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Understanding in reading By Jocelyne GIASSON Ch. 2 : A model of teaching for understanding in reading Teaching explicitly. De Boeck, 1996 and 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding in reading By Jocelyne GIASSON Ch. 2 : A model of teaching for understanding in reading Teaching explicitly. De Boeck, 1996 and 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding in reading By Jocelyne GIASSON Ch. 2 : A model of teaching for understanding in reading Teaching explicitly. De Boeck, 1996 and 2008.

2 doing or saying something to help students understand or find the meaning of units which are larger than a single word (expressions, sentences, paragraphs, texts) Evolution of teaching understanding What is a strategy for teaching understanding in class ? Observation (after research) : less than 1% of the time spent on a reading lesson is spent on teaching strategies The time is mainly spent on giving instructions and on evaluating the students by asking questions on the text Usual sequence : mention text – give exercises – check answers ≠ teaching ! / ≠ learning Belief in the idea that the exercise (alone) will guarantee success in reading !

3 Evolution of teaching understanding Needs : - To add an explaining function : telling students why an answer isn’t adequate and how to develop a strategy to improve their answers. - For the student to be active (the student ≠ empty vase to be filled – student = learner who is looking for meaningful action) Teacher = model and guide for the child A child’s skills development is possible through interaction with those who possess those skills (among them the teacher ) At present : Awareness of the need to go further than asking questions or asking students to repeat reading tasks.

4 Teaching reading explicitly Characteristics. Also known as « direct teaching » ! 1.Promote the teacher’s role : need for planning, but not in an inflexible manner (the teacher should be ready to recognize when there is a need for an additional example, a diagram, an unplanned discussion, a metaphor, …) 2. Always place the student in a reading situation which is meaningful and complete : don’t divide the work or the skill to be acquired into sub- skills and do offer a maximum of support at the beginning Thus : - leading the student to accomplish the task fully from the start - as the student progresses, reducing support 3. Give more emphasis to developping student autonomy (skill development and more especially using strategies flexibly)

5 Teaching reading explicitly Steps Objective Strategies for understanding ( for example : finding meaning in words based on the context, discovering the important ideas in a text, building a mental image of a character or of an event, … 1. Define the strategy and explain its utility : - define a strategy by using appropriate language for the students - give it a name (to make it easier to remember) - explain why the strategy will help them to understand the text - promote the strategy (induces reader confidence, by increasing the feeling of control over the task to be accomplished) E.g. : a good title for the paragraph / find important information in the text !

6 Teaching reading explicitly 2. Make the process transparent. Cognitive processes aren’t directly observable ; they must therefore be illustrated or explained by an accomplished reader. 3. Interact with the students and guide them towards mastery of the strategy. Give hints, discuss the strategy with the students, provide specific commentaries, etc. ( Can be carried out in groups, or in sub-groups, or individually. Working in groups or in sub-groups is very interesting because of possible comparisons between different ways of using the strategy) 4. Promote autonomy in using the strategy. Discuss with students regularly and be careful to prevent them from using a strategy inefficiently. 5. Ensure that the strategy is applied. Encourage the use of strategies elsewhere, but not no matter how or no matter when!

7 Teaching reading explicitly Types of knowledge (another way to synthesize the steps) Teaching explicitly can be assimilated to knowledge which is declarative, procedural et pragmatic : To answer the questions : What ? Why ? How ? When ? - what ? (definition, description or example of the strategy) - why ? (say why the strategy is important) - how ? (the teacher explains verbally how to proceed in order to use the strategy, interacts with the students and guides them towards mastery of the strategy, consolidates learning and encourages the students to become autonomous in using the strategy) - when ? (the teacher explains under what conditions the strategy should or should not be used and how to evaluate its efficiency)

8 Teaching reading explicitly Skills = Knowing HOW Strategy = Knowing WHAT WHY HOW WHEN Possible definitions based on :

9 Teaching reading explicitly Concretely, for the teacher who wants to take teaching explicitly into account : check whether the lesson contains the fundamental elements, i.e. the what ? the why ? the how ? the when ? « Briefly, the what-why-how-when formula provides a simple but theoretically well-founded framework to prepare or complete a reading lesson. » (J. Giasson, p.33) And if these elements are missing, add them. (p.32)

10 Teaching reading explicitly Teacher’s responsibility Shared responsibility Student’s Responsibility Make the process transparent Encourage autonomous use Guide the students 3 steps towards readers’ autonomy « It has been repeatedly observed that going through these three steps allows the student to master the strategies more easily » (J.Giasson, p. 33)

11 Teaching reading explicitly Please note that two types of teaching only use the right side of the previous graph (thus directing the students towards autonomous use of the strategy without going through the other steps) : 1. Teaching by using an exercise notebook : requires the student to use a skill – If failure, additional exercise given to the student. 2. Teaching based on « learning to read by reading » : by merely placing the student in a real and functional reading situation, learning will take place. « Believing that the reader will automatically become autonomous by simply repeating the reading task »(p. 34). Same excess !

12 Teaching reading explicitly This isn’t the only valid model and it isn’t adequate in certain cases, such as when it is a question of using more complex strategies, implying an aesthetic aspect, for example. It can co-exist with other models : Moreover, its only aim is teaching specific strategies. If the teacher’s objective is for the student to use all of the strategies which have previously been taught, together and in an integrated manner, the teacher will have recourse to a type of teaching which is « intervention before-during-after the reading task ». p.35

13 Teaching reading explicitly Teaching explicitly « is characterized by a concern for making the cognitive processes included in a reading task, transparent, and by the emphasis put on the reader’s development of autonomy. » To sum up : Images : clipart on


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