Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teachers and ESL Students: Activate Prior Knowldege

Question: What can regular classroom teachers do in working with ESL students?

Answer: Activate students’ prior knowledge before reading.

Quote: “For any reading passage, determine what students know about the topic prior to the reading assignment. Students may need a reminder to activate this information from memory because they assume that anything learned in their native language has no bearing on information presented in English.

“By accessing information in long-term memory students can predict the structure and content of information presented in the text, infer the meaning of unfamiliar words, check the new information against what is already known, and augment or modify that prior knowledge.

“If students have little familiarity with the topic of a reading passage, efforts should be expended to develop students’ knowledge about the topic through peer discussion, pictures, diagrams, drawings, film strips [and the Internet]….”

Comment: Sounds like the Directed Reading Assignment to me. RayS.

Title: “Instructional Approaches and Teaching Procedures.” AU Chamot and JM O’Malley. Pp. 82-107. In Kids Come in All Languages: Reading Instruction for ESL Students. Eds. K Spangensberg-Urgschat and R Pritchard. Newark, DE: IRA. 1994.

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