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40 INTERACTING WITH NON-FICTION TEXTS There is a very powerful argument that providing children with opportunities to communicate what they have learnt to other people can itself be part of the learning process. Most of us, especially teachers, will have noticed that having to explain things to others often helps us clarify them for ourselves. Language has an epistemic function as well as a communicative: that is, its use creates knowledge in the user. Thus involving children in communicating information to others can be of benefit in helping them make the information they are working with more their own.

They attribute this failure to effect real change in learners’ approaches to dealing with text to a model of learning which sees learners as simply responding, relatively passively, to instruction without really being made aware of just what they are learning and why. They claim that teaching, to be successful, needs to encourage learners to be active in their use of strategies and to understand why, and when, they should use the strategies to which they are introduced. The model of teaching they propose as an alternative is based upon the twin ideas of ‘expert scaffolding’ and what they refer to as ‘proleptic’ teaching: that is, teaching in anticipation of competence.

Learning which does not make connections with our previousknowledge is learning at the level of rote only and is soon forgotten. ) (Ogle, 1989). 2 Establishing purposes A crucial part of the process of learning from texts must involve the specification of just what information is required from these texts and why. If this is not done, then subsequent interactions with texts will tend to be haphazard rather then purposeful. )’, which is certainly not precise enough to be useful to them. Statements like this have two logical consequences.

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