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Reading Comprehension and Science Texts Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D. Supported by NSF Grant #043567: Project ACE Sept. 17, 2004 To contact author for permission.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading Comprehension and Science Texts Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D. Supported by NSF Grant #043567: Project ACE Sept. 17, 2004 To contact author for permission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading Comprehension and Science Texts Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D. Supported by NSF Grant #043567: Project ACE Sept. 17, 2004 To contact author for permission to use this PowerPoint, please

2 Yesterdays Topics ASL/English bilingual strategies used in reading lessons Fingerspelling Translation Codeswitching (using signs and fingerpelling) –Chaining (Padden, 1998) –Sandwiching (Padden, 1998) Preview in L1, view in L2, review in L1 Translanguaging ASL summary

3 Benefits of fingerspelling Matches fingerspelling with orthographic print Assists in learning spelling Not sounding out, but helps with memory Expands vocabulary for words no sign exists Proper nouns, places, science words, etc. Deaf children as young as 3 begin to fingerspell First fingerspell as gestault hole but later use it for word analyses. Deaf teachers use it more than hearing teachers Should be used often in literacy classroom to build vocabulary

4 Benefits of fingerspelling and signing for ELL students Multisensory Helps hearing children with spelling Its fun to do! Can learn it quickly Matching print with 26 handshapes Learn basic signs Daniels, M. (2001). Dancing with words: Signing for hearing childrens literacy. Westport, CT: Bergin & Harvey.

5 Todays Topics 1. Reading Levels for deaf students 2. Why are reading science texts so difficult for deaf students: Some factors 3. Are deaf readers like other English L2 reading learners? 4.Reading comprehension strategies for science texts 5.Writing strategies

6 What is reading? Getting meaning from text Types of reading –Silent reading –Oral reading –Signed reading A complex set of behaviors including linguistic, psycholinguistic, graphic, social, and pragmatic skills

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8 Reading facts: Deaf students (http://gri.gallaudet.edu/Literacyhttp://gri.gallaudet.edu/Literacy For prelingually deaf/hh, the median reading level for 17 and 18 year olders is grade four. 30% of deaf students leave school functionally illiterate reading at 2.8 or below. Only 10% of deaf 18 year older students reach 10th grade or better. While in school, the average deaf child gains only eight months in reading achievement from age 11 to age 16, and plateau or level off at grade 4. Gains are about.3 grade levels per year compared to hearing children who progress one grade level

9 Reading levels and ELL students Edcouch, Texas teachers What are the reading levels of your students Compare with deaf students

10 Why is written language in science texts so difficult for deaf students to decifer?: Reading levels of science texts Lack of knowledge of science concepts Lack of science literacy Act of reading is based on familiarity with spoken language Signed word for word does not work as meaning is lost in science text Many science terms do not have ASL signs DO NOT invent science signs! Ask a deaf person for help.

11 Reading Problems of Deaf Readers..have been well documented Vocabulary (Paul) Multiple meaning words (Paul) Syntactic structures (Quigley) Inference (Wilson) Higher comprehension skills (Kelly) Comprehending variety of texts (Schirmer)

12 Why is reading science textbooks so difficult? 3 Considerations 1.Linguistic 2.Cognitive 3.Textual

13 Linguistic considerations –English has a massive vocabulary (500,000 to 600,000 words) –Take a word like angry….can take on different meanings in words as furious, enraged, annoyed, miffed, ticked-off, irritated, seeing red –English vocabulary of average 15 year old deaf student is about the size of a 9 year old hearing child and will not improve significantly –Even when fingerspelled, deaf person may not get the meaning of the words

14 Linguistic considerations (cont) –Idioms (on edge, over the top, out of the box, below the radar screen) double verbs and verb particles (put a show on, get up on) –Concept of time (at least a month, six months ago, what happened next) –Syntax (grammar) is complex –Deaf readers impose a subject-verb-object order on all sentence –Hypotheticals using subjunctive if… –The word have….I have a dog, I have been playing….show different meanings.

