59.  Length of time necessary for student to learn BICS/CALP

There is no specific research that helps answer how long it takes for a student to master Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills or BICS, or Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency, or CALP. Generally, it takes approximately seven (7) years for a non-English-speaking student to fully master a second language (English, in this case) as measured by standardized English achievement tests.

BICS tend to be mastered earlier since second language students need to survive and interact and communicate within the social environment of the school or the community. However, BICS language patterns tend to be very sophisticated when interacting with figures of authority, individuals that must be treated with great respect or consideration, professional interactions within very structured environments (in a court of law, for example). Thus, mastery of BICS may take a long time depending on the level of sophistication required to successfully communicate professionally, technically, or socially.

CALP is usually mastered within content area classes. CALP mastery may take also a very long time depending on the level of knowledge to be reached. Experts, professionals, scholars reach very high levels of CALP within their fields of expertise.

It may take an entire lifetime to master CALP in a technical area.




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net