Compare, Contrast, Comprehend: Using Compare--Contrast Text Structures With ELLs in K--3 Classrooms

Dreher, Mariam Jean; Gray, Jennifer Letcher
October 2009
Reading Teacher;Oct2009, Vol. 63 Issue 2, p132
Academic Journal
The article discusses the reading needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students in primary grades. A description of a reading lesson comparing and contrasting spiders with insects is given. The reasons why the ELL students struggled with the lesson are explored including their unfamiliarity with the informational text's compare-contrast structure, their lack of background knowledge about the spiders and insects being compared and contrasted, and the gaps in their English language vocabulary contributed to why they didn't understand what they were reading. Teaching methods to identify the compare-contrast text structure, how to use compare-contrast tests to activate and extend students' background knowledge, and how to use the texts to help students expand their vocabulary are discussed.


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