Think alouds are a really handy strategy to use with EAL learners. As teachers we can model the types of thinking that we want our EAL learners to develop. We can also model appropriate academic language and vocabulary to our EAL learners. Furthermore, we can model the types of metacognitive strategies that will support our EAL learners.
Think alouds can be used in a number of ways including:
- modelling the writing process, e.g. planning, drafting etc. I have found this really helpful for my EAL learners.
- predicting – we can model effective predicting skills.
- analysing – we can model analytical skills to our learners.
- connecting – connect ideas between subjects and between cultures etc. It is vital that we make connections between our EAL learners prior learning and the learning that is taking place at the present time.
- questioning – we can model effective questioning skills especially related to texts that are being read in the classroom.
- demonstrating – demo how to tackle a wide range of activities that are encountered in the classroom.
As teachers we need to model appropriate academic language for our EAL learners and Think Alouds can support with this. It is vital that our EAL learners hear good models of academic language and teachers can provide some of the best examples of this type of language.