Meet Noora Mahmassani

Junior Associate Noora Mahmassani
Junior Associate Noora Mahmassani

Hometown: Frederick, Maryland
School: Georgetown University
Major: Linguistics
UELIP Committee Project: Noora helps find news articles for the UELIP Newsletter
DCPS Office: Office of Teaching and Learning, Elementary Literacy Team, Academic Language
Project: Noora’s main project is assisting Cara Hoppe in creating a Vocabulary Plan for Kindergarten through 8th Grade. The Vocabulary Plan is essentially a map of how teachers can incorporate 10-15 chosen academic terms per grade level into their existing teaching of the DCPS curriculum. Continue reading “Meet Noora Mahmassani”


My Experience with Academic Language

By Junior Associate: Noora Mahmassani

Talking to kids is one of the most important things parents and teachers can do set students up for academic success. As a Linguistics major, I have known this fact for years, but as a UELIP I’ve come to understand how it can be applied with kids and teachers in mind.

During my time as a UELIP, I’ve worked in the Academic Language specialty of the Elementary Literacy Team in the Office of Teaching and Learning. The goal of this specialty is to provide teachers with the tools that they need to increase the Academic English skills of students.

All kids, not just English language learners (ELLs), need support developing their Academic English. This type of language differs from Social English in that it is more complex and includes a specific vocabulary. Essentially, while Social English is the kind of  language you’d use to talk to a friend or cashier at the grocery store, Academic English is kind of language you’d find in a scholarly journal or use to give a presentation to your boss. Students need academic language to be successful in school.

My project this summer has been to help my supervisor create a Vocabulary Plan for students in grades K-8. Continue reading “My Experience with Academic Language”