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Making sense of comprehension Nick Dawson Pearson Education.

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1 Making sense of comprehension Nick Dawson Pearson Education

2 Outline Learning involves the learner taking ownership of information, ideas and concepts. Comprehension is fundamental to all learning. 1.Learner unlocks and enters the text. 2.Learner becomes part of the text. 3.Text changes the learner. 4.Text becomes part of the learner. Learner becomes the owner of the text.

3 text text = reading text listening text video text any English language experience which learners need to understand.

4 The incarnation of knowledge 1.Child eats food. 2.Child digests food. 3.Food elements absorbed into bloodstream. 4.Food elements help child to grow. 5.Food becomes part of the child.

5 understand below | beneath within | among | amongst

6 Receptive / Creative Receptive Input / Output comprehension Exact reproduction of text Mug and Jug teaching

7 Learner is an empty mug waiting for knowledge. Teacher has jug full of knowledge. Teacher pours knowledge into learners mug.

8 Receptive / Creative Receptive Input / Output comprehension Exact reproduction of text Mug and Jug teaching Creative Learner interprets text. Learner uses background knowledge and imagination. Learner uses learners perspective to understand text. Learner creates an understanding of text. Comprehension is an imaginative, creative process.

9 Unlocking a text Children begin to understand their environment by collecting evidence through all their senses. They compare this evidence with their database of previous experience. From the evidence and experience they form a hypothesis for understanding. Evidence > Database > Hypothesis

10 Learners take evidence from a text text evidence understanding text Learners bring understanding to a text

11 Understanding facts Demonstrating comprehension Comprehension questions Multiple choice questions Using information from text in a new context Showing evidence from the text Find evidence that [a] is correct. Find evidence that [b] and [c] are incorrect. If [a], [b] and [c] are all incorrect, what is the correct answer?

12 Why are these identical twins different sizes? The Ames room is an optical illusion. The floor and ceiling are not horizontal. The windows are not rectangles. We misunderstand the picture because we think this is an ordinary room.

13 Perspective in comprehension Brains misinterpret pictures. We apply ideas of normality from our experience. We add perspective to the pictures. Learners sometimes misinterpret texts. They apply their own perspective. The Present Perfect is difficult because it requires a new, unknown perspective.

14 CLIL and Perspective PERSPECTIVE is fundamental across the curriculum. A nuclear power plant is a fact. We can examine it from scientific, ecological, mathematical, historical, sociological, cultural and economic perspectives. We can do the same with any reading / listening text.

15 Adding ideas to the text There is no white triangle in the picture. The white triangle is invented in your brain. This may happen when we interpret a text.


17 Imaginative comprehension Comprehension should not be only about facts. Texts should stimulate and exploit imagination. How? Ask about facts which are not in the text. Ask learners their opinion of the text.

18 What kind of people lived in this house? Describe the inside of the house. Would you like to live in it? Give reasons. Fourth Dimension by Robert ONeill with Patricia Mugglestone. © Longman 1986

19 Who said…? Were far more realistic than they were. I think we were far happier when I was her age. When I married her father, we hardly had a penny. If I have a child, I want it to have all it needs.

20 Comprehension as dialogue Most textbooks treat comprehension as monologue. The learners read/listen to the text and try to remember it. But, Comprehension is dialogue. We should train learners to interact and dialogue with the text. So learners become part of the text.

21 Text changes the learner Does text confirm ideas you already knew? Does text expand your knowledge of a familiar topic? Do you believe the facts contained in the text? Do you agree with the ideas in the text?

22 Youre the cream in my coffee Like cream in coffee, any text is merely an additive to the learners knowledge and experience. Like cream in coffee, the text will change the learner!

23 Taking ownership 1.Note making 2.Oral summary 3.Written summary 4.Summarise as a tweet in 140 characters Two days after exposure Repair a corrupted text Complete a clozed text See Short and Sweet 1 by Alan Maley Penguin English © Alan Maley 1994 by reconstructing a text

24 Whats the answer? = 5 – 3 = 5 x 3 = 15 ÷ 3 = The language and grammar of mathematical computation is part of you. This knowledge and skill is in your brain and has become part of you.

25 Four stage comprehension 1.Learner unlocks and enters text. 2.Learner interacts with text. 3.Learner becomes part of text. 4.Learner takes ownership of text. 5. Text becomes part of the learner.

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