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This article/module explores the notion that to assist "problem readers" in Trinidad and Tobago, it is necessary for teachers to have a knowledge of how language is used in the community and how communication events occur there. These can be the basis for "patterns of interaction" with texts written in English where students or learners have difficulty in reading and writing English; and where both learners and teachers are speakers of Trinidadian Creole English. These "patterns" fall within the learners "experience" of their Language and can be used creatively by teachers for the better Comprehension and production of (International)English texts. The ideas expressed here should be useful wherever there are similar language environments and they are suggested as an alternative to the Language Experience Approach to teaching Reading for such students. Suggestions and links are included for teachers to explore how they can develop these ideas further.

    Module outline

  • The Problem
  • Language in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Students' views and the relationship between Language and Literacy
  • What can a teacher do? Suggestions for using Communication experiences
  • Activities
  • References

Instructions for use

1. Read the sections that follow and raise questions on them. 2. You may also suggest additional links or references that other users can explore.3. How can the section on activities be expanded ? 4. Have you encountered a similar situation in your classroom? Describe it for other users.

The problem

This module arose out of observations which the writer made during a Reading-Library project in Princes Town,Trinidad. One of the aims of the project was to explore for ways of teaching Reading and Writing to (creole-influenced) secondary school "problem or struggling readers".Many young people--especially males (age 14+), who are "struggling readers" leave the secondary school system in Trinidad and Tobago and are unable to communicate competently in speech and writing in International English. The project accommodated 50 students over a two year period. More than half were males(15+-17 years) from the Technical-Vocational Department of the school( Matilda Senior Secondary). They attended weekly 2-hour sessions in an after- school setting. Students were required to visit the Princes Town Public Library as a group for two to three hours a week to learn library skills.

Background to the project

The project students were of Indo and African descent. They came from rural homes in the Princes Town-Moruga-New Grant area in South Trinidad.(See the map of Trinidad in the Links section.) Parents were mainly gardeners, skilled workers and labourers. In Matilda Senior Secondary, there were approximately 1000+ students and 100+ teachers. The students were prepared over a two-year period for the "sophisticated" Caribbean Examinations Council exams in academic and technical-vocational subjects. Reading some of the textbooks in this area was a students' nightmare.

During these sessions we (the tutors) attempted to build the "traditional" Language-experience shared/group stories using the students Creole-type English. Even though we explained to them why we were doing this, a small crisis occurred. A group of students objected "vociferously" to the use of Trinidadian Creole English to form the stories for their reading material. Of the 50 students, 75% of them preferred to use Standard/International English for their stories. The objection was so fierce (creole being referred to as "DAT"--that language) that the writing /composition of stories in Creole had to be abandoned. Instead , through informal interviews (chats) and classroom observations, the writer gained more insight into how the young people felt and thought about their Language. She thought of this as comprising their own unique "experience" i.e how they "saw" themselves communicating and using Language in their community. She attempted to use this to help them interact with and produce English texts in a meaningful way. What follows in the sections BELOW are suggestions for an approach to developing materials based on the students' communicative experience.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, "pan" and literacy for trinidad and tobago teachers. OpenStax CNX. Mar 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10460/1.14
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