The Role of Background Knowledge
One of the most critical components of helping English language learners (ELLs) succeed academically is the role of background knowledge. Lessons, reading passages, and test questions that assume prior knowledge or familiarity with a certain experience, person, or object may not be an appropriate tool for ELLs who lack the required background knowledge to understand the content.
To learn more about the role background knowledge plays and some ideas for identifying particular pieces of background knowledge that may be useful to review before a lesson, see the following articles, videos, and blog posts below.
- Background Knowledge and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know
- How to Connect ELLs' Background Knowledge to Content
- Introducing a Text Before Reading
- Background Knowledge: A Key to Close Reading with ELLs
- Determining How Much Background Knowledge to Provide for ELLs