Language Experience Approach in Second Language Learning and Literature Based Approach

Research shows that language experience approach is a useful way to motivate students for their reading and writing skills. When the instructor gets his or her students to do their own writing, he or she is preparing the reading material from students’ own words. While reading their self-created materials, students are usually able to read the stories with minimal decoding skills because they already know the meaning (Peregoy and Boyle, 2005) as the stories are their own creation. As well, I often experience the way students feel while reading their own materials. As a teacher, I often notice that, though the process takes some time for students to get engaged in reading, reading their own stories slowly develops their interest in reading, writing and re-reading. Certainly, language-experience approach is very useful in motivating students for reading and writing, but it does not mean that the instructor solely depends on this approach only. It is suggested that he take a look at all the circumstances he comes across while teaching a language and use different methods and techniques as needed to meet the objectives.

Stories and literature become the foundation and context for learning a language in a literature based approach, which is also known as top-down approach. This approach is considered a valuable way of developing and enhancing oral language and literary skills. Students would be more enthusiastic when they are encouraged for reading quality literature that would give them some fun and, at the same time, they would be encouraged for language learning. One of the obviously observed shortcomings of a literature-based approach is making choice about reading a book. The instructor should be careful when helping students choose a book for reading. In the beginning, he might choose a book that can be useful for all students in the class. Peregoy and Boyle suggest that the instructor assist students in making choices about students’ reading materials, about what they do with what they select, and with their own responses to literature (2005). It has been discussed on several occasions that teaching a language is an effort to combine various methods and techniques, depending upon different circumstances such as characteristics of learners, classroom setting, number of learners, and background information of learners. Using a specific technique for all the times might not work.

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About Raj Khatri

I have always enjoyed facilitating both adult and K-12 English for Academic Purposes  (EAP) classes that include international, immigrant and refugee students and mentoring ESL/EFL pre-service teachers for over fifteen years in a variety of settings across North America and South Asia. The opportunity to work as a TESL Practicum Supervisor at the Department of Linguistics of the University of Victoria has further helped me share with and learn from colleagues and enhance my knowledge and expertise in the field.  I had served as an ESL Instructor III at the University of Regina for two years and a half before joining Camosun College as an ELD Instructor in the fall of 2014. I always appreciate the opportunity I was provided with to facilitate EAP, ESL, LBS and LINC classes in various capacities, including Professor at Centennial College, Instructor at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Seneca College, and Centennial College in Toronto, and Lecturer at Padma Kanya Multiple Campus (Tribhuvan University affiliated) in Kathmandu. Awarded the University of Victoria Fellowship (2014) and the Geoffrey & Alix O'Grady Scholarship in Linguistics (2015/016) for Academic Excellence, I am currently working with Dr. Huang on my doctoral studies in linguistics, with a major focus of research in applied linguistics, while still continuing to facilitate EAP classes and supervise TESL practicum students in BC. Before I completed my Special Education program with Honors at Queen’s University in Ontario and got certified to teach in the K-12 public education system as an Ontario College teacher (OCT), as well as to teach adult ESL classes as a TESL Ontario accredited instructor in 2009, I had worked with Dr. Haulman and earned my second Master’s degree in TESL at the University of Central Oklahoma, where I had received the President’s Honor Roll for four consecutive semesters and graduated Summa Cum Laude. I was deeply honored when Brad Henry, then Governor of the State of Oklahoma in the United States, recognized my public input about college safety and public education in 2007 and 2008. Holding the belief that it is important to give back to the community, I have always been engaged in voluntary activities, both in professional and other community-related areas, and have been enjoying working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. My voluntary services extend from donating books to school libraries and financially supporting schools in Nepal to facilitating ESL/EAP classrooms at various settings, including at the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Regina Public Schools and supporting voluntary organizations, such as the Regina Food Bank, the Salvation Army (Regina), the Regina Green Patch, and Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society. I have been an accredited member of TESL Canada (Professional Standard III Permanent, since 2009), and Ontario College of Teachers (OCT; since 2010), and I hold Saskatchewan Professional 'A' Certificate. As well, as a member, I have been participating in professional development activities at TESOL and BC TEAL since 2007 and 2013 respectively. My areas of research interests are second language reading strategies, second language writing, intercultural communication and classroom practices, and adult ELLs with disabilities. Thank you for visiting! Happy Exploring!
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