television shows at home. Cummins called BICS context embedded because participants can provide feedback to one another, and the situation itself provides cues that further understanding. In contrast, CALP is the language needed to perform school tasks successfully. Such tasks generally are more abstract and decontextualized. Students must rely pri-marily on language to attain meaning. Cummins (1984) called CALP context- reduced communication because there are few concrete cues to aid in comprehension. CALP provides the human brain with necessary tools to systematically categorize, compare, analyze, and accommodate new experiences, a cognitive toolbox—the in-depth knowl-edge that characterizes the well-educated individual in a complex modern society. During the elementary school years, and then even more so throughout middle and high school, students who may appear to be fluent enough in English to survive in an all-English classroom may in fact have significant gaps in the development of academic aspects of English. Conversational skills have been found to approach nativelike levels within two years of exposure to English, but five or more years
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may be required for minority students to match native speakers in CALP (Collier, 1987; Cummins, 1981a; Hakuta, Butler, & Witt, 2000). Teaching Students to Use CALPExample of Concept A look at an elementary classroom shows the integrated work that takes place across these CALP areas.Mrs. Gómez found in her second-grade tran-sitional bilingual class that although the students were fairly fluent English conversationalists they were performing poorly in academic tasks. Students seemed to understand English when pictures and other visual clues were present. However, when she gave instructions or briefly reviewed concepts, the students appeared lost. She realized that students needed lessons that eased them along the continuum from their interpersonal language usage to the more abstract academic requirements.When Linda and several of her classmates were jumping rope during recess, Mrs. Gómez wrote down many of the patterned chants the girls were reciting. She transferred these to wall charts and read and recited them with the children. Next she introduced poems with more extensive vocabulary on wall charts, supplementing the charts with tapes that children could listen to in learning centers. The instructions for these centers featured patterned language similar to that already
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  • Summer '19
  • Stephen Krashen, Cummins, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

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