Connectives (e.g., although, consequently, in contrast) are often considered the "signposts" of texts. In this article we argue that connectives represent a special kind of vocabulary knowledge that students need to develop both in order to read challenging, academic texts with understanding and to produce academic writing. Yet tapping the meaning of connectives to support comprehension and academic writing may be especially difficult for some students, especially English-language learners. In this article, we address how and why to provide instruction about connectives to students in the middle grades. Our research with students in fifth grade suggests that young adolescent learners will benefit from explicit instruction about the meanings and roles of connectives, but that this instruction - while direct - should be provided within engaging, meaningful contexts. Examples of instructional practices illustrating how educators can teach about connectives are presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Pharmacology (medical)