Today we looked at Jabberwocky to discuss the reading process. Some questions we were asked in the activity were as follows:
1) How did you know how to pronounce all the words?
We knew how to pronounce words as we used our bottom-up skills/phonic knowledge and the relationship between the sounds/letters to decode them, we also used our schema and predictions from the context, and used the picture to help use decipher meaning. Also, all of the nonsensical words are content words, so no meaning in the text. The function words really helped to try to guess what word class a nonsensical word was – this helped us to fit it into context.
2) What questions (bottom of photo) could you answer? What couldn’t you answer and why?
We didn’t answer many questions with an answer that made sense. We determined that the time was Brillig, that the toves were gyre and gimble in the wake, the borogoves were ‘floppy’ and the raths were moming.
3) Using the glossary, how does this help?
Only when we knew what the words meant cold we really understand the text!
What this tells us about reading
- Learners need some decoding skills, and quite solid ones before they come across language they’re not used to seeing written down.
- Activate their prior knowledge as much as possible.
- Discuss – you might find things about about learners’ abilities through discussion
- Provide plain English definitions, or a personal dictionary