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The Language 
Experience approach 
Teaching English for Secondary Education 
Universidad Santo Tomás 
Professor Cecilia Ma...
What is a Language Experience ? 
• A strategy to develop and reinforce reading and writing 
using personal experiences and...
Language Experience : A Method 
• Language experience approach is a method actually uses 
students own words to help them ...
When you’ve collected enough pictures you make them into 
a book for your students to read again and again. Write 
underne...
• Some people use this method as a first approach to 
reading in order to help their student understand that 
what they’ve...
Language Experience: A Teaching Approach 
Personal Experience 
( Dewey,1938) 
Literacy Instruction 
( Huey,1908) 
Introduc...
How it works: 5 steps 
1. Teacher and student discuss the topic to be the focus on the 
1 
dictation. Observations and opi...
3. The SS read the story several times until the story has 
become quite familiar. Reading comprehension is made easier 
b...
5. Students move from reading their own dictation 
to reading other-author materials as they develop 
confidence and skill...
Theoretical Support 
• Based on several key language learning principles
1. Learning occurs from 
the known to unknown 
2.Learning occurs most 
effectively in general to 
specific direction 
3.St...
Speaking 
Four 
Skills 
writing 
Grammatical 
skills 
LANGUAGE 
reading
HOW C AN WE MOST EFFECTIVELY ADAPT 
THE LEA? 
• Providing all the input for sometime and taking the heat off the 
student ...
LEA follow-up lessons on: 
•Grammar 
•Lexicon 
•Pronunciation 
•spelling
The LEA 
Although there is no one “super method” 
for language teaching, LEA offers a: 
useful and effective method for be...
• Language experience encourages students to: 
explore, think and talk. 
This talk, during and after the language 
experie...
• Language experience activities also help to 
provide a bank of experiences that 
students have in common. 
• These can b...
• Language experience activities are often 
related to current topics or to students’ own 
lives. They can be particularly...
The role of the TEACHER 
• to model the writing and the thinking aloud process; 
• to develop writing skills and introduce...
Observers will see: 
• students and teacher thinking aloud about their experience 
while writing about it; 
• the teacher ...
How to record language experience: 
• Ask students to sign what they are learning. 
• Act as a scribe and write in English...
• Relate the complexity of the text to the language 
level of the students. 
• Let the students contribute drawings or oth...
Hope you enjoyed today´s class
REFERENCES 
Bruffee, K. A. (1993). 
Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of 
knowl...
Herzberg, B. (1994). Community service and critical teaching. College 
composition and communication, 45, 307-319. 
Huey, ...
Stauffer, R. G. (1980). The language experience approach to the teaching of 
reading. NY: Harper & Row. 
Wales, M. L. (199...
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The Language Experience Approach

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Ways to promote the development of literacy skills.

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The Language Experience Approach

