Supporting learners with low levels of literacy


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Judith Kirsh (NATECLA Co-Chair) talks about helping learners who have trouble reading and writing

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  • bring their knowledge of the world to inform their reading understand and interact with what they read move backwards and forwards within the text recognise many common words and parts of words use the sound system to make out unfamiliar words use context to monitor meaning.
  • Supporting learners with low levels of literacy

    1. 1. Judith Kirsh ESOL teacher-educator and SfL consultant 1
    2. 2. What are the challenges of teaching ESOL learners who have no, or very little, literacy in any language?  Where do you start?  Briefly discuss these questions with the person(s) sitting next to you. 2
    3. 3. A ‘basic literacy’ learner is … someone who has not yet reached Entry 1 Reading and Writing, and  is learning the sub-skills or mechanics of reading and writing  struggles to read and write a small number of key words, a very simple sentence and very simple text independently Adult ESOL Core Curriculum 3
    4. 4. The greep dawked forily prip the blortican. It snaughted preg the melidock trippicant ……… shrolled nong the cretidges. Pronubcaily, ……. greep caught up with all the other dogs. They ……. found a fresh murchil burrow and were sprool……. and muting round it. 4
    5. 5. The greep dawked forily prip the blortican. It snaughted preg the melidock trippicant and shrolled nong the cretidges. Pronubcaily, the greep caught up with all the other dogs. They had found a fresh murchil burrow and were sprooling and muting round it. 5
    6. 6.  Schema activation  Clues of meaning and context cues (semantic)  Clues of word order and grammar (syntactic)  Visual recognition – recognising letter patterns such as -ight (graphic)  Phonemic awareness and phonics – sounding out letters 6
    7. 7. Based on this theory, there are three stages in the acquisition of literacy:  Logographic: based on crude, visual shapes and features  Alphabetic: based on phoneme and grapheme awareness  Orthographic: based on visual analysis (whole word grapheme sequences) – independent of sound – use of internal semantic lexicon (Frith, U. 1985; 1986) 7
    8. 8.  Phonemic awareness  Word analysis (phonics, decoding & sight words)  Fluency (repeated oral reading, guided reading, peer reading)  Vocabulary (in context, repeated exposure, listening, reading, multiple authentic contexts)  Comprehension (specific strategies, e.g question asking, question answering, summary writing, use of graphic and semantic organisers, comprehension monitoring, use of story structure, and cooperative learning) 8
    9. 9.  Watch this video extract - what are the stages the teacher works through?  What does the process involve?  What is the aim of language experience work?  What materials does the teacher use?  How could you use this approach in your teaching? 9
    10. 10. Text Level Language experience Simple texts Writing name and address Sentence/Word Level Handwriting Phonics Spelling Punctuation Sentence structure 10
    11. 11.      Teaching Basic Literacy to ESOL Learners video (1) (2001) LLU+ London South Bank University. Language experience video Spiegel, M. & Sunderland, H. (2006) A Teacher’s Guide: Teaching Basic Literacy to ESOL Learners, LLU+ London South Bank University Frith, U. (1985). Beneath the surface of developmental dyslexia. In K. E. Patterson, J. C. Marshall & M. Coltheart (Eds.), (pp. 301-330). London: Lawrence Erlbaum. Frith, U. (1986). A developmental framework for developmental dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 36, 69-81. Adult ESOL Core Curriculum 11
    12. 12. McShane, Susan (2005) Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers  Adult Education Literacy Instruction: A Review of the Research (2010)  The Language Experience nguage%20Experience.htm  (Alhough this guidance focuses on using language experience with children it does have clear instructions and a range of developmental ideas that could be adapted for adults). In Their Own Words - The Language Experience Approach: A Method  12