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How Are Texts Adapted
 

How Are Texts Adapted

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explanation on how to adapt texts for ELLs

explanation on how to adapt texts for ELLs

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  • For example, simpler vocabulary would allow a learner to focus on the essential meaning of the passage without being overly frustrated by unfamiliar words.

How Are Texts Adapted How Are Texts Adapted Presentation Transcript

  • How Are Texts Adapted?
  • Oh, 2001; Young, 1999
    • According to researchers, there are two primary ways of adapting texts –
      • simplification and
      • elaboration.
    • It is important to understand the differences between the two.
  • Simplified Texts
    • Texts can be linguistically simplified by substituting frequently occurring vocabulary for
      • infrequently occurring nontechnical vocabulary,
      • shortening sentence length, and
      • restructuring sentences to reduce their complexity.
    • The goal of linguistic simplification is to improve readability (i.e., the average length of words and sentences).
    • When simplifying a text for ELLs, the purpose of adaptation is to eliminate overly complex language that might prevent a student from understanding the main ideas of the text.
  • Elaborated Texts
    • Elaborated texts aim to
      • clarify
      • elaborate
      • explain implicit information
      • make explicit connections
    • words are added to increase comprehension
    • to make a text more coherent
    • limit the ambiguity within it
    • improved text coherence (or understandability) does not necessarily decrease the difficulty of a text as measured by readability formulas.
    • methods to improve text coherence also do not usually focus on one or two discrete text features (e.g., number of syllables or word frequency)
  • Today's Cricket
    • (original)
    • The batsman were merciless against the bowlers. The bowlers place heir men in slips and cover. But to no avail. The batsman hit a lot of fours. They hit some sixes. No ball hit the stumps. No ball was caught.
    • (revised version)
    • The men were at bat against the bowlers. They did not show any pity. The bowlers placed their men in slips. They placed their men in covers. It did not help. The batsmen hit a lot of fours. They hit some sixes. No ball hit the stumps. No ball was caught.
  • When Will Adapted Texts Be Used?
  • When Will Adapted Texts Be Used?
    • will the text be assigned as part of an assessment (when helping a student may unfairly alter his or her performance), or
    • as part of a larger thematic unit (when a set of progressively more difficult texts could be used over the course of a week to more deeply explore a central theme)?
    • the goals of instruction, drawn from state standards, should also be considered when deciding if adapted texts should be used.
  • When Will Adapted Texts Be Used?
    • If a lesson focuses on teaching students how to make inferences and thus link together the seemingly unequal paragraphs of a science text, a fully elaborated text would be a poor choice.
    • Developing readers need to learn that pieces of a text are meant to be understood as parts to a whole and that they (the readers) are responsible for making the pieces fit together.
  • Potential Benefits
  • Potential Benefits
    • If ELLs are overwhelmed by the difficulty of a text (either because of linguistic complexity, the inherent difficulty of the subject matter, or a combination of both factors), they will be unable to learn the content it presents.
    • If the classroom curriculum depends in large part on reading a textbook, they may not be able to participate in class.
    • Benefits of text adaptations is the potential for increased comprehensibility and decreased frustration.
  • Potential Benefits
    • These benefits can be seen in three ways.
    • First , linguistic simplification will presumably decrease the language load a reader must grapple with, allowing ELLs to concentrate on understanding the content of the text without being overly inhibited by difficult vocabulary or complex sentences.
    • They will enjoy greater access to the concepts of a text instead of being completely caught up with the difficulty of language.
  • Potential Benefits
    • Second , if a text is elaborated to provide greater text coherence, it should thus lead to higher levels of comprehension.
    • An elaborated text should help to make explicit many of the implicit references and background knowledge required for complete understanding.
    • Text elaboration might also help to alleviate the difficulties less skilled readers have when relying on imprecise or incorrect background knowledge.
  • Potential Benefits
    • Thirdly , simplified texts, especially those commercially available from educational publishers, have certain advantages for teachers.
    • With a limited amount of time to differentiate instruction for students and limited training in working with ELLs, teachers may find simplified texts to be the only comprehensive solution.
  • Potential Drawbacks
  • Potential Drawbacks
    • Simplified or elaborated texts may have disadvantages for readers.
    • This is the case for three primary reasons.
    • First , a text that is simplified may prevent students from being exposed to the vocabulary and text structures that they will eventually need to know.
    • Rewriting text with easier words does not necessarily improve comprehension.
  • Today's Cricket
    • (original)
    • The batsman were merciless against the bowlers. The bowlers place heir men in slips and cover. But to no avail. The batsman hit a lot of fours. They hit some sixes. No ball hit the stumps. No ball was caught.
    • (revised version)
    • The men were at bat against the bowlers. They did not show any pity. The bowlers placed their men in slips. They placed their men in covers. It did not help. The batsmen hit a lot of fours. They hit some sixes. No ball hit the stumps. No ball was caught.
  • Potential Drawbacks
    • Even with language that is simpler the meaning of the passage is still unclear without the necessary background knowledge about cricket.
    • Shorter, simpler sentences may not always increase comprehensibility.
    • In some cases, grammatical complexity may even aid comprehension and recall, rather than hinder them.
  • Potential Drawbacks
    • Second , an elaborated text might make for more coherent and comprehensible reading, but at the same time may remove the inherent ambiguity that makes reading interesting and nuanced.
    • According to Kintsch (1994), with adequate background knowledge, coherence gaps in texts actually stimulate learning.
    • Texts that are made too explicit may become boring, eliminating the challenge or puzzle of making an ambiguous text more coherent.
  • Potential Drawbacks
    • Thirdly , although texts should be easy enough for students to understand, tasks that are too easy never provide learners with the opportunity to see what they can do, and thus may end up undermining confidence in the long term.
    • If students only read texts that they can read easily, there is no reason to practice and apply strategies; readers will only apply strategic thinking if they read more difficult texts.
  • Conclusion
    • Adapted texts are sometimes an ideal method for helping ELLs overcome the complexity of difficult language in order to learn subject-specific content.
  • THANK YOU!