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Learning From Expository Texts: Classroom-Based Strategies for Promoting Comprehension and Content Knowledge in the Elementary Grades

Hall-Kenyon, Kendra M. PhD; Black, Sharon MS

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0b013e3181ff21ea
Original Article

One of the primary purposes of expository text in education is to teach new content. Because elementary grade children are accustomed to applying their literacy skills to reading and writing narratives, they must be taught new skills if they are to access expository content effectively. These skills and practices can be challenging because expository texts require students to handle unfamiliar structural factors (e.g., structural patterns, text features, text signals) in conjunction with new and often challenging content. Children with language impairments or risks often have particular difficulties with these skills. This review article explores some of the challenges associated with expository texts and suggests instructional strategies that may help teachers and speech–language pathologists (SLPs) focus on the relationship and interaction between text content and structure to support children's comprehension and content knowledge.

Department of Teacher Education, (Dr. Hall-Kenyon), and David O. McKay School of Education, (Ms. Black), Brigham Young University Provo, Utah.

Corresponding Author: Kendra M. Hall-Kenyon, PhD, Early Childhood Education, Department of Teacher Education, Brigham Young University, 206M MCKB Provo, UT 84602 (kendra_hall@byu.edu).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins