Why use Relevance Strategies? Relevance strategies require a teacher to know something about the student’s past experiences, skills, and interests Relevance strategies can work to provide all students with a common experience They allow students to relate to the content being taught
Establishing Relevance The more diverse a classroom, the more difficult it is to implement a relevance strategy To remedy this, allow for student choice
Sub-Strategies of Relevance • Present worth: telling the student why content is relevant and important • Need-matching: linking a content to student needs, such as affiliation, the need for power, and the need for achievement • Modeling: using individuals such as alumni or tutors to demonstrate or model the value and relevance of content. • Enthusiastic individuals are recommended!
Relevance Cannot Stand Alone Relevance must be combined with other instructional strategies, because it is not sufficient enough to stand on its own. For example, positive reinforcement is a good confidence-booster can be coupled with relevance during a lesson, as well as constructive feedback (verbal and non-verbal)
Relevance in Action Help students understand the relevance of a lesson and build their English skills by guiding their attention to the overall concept. What is the main idea? For example, in a history lesson, the date and names of generals in a specific battle are not as important to remember as the role that the battle played in shaping the outcome of the war.
Relevance in Action (Cont.) • When lecturing: • ESL students feel understandably comfortable with pictures and they are a valuable aid in helping you illustrate a point. • Print copies of your lecture for students if you use the lecture approach. • Paraphrase difficult sentences when necessary.
Relevance in Action (Cont.) • Encourage socialization and relationships: • Pair an ESL student up with one of your stronger students, so he/she can help answer any questions while you are managing your classroom. Not only will the ESL student benefit from the help, but it may also prevent a student at the top of the class from getting bored.
Relevance in Action (Cont.) • When selecting texts: • Find texts that reflect the interests of your students • Utilize literature from other cultures • Provide translated texts, and graphic novels to ease reading comprehension difficulty • Example: Choose texts that deal with situations and that are pertinent to young adults, such as coming of age, relationships, growth, and self-discovery.