Table of Contents

2.8.1 Understanding Text Structure or Organization and English Learners

Understanding the concepts of chronology/change over time and cause and effect are central to the understanding of the history discipline. The CA Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills stress the students’ need to understand these concepts. Select the link to reveal some of these standards.

CA Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills

Historians often structure their texts to demonstrate these and other concepts such as compare and contrast, description/definition, and argument/thesis. The Reading Standard 5 of the CA CCSS similarly asks students to understand how authors structure or organize their texts and how those structures contribute to the meaning of the text.
 

Reading Standard 5

RH.6–8.5 Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

RH.9–10.5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

RH.11–12.5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
 

Identifying these structural patterns can be challenging, especially for ELs and struggling readers. Researchers have demonstrated that one way teachers can assist ELs with reading complex informational text is to help them with the text’s organization or structure.

Time to Read

Read "English Learners and Reading Comprehension: Text Organization in History" * to learn more about strategies for helping all students, particularly ELs, analyze the structure of historical sources.

*Source: Goldsmith, Phyllis, and Tuyen Tran. “English Learners and Reading Comprehension: Text Organization in History.” Social Studies Review: Journal of the California Council for the Social Studies, 51 (2012): 57–63. Used with permission from the California Council for the Social Studies.

Time to Reflect

Consider the reading to answer the following question in your metacognitive journal.

 

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