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2 be explicit about skills




Having developed tasks to ensure students go through particular processes it is important to be explicit. What is required of the task?

Teach students research skills such as how to analyse questions and break down tasks into any sub questions that will help answer the main question.

Discuss the linguistic requirements such as subject appropriate vocabulary and scaffold the relevant text types needed.

Show students what success looks like by including examples on your teacher or faculty website. It is helpful to share staff understandings through developing a whole school literacy focus.

Many students need help with note taking and reference keeping, particularly as they move to higher levels of education and the demands become more rigorous. It cannot simply be assumed that they know as the range of help brochures available at any tertiary student centre testifies. Similarly, paraphrasing comes easily to some but for others, ‘put it into your own words’, is confusing. One way of showing students how to do this is teaching them how language functions, for example how linguistic features such as agency or nominalisation actually work. Though beyond the scope of this paper to explore, students developing these understandings find it easier to manipulate language for a much greater range of purposes including paraphrasing.




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