15 Cognitive considerations 1.Lack of science background knowledge and information 2.Lack science incidental learning (e.g. discussions about weather 3.Inability of adults to communicate and teach children about science 4.Being an outsider to information

16 Textual considerations 1. Science texts have specific kinds of structures a.The textbook b.Science magazine c.Science captioned movies d.Fiction books with science themes e.Non-fiction trade books f.Professional journals g.The science fair project h.The science term paper

17 How are deaf readers like other English L2 reading learners? 1. struggle to learn to read English the language of the majority culture with its vast science vocabulary and complex grammar of textbooks 2. must learn social English (conversational English) as well as academic English to read their science textbooks.

18 How are deaf readers UNLIKE hearing English L2 readers deaf readers are seldom fluent in a first language (ASL) ASL and English are fundamentally different structurally quality and quantity of exposure to English for deaf is less than hearing English L2 learner hearing L2 English learners have a fund of background knowledge in their L1 to use

19 ELL: Deaf and hearing conversational English language exposure to hearing L2 English learners is greater (due to overhearing conversations, radio, TV, sport events etc.) deaf students use conversational English in different ways (e.g. , TTY, note writing) and this involves essentially reading and writing.

20 ELL: Deaf and hearing deaf students must learn English through two modes: reading and writing while hearing English L2 readers can use their spoken English knowledge to assist with developing reading. it takes 3 to 5 years for a hearing bilingual to learn conversational English and 5 to 10 years to master academic English in reading and writing.

21 ELL: deaf and hearing many deaf readers never obtain conversational or academic levels of English as hearing English L2 learners do.

22 Reading comprehension strategies for ELLs Use L1 to build background knowledge in science Relate prior experience with science to print Use of read alouds of science texts in L1 Rich discussions of ideas about science Explicit instruction through guided reading lessonsUse of L2 socially Involve community (Hispanic, Deaf) Importance of decoding, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness for hearing ELL Importance of bridging strategies (codeswitching, translation) for hearing and deaf ELLs

23 Reading comp (cont.) Use of L2 socially Involve community (Hispanic, Deaf) Importance of decoding, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness for hearing ELL Importance of bridging strategies (codeswitching, translation) for hearing and deaf ELLs

24 Reading comp (cont.) Demonstrate how a text is constructed Challenging science reading materials Teacher shows strategies

25 Instructional strategies BEFORE reading science texts Motivating Activating prior knowledge Building specific text structure Preteaching some vocabulary Prequestioning Predicting Set a purpose for reading science Suggest comprehension strategies

26 Instructional strategies DURING reading science texts Have a positive attitude and interest in science reading Determine which information is important Self-questioning Summarizing Inferring Predicting Imaging Skimming Decoding unfamilar words Deriving meaning from context clues Using prior knowledge

27 Research with deaf high school students –Study using cloze procedure –Asked high school students how they read Use background knowledge Reread text Lookback in text Lookahead in text use context clues Ask an expert Use the title of the passage (used by hearing teachers only) Source: Andrews, J. & Mason, J. (1993). Strategy Usage Among Deaf and Hearing Readers. Exceptional Children

28 Punctuation: Importance in reading and writing Comma, period, question mark, exclamation mark, underlining, italicized print. Regulates the traffic of words in reading Important for reading fluency Important in comprehending whole science text passage Many deaf ELLs skip over punctuation when reading aloud.

29 Writing in the science classroom Drawing to get ideas down Dialogue journals about science topics (written conversations between teacher and students) Talk-write (sign-write) students can talk about science prior to writing it down. Writing process steps (brainstorming, outline, draft, edit, peer review, presentation)

30 Writing with ELL students Writing process steps (brainstorming, outline, draft, edit, peer review, presentation)

31 Deaf writing: language transfer and language mixing I not know much about Earth. I have no feel about Earth, but I finish learn about Earth…colors many different. Earth need nicely. Earth not need mess.

32 Dr. Harry Lang work in science education (K-12) Books about deaf scientists Lang, H. & Meath-Lang, B. (1995) Deaf persons in the arts and sciences. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press spages/newsletters/comets12.htmlhttp://www.rit.edu/%7Ecomets/pages/feature spages/newsletters/comets12.html

33 Activity Using the class handouts, demonstrate several reading comprehension strategies that you can use in the science text reading lesson: –BEFORE –DURING –AFTER


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