Unit One - Introduction and Classroom discourse

This page last changed on Jan 23, 2008 by wikiadm1.

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This unit introduces the importance of teaching literary understanding and explores the classroom discourses.

     Learning Outcome
     Once you have completed this unit you will be able to:
        * know the principles and standards of applying the classroom discourses.
        * understand the shortage of the traditional classroom discourse-IRE
        * know what good classroom discourses are.

Activity 1: Introduction

In this section, you will have the basic knowledge about the relationship between literary understanding and discussion-based approaches.

Information.gif Why is it important to teach literary understanding?

Teaching literary understanding is important because it is through reading, thinking, and discussing literature that students find alternative ways to gain knowledge and solve problems. By way of sharing of understandings, students learn not only important content but also cognitive, critical and social strategies needed for success in academic courses, works and life. Living by a literary experience involves exploring meanings, interpretations and perspectives during maintaining an openness to future possibilities (Elizabeth C.& Judith A. Langer, n.d.).

Information.gif Why do we use discussion-based approach to improving literacy understanding?

The staring point for socio-cognitive studies of literacy instruction has been in the exchange of ideas- the discussion. The discussion takes place in a classroom, including reading, writing and the talk that surrounds students. High-quality discussion and exploration of ideas are the central to the developing understandings of readers and writers. High-quality discussion and exploration of ideas are not just the presentation of high-quality content by the teacher or text (Arthur N. Applebee, Judith A. Langer, Martin Nystrand and Adam Gamoran, 2003).

The discussion-based approach is one of the most effective approaches. It can foster students' independence thinking and critical abilities.

Activity 2: Exploring the discussion-based approaches


Some researches showed that non-mainstream students-low achievers, children of the poor and second-language learners- progress poorly in classrooms with traditional instructional approaches. The traditional instructional approaches always fail to make use of students' strength, instead of magnifying their weakness.

On the other hand, these students usually do much better when instruction builds on previous knowledge and current ideas and experiences, permits students to voice their understandings and refine them through a lot of discussion with others, and explicitly provides the new knowledge and strategies that students need to participate successfully in the continuing discussion (Arthur N. Applebee, Judith A. Langer, Martin Nystrand and Adam Gamoran, 2003). Therefore, let us take a look at the traditional classroom discourse-IRE and the other type of classroom communication that focus on making meaning and extending discourse-IRF.

Traditional classroom discourse- IRE

(You can click "IRE" above to see more information.)

The typical pattern of classroom discourse is one-sided, following a pattern of teacher question, student response and teacher evaluation of the response. We call this kind of classroom discourse "IRE". The model of "IRE" is usually combined with lectures or presentations by the teacher and seat work, in which students work individually on study activities, often in workbooks or worksheets. From the point of a sociocognitive perspective, such instruction places a premium on transmissions of information. However, this kind of classroom discourse provides very little space for the exploration of ideas, which is necessary for the development of deeper understanding (Arthur N. Applebee, Judith A. Langer, Martin Nystrand and Adam Gamoran, 2003).

The other classroom discourse model-IRF

(You can click "IRF" above to see more information.)

In order to supplementing the shortage of the traditional classroom discourse-IRE, Wells (1993) addressed the other type of classroom discourse- "IRF" to be a contrast with "IRE". In this discourse model-IRF, teachers use assisting questions, which encourage learners to think, push learners to perform at higher levels, and integrate content and topics (Judith L. Shrum & Eileen W. Glisan, 2005).

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I know you are not finished with this page but I suggest writing you own introduction.Give learner Navigation instruction.Put in some images.Be engaging, give some interactive like you did with the questions.
Comment 16.gif Posted by rr156951 at Nov 26, 2007 18:48


Document generated by Confluence on Aug 31, 2008 15:05