The link between English Language Proficiency and Academic Literacy

A scientific explanation


  • Jacqueline KANDAGOR University of Kabianga
  • Joseph Rotumoi University of Kabianga



Languages proficiency, academic literacy, language development, content classes


This paper aims at presenting a scientific explanation behind the link between language proficiency and academic performance. This paper adopted the desktop research approach which mostly relied, not only, on a review of published documents, but also extended to oral interviews. There are two types of language proficiency: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). The earlier a student acquires the latter, the higher the chances of better academic performance. English language development ideally should include instruction in the types of academic language students encounter in their content classes. This paper’s outcome would go a long way in enlightening and subsequently informing the stakeholders and general public on which measures to put in place to improve students’ overall academic performance. Since, researchers have indicated that teachers have difficulty explicating scientific and mathematical concepts simply and clearly due to their insufficient lexical resources, the study recommends that teachers be trained to help students access the language in academic texts across the curriculum.


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Author Biographies

Jacqueline KANDAGOR, University of Kabianga

P.O. Box 2030,Kericho, 20200, Kenya

Tel: +254 721498864,

Joseph Rotumoi, University of Kabianga

P.O. Box 2030,Kericho, 20200, Kenya 2 University of Kabianga, P.O. Box 2030,Kericho, 20200, Kenya Tel: +254721729952



How to Cite

Jacqueline KANDAGOR, & Joseph Rotumoi. (2018). The link between English Language Proficiency and Academic Literacy: A scientific explanation. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 5(2), 50–55.

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