The Role of Background Knowledge

four students and a teacher sit at a table with papers and books in front of them

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.

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