ways to begin.

Teacher: Who would like to share what they discussed? Jeremy

Students: We think it would be good to start with “We went to the zoo yesterday.”

Teacher: Why do you and your partner think that is a good idea?

Student1: It sounds like other beginnings.

Teacher: Could we write the sentence another way using the same words?

Student2: Yesterday we went to the zoo.

T: Are both ways correct?

(Students nod)

T: Does one sound more like how we talk? … Does one sound more like book language?

The above vignette shows a conversation in which the teacher is deliberately focusing the children’s attention on the differences between language patterns used in writing and speaking.
Another example illustrates how interactive writing can be used to help students who speak in nonstandard English develop an ear for more formal structures. Notice that the teacher uses this opportunity to teach explicitly.
S: “We got to go to the zoo yesterday.”

T: Yes, we did get to go to the zoo yesterday. When we write

we need to use formal language like we find in books. So

we would write “We got to go to the zoo yesterday.”

With an ESOL student, a teacher may find it necessary to provide more scaffolds and conduct this as a guided writing session. In this case, the teacher would work with one or two learners and guide them as they write the sentences on their own papers.

S: We get to go to the zoo yesterday.

T: (Teacher writes both sentences as she speaks) We get to go

to the zoo tomorrow. Yesterday we got to go to the zoo.

Now you say your sentence using the word got.

S: (Teacher writes the sentence as the child says it.) We got to

go to the zoo yesterday.

This would be followed up by making word cards for both of these sentences and having the child put the words together to make two correct sentences. After repeated practice and when the teacher is confident that the child can correctly reassemble the sentences, they will be sent home.
2.3.1.2. Pragmatic Awareness

Another kind of Metalinguistic Feedback is pragmatic awareness. Pragmatic awareness is the ability to use language appropriately in social contexts (Halliday, 1975, 1977; Snow et al., 1998). Snow et al. suggests that children develop pragmatic awareness in three areas. The first is conventional speech, such as requesting something, getting attention, or describing something. In the second area, children develop conversational skills like taking turns, sticking to a topic, and expanding a topic. The third area deals with producing extended autonomous speech like narratives, explanations, and definitions. Halliday (1975, 1977) explains that children develop socialized speech and an understanding for the functions for which they use it through interaction with others.

Understanding the various uses for and the structure of language (Moore, 1995) are two areas that are problematic for poor readers. By teaching children to “tune in” to the structure of language, children’s reading skills will be strengthened. Teachers can introduce the concept of text structure including the structure of narrative text and uses of language through teacher read alouds and shared reading. Both the syntactical features and the pragmatic functions of language are components that build Metalinguistic knowledge.
A teacher read-aloud supports the development of syntactic and pragmatic knowledge because it invites children to participate in the reading process with a text that is often too difficult for them to read on their own. Teachers model good reading and thinking behaviors. Children participate in rich discussions about carefully chosen books which exhibit or posses the desired characteristics. Read-alouds help children develop schema and expectations for different types of text and invite children to become engaged and motivated. Emergent storybooks are particularly useful for teacher read-alouds. They are learner’s introduction to the wonderful world of literature and reading.
These books are not intended serve as texts for teaching students to decipher print. Emergent Storybooks should tell a wonderful story that children want to hear over and over again and have a basic story structure with a recognizable beginning, middle, and end. The characters, often animals or toys, are easy for children to identify with and will serve as a young child’s first independent reading as they approximate the reading process with very familiar text. These books contain a rich literary language and provide many language learning opportunities. One example might be a discussion about the use of imagery in creating the setting.
A first grade teacher might choose Leo Lionni’s It’s Mine as a read-aloud. This story, with its memorable characters, basic storyline, and rich language introduces emergent readers to the use of imagery to develop setting. The very first page reads In the middle of Rainbow Pond There was a small island. Smooth pebbles lined its beaches, and it was covered with ferns and leafy weeds. The teacher could read this page and say something like, “Leo Lionni has painted me a picture with his words. If I think about these words as I read I can create a picture in my mind. I can even think about last summer when I went camping near a pond and I can recall how the ferns and weeds were growing all around. Turn to your neighbor and talk about the picture you see in your mind. “After a few minutes the teacher might share some conversations they overheard and then go on reading. This book could be revisited many times for many purposes.
Shared Reading actively engages readers in the reading process. As the name implies, the teacher and students share the responsibility for the reading of the text. A shared reading text should tell a good story and have characters and situations for which children can relate. The illustrations should be attractive and support the text. The text should contain rich memorable language that is predictable with a familiar or cumulative sequence. Every child should have access to the print. Whileshared reading texts are usually in big book form with large print, in some cases a shared reading might involve each child having a copy of the text. Shared reading provides opportunities to investigate the workings of print with a teacher who is providing scaffolding and modeling. The primary distinction between a shared reading text and an emergent storybook is that a shared reading text is meant to be read by the students and teacher while an emergent storybook should be read by the teacher and will generally be above the reading level of most of the children.

