Drawing on Ideas for Language Learners
For more than 40 years, education researchers have advocated the use of concept mapping as an effective approach to fostering higher-order thinking skills, moving students from mere knowledge acquisition to knowledge utilization and creation (Novak and Cañas, 2008). By specifying and linking concepts in a concept map, students and language learners create a visible structure of their understanding in a given domain that can be modified over time to assimilate new concepts and reflect new understanding.
In short, concept mapping can move learners toward more in-depth learning, i.e., more meaningful learning, by facilitating the process of linking new concepts with existing knowledge and experience. Concept mapping is an effective strategy for educators to use to support English language learners (ELLs) and prepare them for success in school and beyond.