Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) is often referred to as "playground English", "survival English", or "social language." It is the basic language ability required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are embedded in a situational context called context-embedded language. BICS is part of a theory of language proficiency developed by Jim Cummins. BICS, which is highly contextualized and often accompanied by gestures, is cognitively undemanding and relies on context to aid understanding. BICS is much more easily and quickly acquired than academic language (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, or CALP), but is not sufficient to meet the cognitive and linguistic demands of an academic classroom.

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Video: BICS and CALP