SIOP Component #2: Building Background
This component of SIOP encourages teachers to consciously try and connect students to both the content and language of the lesson. The three features (below) remind educators of three important factors: First, helping students focus on the familiar first is a good place to start. Next, students come with valuable knowledge and skills that need to be used. Finally, vocabulary must be a conscious, sustained effort. Once again, SIOP helps teachers consciously attend to language.
SIOP helps students make conscious connections with past & present learning
The amount of time that a teacher may spend building background depends on how foreign the content and language are to the students. Talking about living in an igloo to a Polynesian student body may take some background building. Likewise, the idea of emphasizing vocabulary may take a little or a lot of effort depending on a variety of factors. Some students may not need a lot of it while others may need a significant amount of support. That's why we teachers much consciously attend to it.
Emphasize key vocabulary for students in meaningful ways
Making vocabulary a focus of your class does not have to take away from learning; rather it should enhance it. As teachers, we must learn to emphasize important vocabulary and key terminology at the beginning, the middle, and the end of our lessons. This, however, does not have to consume vast amounts of time. Here are 5 things to remember about emphasizing key vocabulary.
- Don't assume your students know the words; don't assume they don't. Find out!
- Make sure vocabulary is at the center of everything you do by constantly referring to the terms.
- Get students to use the vocabulary terms orally as much as possible.
- Use the board! Write key words on the board.
- Empower students to learn unknown words by teaching them to use context clues.
TESOL Trainers provides world class professional development on SIOP
There are plenty of reasons to invite TESOL Trainers to provide professional development on SIOP to your teaching staff. Here are four of the most powerful: