Core Academic Language Skills (CALS) Construct

Through a grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences to the Strategic Educational Research Partnership, the team engaged in a systematic review of the literature in order to design a construct of academic language skill that could guide assessment and instruction.This construct, known as Core Academic Language Skills (CALS) is defined as knowledge and deployment of a repertoire of language forms and functions that co-occur with school learning tasks across disciplines (Phillips Galloway, Stude, Uccelli, in press; Uccelli, Barr, Dobbs, Phillips Galloway, Meneses, & Sánchez, in press). 

Funding Source

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305F100026 to the Strategic Education Research Partnership as part of the Reading for Understanding Research Initiative. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

Presentations & Publications

Uccelli, P., & Phillips Galloway, E. (2017). Academic Language Across Content Areas: Lessons From an Innovative Assessment and From Students’ Reflections About Language. Journal of adolescent & adult Literacy, 60(4), 395-404

Galloway, E. P., Stude, J., & Uccelli, P. (2015). Adolescents’ metalinguistic reflections on the academic register in speech and writing. Linguistics and Education31, 221-237.

Uccelli, P., Barr, C. D., Dobbs, C. L., Galloway, E. P., Meneses, A., & Sánchez, E. (2014). Core academic language skills: An expanded operational construct and a novel instrument to chart school-relevant language proficiency in preadolescent and adolescent learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1-33 (Read this article).

Uccelli, P., Phillips Galloway, E., Dobbs, C., & Ronfard, S., (2013, April). General Academic Language Proficiency: A Key Predictor of Adolescents’ Reading Comprehension. Presented at the Society of Research in Child Development Biannual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. 

Phillips Galloway, E., Uccelli, P., Barr, C., (2013, April). Modeling the Relationship Between Lexical, Grammatical, and Discourse Structure Knowledge and Academic Writing Proficiency for Middle-Grade Writers. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, California.

Uccelli, P., Barr, C., Dobbs, C., Phillips Galloway, E., Meneses, A., Sanchez, E., (2013, April). Identifying Cross-Disciplinary Academic Language Skills Throughout the Middle School Years. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, California.

Phillips Galloway, E. & Uccelli, P. (2013, March).  Anticipating the challenges of complex texts for middle grade EL learners: A focus on academic language.  Presented at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast, Miami, Florida.

Uccelli, P., Phillips Galloway, E.,  & Dobbs, C. (2012, October). Assessing Academic Language: A workshop. Presented at the Center for Research on the Educational Achievements and Teaching of English Language Learners Conference entitled: English language learners in content areas: Teaching for Achievement in the Middle Grades, Orlando, Florida.

Stude, J., Phillips Galloway, E. & Uccelli, P. (2012, August). Negotiating communicative practices in schools: Student’s reelections on the academic register. Presented at Sociolinguistics Symposium 19, Berlin, Germany.

Uccelli, P., Meneses, A. , Phillips Galloway, E., Barr, C. (2012, July). To define nouns: An academic challenge that reveals later-language development in adolescent students. Presented at the Society for Text and Discourse conference, Montreal, Canada. 



Press Release

Dr. Paola Uccelli - Digital Chalkboard | Where California educators collaborate

Academic Language and its Connection to CCDD (Catalyzing Discussion Through Discussion and Debate


Dr. Paola Uccelli – IRIS Center – Vanderbilt University

Academic Language Skills and Reading Comprehension

Dr. Paola Uccelli - Why don't we comprehend what we read?

Por qué no entendemos lo que leemos