Using clines to support literacy development

Introductory prediction activities, clines and cloze passages are interactive tasks that encourage students to think deeply about content, language and meaning (Dufficy, 2005, p. 119). They are particularly assistive to EAL students, supporting discussions in pairs and groups to explore text meaning, while scaffolding the introduction of new vocabulary and content. In this second of three posts focused on supporting literacy development in diverse classrooms, I pay specific attention to clines.

Clines enable students to explore the relationship between words and word meanings (Dufficy, 2005, p. 116).

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In the cline task designed, the provision of images provides visual cues to chunk the activity into two parts. Once the word and image have been paired up, the sequencing of emotions becomes simpler. Ambiguity has been built into the word bank on purpose, with closely defined words such as contentment/satisfaction. Through building in a slightly harder word like ‘anguish’, students must discuss and negotiate, improving their oral language and vocabulary at the same time.

This blog post is inspired by Paul Dufficy’s book Designing Learning for Diverse Classrooms (2005). For related posts, see the one on flowcharts, one on ranking tasks and sequencing tasks and another on prediction activities.

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