Friday, July 15, 2011

Teaching Learning Strategies to ESL Students

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

Answer: Model and teach learning strategies explicitly.

Quote: “Students can use a variety of learning strategies to improve their comprehension of text and their retention of important information. These include such… strategies as scanning to obtain an overview of the text structure and major ideas, asking themselves questions about what they want to know from the text, predicting answers or information in forthcoming paragraphs, looking for specific words or concepts, inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words, taking notes and summarizing important information.” P. 97.

“Students who are not familiar with strategies for reading will profit from having them modeled by other students and by the teacher. Strategies should be taught by naming the strategy, indicating that the purpose of the strategy is to help the students comprehend and remember new information, and reminding the students to use the strategies with subsequent reading passages.” P. 98.

Comment: All of these strategies are a part of systematic use of the Directed Reading Assignment. Scanning: Read the title, sub-heading, first paragraph, first sentence of each succeeding paragraph, last paragraph. Setting purpose by raising questions the student will read to answer. Pre-teaching vocabulary. Taking notes in responding to the questions and summarizing before discussing. Naming the strategy and giving its purpose are important, as is modeling, demonstrating how to use the strategy. 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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