All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Adolescent Literacy Glossary

Adequate Yearly Progress, Small Learning Communities, Explicit Instruction — do you know what these phrases mean? Find these and other commonly used terms related to reading, literacy, and reading instruction in our glossary.

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Cloze Passage

A cloze passage is a reading comprehension exercise in which words have been omitted in a systematic fashion. Students fill in the blanks, and their responses are counted correct if they are exact matches for the missing words. Cloze exercises assess comprehension and background knowledge, and they are also excellent indicators of whether the reading level and language level of the text are appropriate for a given student.

Cognates

Words in different languages related to the same root, e.g. education (English) and educación (Spanish).

Comprehension

Understanding the meaning of text by reading actively and with purpose (for learning, understanding, or enjoyment).

Comprehension Strategies

Techniques to teach reading comprehension, including summarization, prediction, and inferring word meanings from context.

Comprehension Strategy Instruction

The explicit teaching of techniques that are particularly effective for comprehending text. The steps of explicit instruction include direct explanation, teacher modeling ("think aloud"), guided practice, and application.

  • Direct Explanation - the teacher explains to students why the strategy helps comprehension and when to apply the strategy.
  • Modeling - the teacher models, or demonstrates, how to apply the strategy, usually by "thinking aloud" while reading the text that the students are using.
  • Guided Practice - the teacher guides and assists students as they learn how and when to apply the strategy.
  • Application - the teacher helps students practice the strategy until they can apply it independently.

Connected Instruction

A systematic teaching method in which the teacher continually explains to students the relationship between what they have learned, what they're in the process of learning, and what they will learn in the future.

Constructing Meaning

A process of making sense of text. By connecting one's own knowledge with the print, readers "build" an understanding of what the text is about.

Content-Area Literacy

(Also called Discipline-Area Literacy.) The advanced literacy skills required to master academic content areas, particularly the areas of math, science, English, and history. Content-area literacy is necessary for success at the secondary level and requires knowledge and understanding of the language, terminology, structure, and patterns of specific academic subject areas

Context Clues

Sources of information outside of words that readers may use to predict the identities and meanings of unknown words. Context clues may be drawn from the immediate sentence containing the word, from text already read, from pictures accompanying the text, or from definitions, restatements, examples, or descriptions in the text.

Continuous Assessment

An element of responsive instruction in which the teacher regularly monitors student performance to determine how closely it matches the instructional goal.

Cooperative Learning

A teaching model involving students working together as partners or in small groups on clearly defined tasks. It has been used successfully to teach comprehension strategies in content-area subjects.

Critical Literacy

An instructional approach that advocates the adoption of critical perspectives toward text. Critical literacy encourages readers to actively and flexibly analyze texts, and to discuss various interpretations and meanings.

Curriculum-based Assessment

A type of informal assessment in which the procedures directly assess student performance in learning-targeted content in order to make decisions about how to better address a student's instructional needs.


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