Difficulties not possess the ‘schema’ for understanding spoken

Difficulties in comprehension and acquiring content can
arise from a lack of provision of culturally relevant information, posing a
potential problematic area
for students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D)
students (Richards,
& Burns, 2012). A strategy to enhance learning
outcomes for the student involves creating an inclusive environment sensitive
to all cultural backgrounds (Dashwood, 2017) where the EAL/D learner actively
builds schema through receptive knowledge. By both listening and doing, the
learner is more likely to develop understanding and familiarity within the
curriculum content. When a student does not possess the ‘schema’ for
understanding spoken and written text on a topic, it a teacher’s responsibility
to ‘build up the schema’ in order for the EAL/D learner to identify where they
have not previously encountered the context (Dashwood, 2017).

Content familiarity can be garnered by setting
up a game of ‘questions’ or a ‘riddle’
to introduce a topic. This is an exciting, all-encompassing method to evoke
quick English thought, action, providing an opportunity for speaking,
communication and listening through an open question format. This is an effective
activity to eliminate reduce any anxiety that can ascend from learning a
new language in an enjoyable and authentic manner whilst developing their level of proficiency in
English, particularly in introducing and developing
background information for a specific topic.

Knowledge is founded upon one’s perception of the world of what
is already known and familiar. Students are able to develop comprehensible
interpretation of a text through uniting textual information (new knowledge)
with their existing information (prior knowledge) (Navarro, 2008). A practical way to maximise
comprehension in the classroom can be achieved through content familiarity, for
example; reading texts relevant to students and encouraging them to predict
what they think will happen. Visual cues and illustrated word banks assist
students with sentence structure, which in turn, allows the teacher and students to have explicit discussions about
the topic, focusing on associated vocabulary and ideas represented in the information
(Hertzberg, 2012).