Strategies for Teaching all Students in the 21st Century
Children come to school as active thinkers, possessing a natural curiosity and eagerness to learn. They have a natural desire to explore, manipulate and discover. Thus, it is incumbent upon parents and school administrators to prepare a learning environment where this curiosity and desire to learn can be cultivated and developed through content-rich instruction that consistently exposes students to developmentally appropriate texts and activities that stress both language and content over the course of a school year.
Liberty Education’s preschool curriculum is designed to prepare young children for reading success by building foundational language and literacy skills. The curriculum features content-based instruction(CBI) to enhance the learning of English. CBI in its best form blends stimulating content and real world activities to capture the attention of the young learners and motivates them to engage and participate. In recent years content-based instruction has become increasingly popular as a means of developing linguistic ability as it is more ‘holistic’ and allows a properly constructed curriculum to incorporate lessons in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, among others. The CBI methodology is designed to deliver information at the right time and situation to compel students to learn out of curiosity.
Furthermore, CBI has been shown to accelerate language acquisition among dual language learners(DLL) as the content provides a balance between teacher-led activities and child initiated actions so that learning and vocabulary can meet directed goals and orthodox academic learning objectives.
What are the advantages of content-based instruction?
- It can make learning a language more interesting and motivating. Students can use the language to fulfill a real purpose, which can make students both more independent and confident.
- Students can also develop a much wider knowledge of the world through CBI which can feed back into improving and supporting their general educational needs.
- CBI is very popular among EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teachers as it helps students to develop valuable study skills such as note taking, summarizing and extracting key information from texts.
Thus, CBI students are given many opportunities to develop the vocabulary and content knowledge that undergirds later academic success. Repetition is one method to help children build confidence in their knowledge and helps them to build confidence and feel like they have mastered something.
In short, with content-based instruction the content should be within relevant discourse contexts rather than isolated language fragments. When students are interested and motivated in the material they are learning they then make greater connections to life situations and learning a language becomes a fun and easy activity.