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COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LITERACY PowerPoint Presentation
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COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LITERACY

COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LITERACY

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COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LITERACY

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  1. COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LITERACY ESL Conference 2009 jenny.miller@education.monash.edu.au

  2. Literacy SKILLS • ‘The bodily dimension of writing, that is sitting and labouring to construct a text, which is habituated technique in proficient writers, is generally taken for granted within contemporary literacy pedagogy.’ (Knapp & Watkins, 2005 p. 81) • What else is taken for granted?

  3. Research on comprehension & vocab • Repeatedly demonstrates a strong relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension [Proportion of difficult words in a text = single most reliable predictor of its difficulty] • Vocabulary development is both an outcome of comprehension and a precursor to it, with word meanings making up as much as 70-80% of comprehension • Direct instruction in vocabulary influences comprehension more than any other factor. Although wide reading can build word knowledge, students need thoughtful and systematic instruction in key vocabulary as well • Teaching fewer words well is more effective than teaching many words in a cursory way.

  4. Some literacy basics • For students to read a text with ease, and with some help from the teacher, they need to recognize over 90-95% of the vocabulary (Nation, 2001; Westwood, 2003). • For low literacy learners, a ‘whole language’ approach must be supplemented by an explicit and continuing focus on building sight vocabulary and comprehension strategies. (Westwood, 2003)

  5. Insights from theory about reading Prior knowledge is needed to gain meaning from text : • Semantic = knowledge of the world • Syntactic = knowledge of the structure of language • Graphophonic = knowledge of sound-letter relationships These are used simultaneously

  6. Q. Where do we get our ideas about teaching literacy? A. Models of literacy pedagogy

  7. The curriculum cycle(e.g. Derewianka; Gibbons) • Building the field (content knowledge, vocabulary, speaking, listening, viewing, reading, understanding, note-taking) • Modeling the text type (purpose, structure, language features, form) • Joint construction (Teacher and students write a sample text together; illustrating the process of writing; content + language) • Independent writing (Students plan, write and redraft their own text)

  8. Reader roles (Luke & Freebody 1990) • Code breaker • Text participant • Text user • Text analyst

  9. Transformative pedagogyCummins (2000) Pedagogical focus on meaning, language and use • Experiential phase (activating prior knowledge) • Literal phase (comprehension – who, what, where, when, how etc) • Personal phase (compare and contrast with personal experience) • Critical phase (inferences, generalisations, alternatives, hows/whys) • Creative phase (actions eg letter to editor, survey, play, art, newsletter)

  10. Explicit teaching • A systematic and explicit focus on vocabulary(form, meaning & use), sentence structure, and grammatical forms • Recycling and revising the language structures are vital for memory and language learning • .

  11. Choosing the text • intrinsically interesting / relevant • age appropriate • not too long or too difficult • illustrated • enlarged fonts with easy layout (modified input) • representative of the genre (but usable as a springboard to other genres) • inspiring or informative or quirky (or all 3!) We want students to respond!

  12. Reading the text # teacher reads aloud # teacher/ s’o else records the text # teacher reads leaving gaps (SS fill in orally) # students read in pairs/groups # students read in role # students read around the class # students rehearse a section at home # students record themselves reading

  13. 4 phase approach • Prereading activities (activate prior kn) • Focus on meaning (macro level) Gist, main ideas • Focus on meaning (micro level) – Detail + attention to forms [vocab; grammar; genre] • Post-reading Creating and having fun with text; ‘critical’ level

  14. (image) – news article • Diver goes headfirst into great white’s jaws and lives • (headline)

  15. Prereading (activate prior learning) • Show headline only – predict content • What 3 questions could we ask about this story? • Show a picture of a shark – 5 mins brainstorm  link to text OR • ASK ‘Has anyone ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?’  link

  16. Macro-level tasks - gist

  17. Matching sentence halves 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

  18. Micro level tasks • Word-meaning match • Alphabetical order • Labelling a diagram • Word chains / concept mapping • Cloze (paraphrase of text) • Generating a word bank/ word wall/ word cards • Spelling and vocabulary games • Sentence completion • Jumbled word order • Mindmap of this genre

  19. Grammar tasks • Inanistanthismaskwassmashedintohisface • Past tense (underline in green) • Direct speech (underline in red) • Proper nouns (circle in blue) • Word classes (sort a box of vocab into groups) • Sentence line-ups (envelopes) • Sentence building

  20. Sample tasks (post-reading) A. In your group, talk about why animals attack people. Make notes. B. Write and perform the TV news excerpt on this story. C. Write an email from the man’s son to a friend. D. Write the story from the shark’s point of view. E. Construct a concept map of harmful Australian animals (land, sea and air) F. For each animal in the concept map, add a terrific alliterative adjective to describe it. E.g. terrifying taipan, furious funnel web G. Do a research project on another survival story.

  21. Workshop tasks • Text analysis (vocab list; difficulties; goals or focus) • Pre-reading tasks + suggest additional resources • Focus on meaning – macro level • Focus on meaning micro level (vocabulary) • Focus on meaning micro level (grammar) • Post–reading tasks