4 Teaching for English Language Development
A very prevalent concept of academic English that has been advanced and rened over the years is based on the work of Jim Cummins (1979; 1980; 1986; 1992; 2001). Cummins analyzed the characteristics of children growing up in two language environments. He found that the level of language prociency attained in both languages, regardless of what they may be, has an enormous inuence on and implications for an ELL’s educational success. One situation that teachers oen discover about their ELLs is that they arrived in the United States at an early age or were born in the United States but did not learn English until commencing school. Once they begin attending school, their chances for developing their home language are limited, and this home language is eventually superseded by English. is phenomenon is oen referred to as limited bilingualism or subtractive bilingualism. Very oen ELLs in this situation do not develop high levels of prociency in either language. Cummins has found that ELLs with limited bilingual ability are overwhelmingly disadvantaged cognitively and academically from this linguistic condition. However, ELLs who develop language prociency in at least one of the two languages derive neither benet nor detriment. Only in ELLs who are able to develop high levels of prociency in both languages did Cummins nd positive cognitive outcomes.