Text-Based Instructional Strategies

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  • 0:00 Instructional Strategies
  • 0:57 Text-Based Instruction
  • 2:32 Pros and Cons
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

There are many ways to teach children to read, from phonics instruction to surrounding children with books and letting them read naturally. In this lesson, we'll look at one type of instruction, text-based, and its pros and cons.

Instructional Strategies

Alana is an elementary school teacher, and the parents of one of her students are concerned. They got in contact with Alana because their son, Justin, has just been diagnosed with a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to read. He is behind in learning to read, and they want to help him get caught up, but they aren't sure how. How can they (and Alana) teach Justin to read?

An instructional strategy is a way of teaching something. There are many different types of instructional strategies that approach teaching and education in different ways. For example, should Justin's parents give him lessons in phonics, making sure he knows how to sound out words? Or should they just give him a book and hope that he figures out how to read through exposure to the printed word? Those are two different instructional strategies that they could take.

Let's look closer at one instructional strategy for reading, text-based instruction, and its strengths and limitations.

Text-Based Instruction

As we've already seen, there are a lot of different ways that Justin's parents can try to teach him how to read. In fact, there are literally dozens of different instructional strategies that they can implement!

Alana suggests to Justin's parents that they try text-based instruction, which involves teaching reading by grounding instruction in different types of texts. Alana herself uses text-based instruction in her class. She and her students read many, many different pieces, exploring the differences between genres and texts.

One reason that Alana likes text-based instruction is that there are two levels of learning going on at once. First, students are mastering different types of texts. Whether they are reading nonfiction, fiction, narrative, poetry, dialogue, or another type of writing, Alana's students (including Justin) will gradually learn how to read each of them. They will discover their differences and similarities and the best way to approach each type of text.

The second level of learning that occurs with text-based instruction is that of learning content through interaction with texts. For example, when reading a text with an unfamiliar word, Justin can learn that new vocabulary word by seeing it in context, instead of being taught it explicitly. If he's reading an article about trains, he's learning to read and learning about trains. So, even as he learns to read, Justin can also learn other things through text-based instruction.

Pros & Cons

Justin's parents like Alana's suggestion of using texts to help him learn to read. But they wonder, if text-based instructional strategies are so great, why are there any other instructional strategies out there?

All strategies have pros and cons to them, and Alana explains to Justin's parents that text-based instructional strategies are no different. The good news is that text-based instruction exposes children to a variety of texts. They will be reading many different things and many different types of things. That is very good!

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