September 7, 2010
Guide for literacy instructors
Here, from a leading literacy instruction institute – a guide for reading instructors:Below, in italics, are my own comments based on our experience at LingQ:Colleagues: The August/September issue of Reading Today, the official
newspaper of the International Reading Association (IRA) (www.reading.org)
discusses TRA standards for reading professionals. Six key standards
discussed in the article are: Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge: knowledge about reading instruction that
is both research and theory based.Ignore both research and theory. Let learners start with a simple alphabet guide,
(assuming writing system is alphabet based). Then let them learn from short
episodes that they listen to over and over, on an MP3 player, before they start reading.
Let them change stories whenever they want. Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction: ways to guide reading professionals
to chose instructional approaches, materials, and curriculum that support
Make a large variety of listening and reading content available, graded for
difficulty. Let the learners choose what to read about. Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation: understanding that assessment methods
should inform instruction.Measure activity level of the learners, not the achievements. With sufficient activity
the results will look after themselves. Standard 4: Diversity: guiding educators in creating and engaging their
students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding,
respect, and a valuing of differences in out society.
Let the learners determine the diversity of their learning material. Standard 5: Literate Environments: Supporting a supportive social
environment for optimizing literacy development.The social environment of the learners is beyond the scope of the teacher. Focus on
helping learners stay active with interesting content to listen to and read,
as much as possible, on their own and away from class. Standard 6: Professional Learning and Leadership: All educators need to
assume some responsibility for collaborative leadership and to embrace the
notion of sharing expertise and responsibility.Spend less time on professional development of reading professionals, and more money on
tools for learners like MP3 players, mobile smart phones and computers. Support
the independent development of mobile applications and online learning solutions
simply by being more open minded about these opportunities, and less committed to protecting
the existing “teacher as instructor” model. Move to “teacher as coach” model
and encourage the participation of people who are not “reading professionals”.
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