Language Experience Approach

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Language Experience Approach


Using language and stories that are familiar to the reader allows them to successfully read the text. 


  • Have the reader tell you about a topic
  • Write down the reader's exact words
  • Share the text with the reader when finished
  • Ask the reader if they would like to change anything
  • Read it over with the reader several times, encouraging them to join in (or take over) at any point

See It In Action


The Answers May Vary Resource Collection on the CALP Portal includes a short audio file dedicated to the Language Experience Approach from Chapter 2 of the AMV Guidebook ‘Strategies to Build Literacy and Essential Skills into Daily Life’.


  1. Have the reader share a story with you. You may ask questions to draw out more information.
  2. Print the story on a sheet of paper exactly as the reader tells it to you whether or not it is standard grammar. Keep the story short.
  3. Read the story together. Read one word or sentence at a time if necessary. Reread the story as often as necessary for your learner to read it comfortably with you.
  4. Have the reader read the story alone once he is familiar enough with it. Help them if they get stuck on a word but allow time for them to remember and figure it out if he can.
  5. Ask questions about the story to see if there need to be any changes or additions made.

Excerpted from Creating Learning Partners Unit 7: Writing Handout 7.13

Read More:

Decoda Literacy Solutions Back to Basics: Language Experience Approach