Friday, June 29, 2018

The Language Experience Approach (LEA) Part 1 of 2

“...the language experience approach (LEA) is a whole language approach that promotes reading and writing through the use of personal experiences and oral language. It effectively helps develop learners' print awareness, since learners see the direct connection between images and words. It effectively connects known vocabulary and new vocabulary with print words, since the experience and image(s) correlate with words in the written caption(s).” 

The Literacy Bug, June 2018 Retrieved

Using LEA in the classroom for group and one-on-one sessions has many benefits. It allows teacher and students to discuss experiences and to have these written down would automatically familiarize students with the structure of language and the dynamics of using them. From speaking about experiences, listening to responses and writing these down, students learn reading skills along the way. In LEA, students engage in the communication of their experiences, there is a deeper connection to content making learning more meaningful.

The Language Experience Process

Before and During the Experience
1. Establish a common experience.
2. Pay attention to this common experience and how language (vocabulary) is used and documented (organizers, journals, cards, digicams, social media, etc.)
3. Be aware of instructions that take place and how discourse is built from the common experience.

After the Experience
1. Display and show evidences of learned vocabulary, new, old and how it is constructed through graphic organizers (mind maps, flow charts, semantic maps).
2. Review how sentence structures and cycles manifest in students documented writing.
3. Provide feedback on their writing that will help improve and enhance reading and writing skills.
4. Repeat the reading of newly constructed texts and observe how memory further shapes of improves the telling or writing of the experience.
5. Use newly constructed texts and vocabulary for further study.

Extending the Experience
1. Find an opportunity to link new readings to the common experience, for example, poems, magazine articles, social media posts, advertisements and flyers.
2. Provide a connection of these readings to writing activities.
3. Reflect on select areas of the experience and activities with students. 
4. Record these reflections by keeping them in a learning portfolio.

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