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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Activating prior knowledge

Activating prior knowledge is like preparing the soil before sowing the seeds of knowledge says Jim Cummins. By tapping into what students already know, teachers help with the learning process. This is because learning is relating the new information, or concepts, to what we already know. Some commonly used strategies to activate prior knowledge are: Graphic organisers; Concept maps; KWL Chart; Anticipatory guidesHot potato; Finding out tables; Learning grids; and Brainstorming.

Students learn a second language best when they are able to draw on their prior knowledge of their first language. Therefore students should be encouraged to use their first language within the classroom.



Teaching and learning sequence planning examples:

Primary level:

Secondary level:

Published on: 19 Jan 2018