Narration, storytelling, or oral descriptions are forms of discourse that serve as an important transition between oral language and literacy acquisition. Therefore, it stands to reason that children’s discussions during and after a teacher read aloud as well as oral story retellings will assist them in acquiring skills that are likely to contribute to their later success in reading. A child’s prior experience with syntactical structures of written and spoken language, the pragmatic aspects of language, story structure, story comprehension, and story production may be influential in learning to read and developing the ability to comprehend text. Additionally, children need many opportunities to have real conversations where they practice describing and explaining things to others. Teachers can facilitate these conversations, but it is important to maintain high expectations for students to use complex and varying sentence structures. This will not happen quickly or easily. Teachers must provide lots of modeling, scaffolding, and give explicit feedback to students as they are learning how to converse with one another. A fishbowl activity may be useful for helping children understand what a “real” conversation and/or discussion” sounds and looks like.” For example, the teacher would ask her class to form a circle on the floor and she might invite one student to sit in the center with her to demonstrate a conversation about a nonfiction book. In this case, the discussion is about how nonfiction books use both text and pictures to help the reader understand the concepts being discussed. The children would use sticky notes to mark places in their nonfiction texts where they learned something new by using both text and pictures.
T: Michael, when I was reading this book, I learned that frog’s ears are emergent

storybook is that a shared reading text is meant to be read by the learners and

teacher while an emergent storybook should be read by the teacher and will

generally be above the reading level of most of the children.

Narration, storytelling, or oral descriptions are forms of discourse that serve as an important transition between oral language and literacy acquisition. Therefore, it stands to reason that children’s discussions during and after a teacher read aloud as well as oral story retellings will assist them in acquiring skills that are likely to contribute to their later success in reading. A child’s prior experience with syntactical structures of written and spoken language, the pragmatic aspects of language, story structure, story comprehension, and story production may be influential in learning to read and developing the ability to comprehend text.
Additionally, children need many opportunities to have real conversations where they practice describing and explaining things to others. Teachers can facilitate these conversations but it is important to maintain high expectations for students to use complex and varying sentence structures. This will not happen quickly or easily. Teachers must provide lots of modeling, scaffolding, and give explicit feedback to students as they are learning how to converse with one another. A fishbowl activity may be useful for helping children understand what a “real” conversation and/or discussion “sounds and looks like.”For example, the teacher would ask her class to form a circle on the floor and she might invite one student to sit in the center with her to demonstrate a conversation about a nonfiction book. In this case, the discussion is about how nonfiction books use both text and pictures to help the reader understand the concepts being discussed. The children would use sticky notes to mark places in their nonfiction texts where they learned something new by using both text and pictures.
T: Michael, when I was reading this book , I learned that frog’s

ears are called tympana and that they look like flat circles just

behind the eyes. The picture helped me understand what the

words said. Did you find a place in your book where words

and pictures together helped you understand better?

S: In my book about turtles, I learned that turtles that live

on the land have elephant-like feet. Sea turtles have flippers

like paddles and turtles which