Ch 2: Prior & Background Knowledge for ELL Students

About This Chapter

Use this informative teacher resource chapter to learn more about using background and prior knowledge when teaching reading to ELL students. The short, professionally-designed lessons provided here provide you with strategies and tips to help your English language learner students do well in class.

Prior & Background Knowledge for ELL Students - Chapter Summary

Our instructors present topics related to helping your ELL students use prior and background knowledge to improve their reading skills in this chapter. You'll review the theory and definition of prior knowledge and see some of the ways this type of knowledge can be encouraged in your ELL students. Use this information to refresh your curriculum, brush up on material you haven't reviewed in a while or when completing compliance requirements.

How It Helps

  • Simplifies planning: Quickly and easily review these video and text lessons to learn more about prior knowledge, which are accessible 24 hours a day on your mobile device or computer, before integrating it into your curriculum.
  • Gives you actionable steps: In addition to learning the theories associated with these concepts, you'll be given applicable, helpful strategies and methods to use implement these concepts straight into your classroom.
  • Meets educational criteria: There's no need to worry about meeting educational standards when using our learning tools, as all of our teacher resource materials are written by professional instructors.

Skills Covered

In this chapter, you'll learn how to:

  • Define prior knowledge theory and explain its theories
  • Differentiate between prior knowledge and background knowledge for ELL students
  • Build background knowledge successfully for your English language learner students
  • Outline the components and process of the SIOP model and SIOP teaching strategies
  • Use schemata in education and the schema-theoretic approach to reading instruction

7 Lessons in Chapter 2: Prior & Background Knowledge for ELL Students
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Prior Knowledge: Definition & Theory

1. Prior Knowledge: Definition & Theory

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it is really easy for you to learn something new but some things are harder to learn? In this lesson, we'll define prior knowledge and why it can make learning new things easier. We'll also explore different strategies to activate prior knowledge.

Prior Knowledge vs. Background Knowledge for ELL Students

2. Prior Knowledge vs. Background Knowledge for ELL Students

This lesson discusses the difference between prior and background knowledge and how it applies to teaching ELL learners. Cultural and geographical differences that affect English language learners' knowledge are also examined.

How to Build Background Knowledge for ELL Students

3. How to Build Background Knowledge for ELL Students

In this lesson, teachers will learn about the necessity of building background knowledge in English language learner (ELL) students. Teachers will learn specific strategies for implementing this approach.

SIOP Model: Definition, Components & Process

4. SIOP Model: Definition, Components & Process

If you are getting into teaching according to the SIOP model, this lesson will be very useful. We will go over the basis of the model, the various components, as well as the process of employing those components in the classroom. Read on to learn more.

SIOP Teaching Strategies

5. SIOP Teaching Strategies

This lesson will cover teaching strategies connected to the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). Focus will be placed on strategies geared toward English Language Learners.

Using Schemata in Education

6. Using Schemata in Education

Think about all the things that you know about. In this lesson, we'll examine schemata, or ideas about things that you know, and how they relate to education, including what teachers should do to use schemata with their students.

Using the Schema-Theoretic Approach to Reading Instruction

7. Using the Schema-Theoretic Approach to Reading Instruction

As a reader, are you just absorbing what a text says? In this lesson, we'll discuss the role of schemas in the reading process and how we interpret more than just words on a page.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.