Text Comprehension Practices for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Part 1 Susan R. Easterbrooks Georgia State University Part 1 of 2 presentations on text comprehension for the “Join Together” recommended practices series.
Part 1- We look at what text comprehension is and how we teach it to students. • Part 2- We look at the different strategies to teach students to use before, during, and after reading.
What do we mean by “text comprehension?” • Effective text comprehension is "intentional thinking during which meaning is constructed through interactions between text and reader". • Research suggests that text comprehension is enhanced when readers actively relate the ideas represented in print to their own knowledge and experiences and construct mental pictures in their memory. • Source:http://www.ncpublicschools.org/readingfirst/components/text/
The National Reading Panel recommends that beginning reading instruction include the following strategies. • How to read both narrative and expository texts. • How to understand and remember what they read. • How to relate their own knowledge or experiences to text. • How to use comprehension strategies to improve their comprehension. • How to communicate with others about what they read.
How do we do this? • Explicitly explain, model and teach comprehension strategies • Examples: monitoring, use of graphic and semantic organizers, asking and answering questions, previewing, summarizing, and using multiple strategies (e.g., cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching). • Provide opportunities for students to practice using strategies when reading connected narrative and expository text. • Include pre-reading, reading, and post-reading comprehension activities during instruction.
Promote thinking and extend discourse by asking questions and encouraging student questions and discussions. • Provide extended opportunities for English language learners to participate. • Use screening and progress monitoring assessment to track the progress of individual students. Follow up with diagnostic assessment to target specific strategies with which students may need additional intervention.
Narrative & Expository Text Memory Sharing Text Comprehension Strategies Known Unknown
Narrative & Expository Text What do we mean by “narrative” and “expository” text? • “Narrative” refers to any way we provide an account of a real or imagined events, in other words, how we tell a story. • Students need to learn the different narrative strategies a writer uses. • Narrative strategies are the techniques writers use to tell stories, such as: • Point of View, Narrator, Voice • Who is telling the story? • Sequence • What is the order of the important events? • Audience • For whom is the story written? • Characterization • What are the traits of the main character and supporting characters, and how do these traits influence one another?
Plot (events of a story) • What happens? • Setting (time & place) • When does it happen? Is it in the past, the future? Is time telescoped in any way? • Genre • What kind of story is this? Science fiction? Biography? • Diction • How do the characters speak? Formally, informally, in a foreign accent, like an old-timer, etc? • Literary Motifs & Figurative Language • What literary devices does the author use? Simile, metaphor, personification, allegory, etc.?
“Expository text” is written for the purpose of exposing, informing, explaining, or describing information to the reader. • Expository text should be factual, unbiased, and written in third voice, that is, the author should way “He drives…She finds…They have…” rather than “I” or “You.” • There are several types of expository text: • Sequence • Descriptive essay • Classification • Comparison • Cause and effect
The most commonly used and basic forms of expository writing is the five-paragraph essay, which contains an introduction with a clear thesis statement, three main body paragraphs and a conclusion. • The organizer on the next page is a good way to help students visualize the 5-paragraph essay.
We read for different purposes when we read narrative versus expository text. When students understand the structure of the text, they are better able to look for important features. Narrative ? Expository?
Why do we want students to understand and remember what they read? Memory Main idea and supporting details Application Analysis and Synthesis In order to use reading skills for learning information in content areas, we must remember what we read, think about it, and apply it.
Known Unknown What do we mean by “relating our own knowledge and experiences to the text?” • Students read better when they have a frame of reference for what they are reading. • There are many ways we can help students relate their experiences to the text. • The most well-known of these is “activating prior knowledge.” • You will see several options for activating prior knowledge in part two.
When activating prior knowledge, we... • teach vocabulary as a prereading step; • tap the student’s prior experiences or provide background experiences; and • introduce a visually organizing framework that will help students build appropriate background for themselves.
Primary challenge when teaching students with hearing loss… …we cannot assume they have the background knowledge or the language skills that most students bring to the reading process. Text comprehension strategies allow us to help students bridge between language they understand and language they do not understand.
What do we mean by “communicating with others about what we have read?” Sharing • Communicating with others assists the student in engaging in such practices as… • Summarizing • Clarifying • Asking and answering questions • Checking their own comprehension
What do we mean by “using comprehension strategies to teach comprehension?” Strategies • Comprehension strategies are the way in which we promote “intentional thinking” about a story. • Examples of strategies are: • Predict • Monitor/clarify • Question • Summarize • Visualize • Making use of prior knowledge • Making inferences
Reading comprehension strategies are metacognitive tools. Metacognitive tools (intentional thinking) provide students the steps they can go through to construct meaning from print. (Teaching a child to fish.) Some of the strategies are for teachers to use when instructing students in the use of strategies. Some of the strategies are for students to use when they are reading.
What is the Process for Teaching a Strategy? Choose An Authentic Strategy 1. a. strategies taught should be those used by successful readers: both deaf and hearing b. strategies taught should be related to the child’s present levels of performance based on an assessment of student’s available repertoire of strategies c. teach only one strategy at a time
2. Choose Authentic Materials that Support the Strategy a. materials chosen should be appropriate to support the strategy b. materials chosen should be appropriate for the individual learner c. materials chosen should come from a variety of types: narratives, documents, instructions, notes, etc.
3. Demonstrate Its Use • Orient student to the tool (strategy) and its purpose (in what context to apply the tool) • Answer questions about the tool (strategy): What is it? How do we apply it? When do we use it? Why do we use it rather than another strategy? • Provide a list of the steps involved in using the tool (strategy)
d. Using a self-talk or think aloud strategy, demonstrate your thought processes as you apply the tool (strategy) e. Explain why you made the decisions you made f. Review how you applied the tool (strategy)
4. Guide Its Use (Move from Direct Instruction to Guidance to Independent Use) • Follow a collaborative, team, or cooperative learning model • Give students appropriate materials that will allow them to apply the strategy with ease • Guide student through the steps one at a time • Provide for immediate success • Explain, answer questions, reinforce • Give students a second opportunity to apply the strategy with direct assistance
Give student new material that provides a good fit with the strategy and have students talk themselves through the steps (one student is the “leader” for each step; other students are active participants) with the teacher providing feedback • Ask each student to demonstrate to you how s/he has applied the strategy to a novel piece of material • Assist student in determining which strategies to apply where • Help students apply strategies across the curriculum
5. Reinforce Its Use (Move from Best Fit to Worst Fit) • Provide a variety of materials that have a good fit with the strategy for student to develop the strategy to an automatic level • Provide other materials where the fit might not be as good • Provide materials where the strategy might not be effective and discuss why you might choose a different strategy for this material
Pulling it all together helps student read! Narrative Memory Known Unkown Sharing Strategies