  1. 1. The Language Experience approach Teaching English for Secondary Education Universidad Santo Tomás Professor Cecilia Maller A (Based on Christy Ann Lacuesta´s PPP)
  2. 2. What is a Language Experience ? • A strategy to develop and reinforce reading and writing using personal experiences and student´s own repertoire of language. • The students themselves initiate with their own experiences; through projects and other resulting interactive activities. • Ex. Going on a trip, seeing a movie, Looking at a picture, etc.
  3. 3. Language Experience : A Method • Language experience approach is a method actually uses students own words to help them read. Your student may draw a picture of Dad in a car. In that case you would write underneath the drawing; Dad is in the car. You continue to collect drawings your students makes and write a short sentence underneath each drawing. A picture of a playground would read. We went to the playground.
  4. 4. When you’ve collected enough pictures you make them into a book for your students to read again and again. Write underneath the drawing a description your student gives for drawing. This way your student will remember much better what is written. First you will write every word and sentence. Slowly your student will begin to trace over the words you have written and finally the student will write the words and sentences alone.
  5. 5. • Some people use this method as a first approach to reading in order to help their student understand that what they’ve drawn and what you have written is a form of communication between the student and yourself. • The Language experience approach supports learner’s concept development and vocabulary growth while offering many opportunities for meaningful reading and writing activities through the use of personal experiences and oral language.
  6. 6. Language Experience: A Teaching Approach Personal Experience ( Dewey,1938) Literacy Instruction ( Huey,1908) Introduction Language Experience Approach Community Literacy (Higgins,1995) Service Learning ( Herzberg,1994)
  7. 7. How it works: 5 steps 1. Teacher and student discuss the topic to be the focus on the 1 dictation. Observations and opinions are exchanged. Oral Language skills are developed and reinforced. 2. The Students dictates an account or story to the T, who records the statements to construct the basic reading materials
  8. 8. 3. The SS read the story several times until the story has become quite familiar. Reading comprehension is made easier by the fact that the student is reading material that is self generated 4. Individual story words are learned, the other reading skills are reinforced through teacher-designed activities related to the story
  9. 9. 5. Students move from reading their own dictation to reading other-author materials as they develop confidence and skill with reading process
  10. 10. Theoretical Support • Based on several key language learning principles
  11. 11. 1. Learning occurs from the known to unknown 2.Learning occurs most effectively in general to specific direction 3.Struggling adult readers usually have a low self-concept as readers and need to be assured of some immediate success 4. Everyone reads at every LEA session
  12. 12. Speaking Four Skills writing Grammatical skills LANGUAGE reading
  13. 13. HOW C AN WE MOST EFFECTIVELY ADAPT THE LEA? • Providing all the input for sometime and taking the heat off the student ( Wales,1994,p.203) • Advocates the use of picture or word cues to initiate and contextualize topics of conversation (Ringel,1989) • Cooperative Learning
  14. 14. LEA follow-up lessons on: •Grammar •Lexicon •Pronunciation •spelling
  15. 15. The LEA Although there is no one “super method” for language teaching, LEA offers a: useful and effective method for beginning literacy instruction . How? by linking the students’ language and experience in learning
  16. 16. • Language experience encourages students to: explore, think and talk. This talk, during and after the language experience provides: *many opportunities to expand students’ vocabulary, *extend their knowledge of grammar, and *scaffold their interactions.
  17. 17. • Language experience activities also help to provide a bank of experiences that students have in common. • These can be recalled and referred to in subsequent learning.
  18. 18. • Language experience activities are often related to current topics or to students’ own lives. They can be particularly effective when linked to a specific text. Examples: ●visiting the supermarket after reading Finding Mum to find the items in the story and making a meal out of the ingredients. ●using skype to talk to students in another school before or after reading Talking to Nanny.
  19. 19. The role of the TEACHER • to model the writing and the thinking aloud process; • to develop writing skills and introduce different writing genres through mini-lessons; • to promote rereading as a strategy for students to remember what they are writing about; • to develop purpose of writing and writing for an audience; • to demonstrate appropriate writing conventions.
  20. 20. Observers will see: • students and teacher thinking aloud about their experience while writing about it; • the teacher modeling the translation of students’ signs into an appropriate written version; • students rereading what they have dictated • Students documenting their language experience through pictures and written compositions
  21. 21. How to record language experience: • Ask students to sign what they are learning. • Act as a scribe and write in English what is signed. • Sign back to the students to make sure they agree with the story that was written down. • “Think aloud” to demonstrate processes to students.
  22. 22. • Relate the complexity of the text to the language level of the students. • Let the students contribute drawings or other art to enhance the writings. • Use mini lessons to focus on specific language or reading skills.
  23. 23. Hope you enjoyed today´s class
  24. 24. REFERENCES Bruffee, K. A. (1993). Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge. London: John Hopkins UP. Bruner, J. S. (1983). In search of mind: Essays in autobiography. NY: Harper. Caplan, M. (1989). Making it meaningful: A whole language guide for literacy tutors. Saint John, N.B.: Laubach Literacy of Canada. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education: The Kappa Delta Pi lecture. New York: Macmillan. Dixon, C. N., & Nessel, D. D. (1983). Language experience approach to reading and writing: Language experience reading for second language learners. Hayward, CA: Alemany Press
  25. 25. Herzberg, B. (1994). Community service and critical teaching. College composition and communication, 45, 307-319. Huey, E. B. (1908). The psychology and pedagogy of reading. New York: Macmillan. [Republished (1968) by M.I.T. Press in Cambridge: MA] Jones, E. V. (1986). Teaching reading through experience. Life Learning, 9(7), Lamoreaux, L., & Lee, D. M. (1943). Learning to read through experiences. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Morris, R. (1979). Success and failure in learning to read. Hammondsworth: Penguin. Nessel, D. D., & Jones, M. B. (1981). The language-experience approach to reading: A handbook for teachers. NY: Teachers College Press. Peck, W., Flower, L., & Higgins, L. (1995). Community literacy. College composition and communication, 46, 199-222. Richard, Patricia(2003). Making it happen, From Interactive to Participatory Language Teaching. Ringel, H. (1989). English as a second language: Language experience approach-instructional guide and ESL reader. Philadelphia: National Service Center. Educational Resources Information Clearinghouse Document No. 318 275. Spinner, J. (1997, March 13) Columnist’s criticism of composition courses inaccurate, wrongheaded. Arizona Daily Wildcat, p. 4
  26. 26. Stauffer, R. G. (1980). The language experience approach to the teaching of reading. NY: Harper & Row. Wales, M. L. (1994). A language experience approach (LEA) in adult immigrant literacy programs in Australia. Journal of Reading, 38, 200-208. Wurr, A. J. & Rutkin, T. J. (1998). The language experience approach: Linking experience and education for adult L2 learners. Shimonoseki Municipal University

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