Text-Based Instruction (TBI) employs the use of different genres of text in a social context to encourage language development. This post will discuss the assumptions and curriculum development of this method.
TBI starts with the belief that different forms of text are used for various situations. This leads to another conclusion that mastering a language involves exposure to these different genres. Furthermore, each text has a distinct organizational pattern
However, exposure to different types of text is not enough. Students must also use language in a social setting. Communicating about the text is critical for language acquisition.
TBI also stresses the importance of learning explicitly about the language. This means conscious awareness about what one is learning. This again can happen through discussion or through the illustrations of the teacher. In fact scaffolding is a key component of TBI.
Students learn through the guidance and support of the teacher. The teacher’s role, in addition to scaffolding, is to select materials and sequence the curriculum.
The objectives in a TBI curriculum depend on text that are used in the learning experiences. For example, the objectives for reading newspapers are different from reading textbooks.
Instructional materials play a crucial role in TBI. This is because of the emphasis on authentic materials. As such, actual reading samples from books, articles, and magazines are commonly employed.
A common instructional approach using TBI would include the following steps
- Build the context
- This means providing a background about the reading through sharing necessary information for understanding of the topic of the text. This can be done verbally, visually, a combination of both, etc.
- Deonstructing the text
- This involves comparing the writing of the text the students are using with another similarly written text. For example, comparing the structure of to newspaper articles.
- Joint Construction of text
- Students, with the support of the teacher, develop their own example of the text they were reading. For example, if the text was a newspaper article. The class develops a sample newspaper article with teacher support.
- Independent construction of text
- Same as #3 but now the students work alone.
- Students discuss how what they learned can be used in other contexts
TBI is a unique approach to language teaching that focuses on reading to develop the other three skills of language. This approach is particularly useful for people who prefer to learn a language through reading rather than in other forms.