Cracking the Code for Academic Literacy

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Description

Reading Apprenticeship, a model of academic literacy developed by WestEd’s Strategic Literacy Initiative, helps teachers use and explain the reading comprehension strategies distinctive to each content area.

Subject specialists read, write, and think using different lenses and academic vocabulary. Reading Apprenticeship instructs teachers how to “Crack the Code” and make those processes understandable to students.

“Many students, even those in honors classes and otherwise doing well in school, invest a lot of energy in hiding their lack of understanding of complex texts and of the reading processes that help make sense of them. They ask, ‘What am I supposed to be doing when I’m reading?'” explains Cynthia Greenleaf, Co-Director of the Strategic Literacy Initiative. “These content-specific ways of thinking and writing are invisible.”

The Reading Apprenticeship approach demystifies the techniques of close reading. This helps students do better in school and also makes it possible for them to succeed in college and careers.

In school and the workplace, people need to know how to comprehend various kinds of text in order to engage in higher-order thinking—making inferences, synthesizing information, analyzing arguments, verifying credibility of sources, and understanding and following complex directions.