The Importance of Language Experience Approach

This semester in READ 6310 students were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By Marlissa Martinez

Learning how to read is a skill that not all children are ready for. I believe that applying the language experience approach in the classroom is essential for students to emerge into reading. I’m a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at John H. Shary Elementary in Mission, TX.  I feel the necessity to provide my students with the foundation for learning to read. It is imperative that I instill the love of reading to my students, and what better than through the language experience approach, where they are able to authentically connect with the text and content.

This approach is based on the students’ language and experience. I started to expose my students by dictating stories in our morning messages. I would dictate and write the story in chart paper, then, I would point to the words and read the stories.  With times students started dictating their own story. The steps for teaching this is that first, we need to provide an experience that serves for the writing. We can share experience approach in a whole group setting where we can discuss a school experiences, or as simple as having a pet. Next, we discuss the experience prior to writing. The purpose of the discussion is to generate words to review the experience so that our students can dictate comfortably. This discussion can begin with an open-ended question. Then, we record the dictation. In a group setting you record it on chart paper, and individually you record it on writing paper. After this is done we read the text aloud pointing to each word. Students enjoy reading and they can take turns rereading.

Every day during our morning message we develop rich language experience approaches, the topic is broad and students are engaged. By doing this students were able to develop a language experience approach individually. Every Friday I call students one by one and have them dictate a story to me. I like that they are able to see that their thoughts have meaning. They are also excited to see that they have developed a book that they can share with others, but most of all understand and learn how to read. This text become reading material that has meaning and that is authentic to the student. Because the content is based on their experience, they are usually able to read the text easily.

I believe that this is an effective way to help children emerge into reading. Their own writing can take them to another world, where they can imagine the unimaginable.

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