Wednesday, April 18, 2012

English as a Second Language

Question: Why are newspapers sometimes difficult to read for immigrants whose native language is not English?

Answer/Quote: “For recent immigrants to a country or for readers with limited education, making sense of newspaper stories can often be arduous. Journalists often assume a bank of knowledge and experience that is absent among many readers. Lack of prior knowledge about cultural conventions and events as well as absence of concepts, some of which are most often learned in conventional school curriculums, make reading the news quite difficult for those with limited formal education, even when their decoding skills are well developed.” P. 557.

 “…suggests that adult learners become familiarized with strategies for compensating for an incomplete or incorrect knowledge base. One such strategy might be asking for help. ‘It is vital to assure students that it is permissible not to know, and that in such instances it is desirable to ask.” P, 557.

 Comment: FYI. RayS.

Title: “Beyond JR: Research from Elsewhere. Filling in the Gaps: Prior Knowledge and the Comprehension of News Articles.” Jeanne Shay Schumm. From O. Grebelsky (1990). “What’s New in the News?” Comprehension of the News among Adults with Limited Formal Education,” Jerusalem, Israel: The Martin Buber Institute for Adult Education of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.” Journal of Reading (April  1992), 557.

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