Literacy teaching strategies

Wiley Park Public School is a very multicultural school. 96% of our students come from families where English is an additional language. The students are drawn from about 40 different countries and about 30 different language groups. And our kids, because of their limited vocabulary and world life experiences, we might need to give them texts that they can relate to, so we might integrate it with our HSIE topic of ‘celebrations’, give them texts about a celebration in particular, immerse them in the language, show them videos, so they can make a connection with it and kind of take that on in their writing and in their reading inside the classroom. Yeah, that’s a good idea. I think that’s very good, yeah. WOMAN: Take a look at all the things I could do to help me make a connection. I can go on Google and the internet, I can read a book, listen to music, look through some photos and even watch a video. When I’m doing all that, when I’m exposed to all those different types of texts, something happens. Who can remember what might happen to me? -Ashier.
-CHILD: You get ideas. You get ideas. They start popping in your head. Having tracked our students according to the Best Start continuum, we want them to be involved in a text in a meaningful way. So we’re going to focus on comprehension, making connections, in particular, to support our ESL-speaking students by making them dissect text, analyse it, interpret it, evaluate what they’re reading so that they can draw from experiences that will transfer over into their writing, into their reading, and into their interactions with other students in the class. Ashier, what did your partner say? My partner said on New Year’s you wear new clothes. WOMAN: On New Year’s he must wear new clothes. Kadisha, what did your partner say? He said that they have different foods. RECORDING: Five, four, three, two, one. Happy New Year! Is that what you were talking about? Yeah, like that. -Cool.
-That’s fireworks. What do you think you might see in the photographs? People. What do you think the people are doing? Going to the restaurants and eating. Ooh, yummy. Do you think they eat lots of food on Chinese New Year? What kind of food? Maybe Chinese food? -Yes.
-Maybe. Jacob, what are you doing? Are you drawing or writing a sentence? I’m writing a sentence. What are you writing a sentence about? Chinese New Year. What do you think happens in Chinese New Year? Show dragons. Do you see dragons? Real dragons? -No.
-What kind of dragons? -Fake dragons.
-Fake dragons? Have you seen fake dragons on Chinese New Year? Leading the, basically, infants in all the reading strategies that we’re doing has really helped me see it from an infant’s perspective and kind of tweak lessons and tweak things to support the teachers around me, doing things together, get resources ready, so that we can support our students in reading. I’ve seen that before in a book. Oh. What book was it? Do you remember? No, but you do remember… That’s good that you thought and you made that prediction from what you remember. WOMAN: You celebrate Chinese New Year. You might be able to help your friends, give them ideas on what they might find in the book. I get together with my family and I help my mum to make the food. Oh, wow. Do you think that’s what this little boy’s going to do in that text? Alright. Kadisha, are you writing that down? Aisha, what’s your prediction… Because they come from NESB-speaking backgrounds, they really need those world life experiences so that the text that they read is actually meaningful for them, and they can transfer that over into their writing and to their reading. We’re going to make sure that in the lessons that we develop for the students that there’s a lot of interaction and discussions, a lot of vocal things to get them talking and using that vocabulary in a meaningful, expressive way because that’s what they need, at our level in particular.

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