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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Teacher Education and Administration
 Degree Discipline: Reading
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Beliefs about language learning and language learning strategy use in an EFL context: A comparison study of monolingual Korean and bilingual Korean-Chinese university students.
This study compared strategy use and beliefs about language learning, and the relationship between beliefs and use reported by 428 monolingual Korean and 420 bilingual Korean-Chinese university students. This study also examined the influence of background variables (e.g., gender, self-rated English proficiency, and academic major) on learners' beliefs and strategy use. Data was collected using three questionnaires, the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI), and the Individual Background Questionnaire (IBQ). Data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, principal-component analyses, factor analyses, Pearson r correlation analyses, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and the Scheffé post-hoc test. Monolinguals reported using compensation strategies most, followed by cognitive, metacognitive, memory, social/practical practice, and affective strategies. Bilinguals preferred to use cognitive strategies most, followed by metacognitive and affective, compensation, memory, social, and independent practice strategies. Students from both groups reported low use of social and memory strategies. Despite a less favorable formal English education environment in the Korean-Chinese community and fewer English learning experiences, bilingual Korean-Chinese reported higher use of learning strategies, which indicates bilinguals' superior language learning abilities. Students from both groups had strong instrumental motivation for learning English. Bilinguals held stronger beliefs about the importance of formal learning and felt less fear of speaking English with native English speakers. Significant correlations between strategy and belief variables indicated differences in the impact of beliefs on strategy use for both groups. The result of the MANOVA revealed that bilingual humanities or engineering majors used more strategies and held stronger beliefs about formal learning. Proficiency level was positively correlated with strategy use for both groups. No gender effect on strategy use and beliefs was found. The assumption that differences in the learning experiences of the participants from two distinct geographical and socio-educational learning settings would influence the findings of this study was upheld. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5270/
The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute
This qualitative naturalistic descriptive case study provides an understanding of the characteristics of a community of practice within a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. This study utilized naturalistic, descriptive case study methodology to answer the research question: What characteristics of a community of practice are revealed by the perceptions and experiences of the fellows of a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute? Data were gathered in the form of interviews, focus group, observations, field notes, and participant reflective pieces. Peer debriefing, triangulation, thick rich description, as well as member checking served to establish credibility and trustworthiness in the study. Bracketing, a phenomenological process of reflecting on one's own experiences of the phenomenon under investigation was utilized as well. The findings of this study point to five analytic themes. These themes, ownership and autonomy, asset-based environment, relationships, socially constructed knowledge and practices, and experiential learning, intertwine to illuminate the three essential components which must be present for a community of practice to exist: joint enterprise, mutual engagement, and shared repertoire. Participants' portraits provide a description of their unique experiences as they moved fluidly between the periphery and core of the community of practice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28461/
A content analysis of reading software commercially available for Pre-K to 3rd grade children.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the content and characteristics of the currently available commercial reading software for Pre-K through third grade children. The design of the study was a content analysis. Based on the evaluation rubric established by the researcher, ten commercial reading software were selected to be analyzed. By reviewing and transcribing, the data were obtained, and then coded, categorized, and interpreted. The findings from the analysis revealed that all reading software programs offered exercised for practicing basic phonics skills; the alphabetic principle, letter-sound association, word knowledge, sentence building, and reading comprehension. Depending on the software developers, phonics-based practice was presented in two ways; separate skill-based practice emphasis and storybook-reading emphasis. All software programs utilized drill-and-practice, direct instruction and mastery learning methods and utilized gaming strategies to motivate and engage the learners. Multimedia technology was used to make the software more appealing. All reading software programs were developed on the perspectives that view learning to read as the continuum of a child's oral language development and background experience about words. It is recommended that parents and teachers review and select the software based on reliable information sources, use the software as supplementary practice based on the learning objectives identified and individual student needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3124/
Critical Literacy Practices, Social Action Projects, and the Reader Who Struggles in School
This study, conducted at an urban public school, explored the engagements of five, fourth grade, African American students who struggled with reading in school as they participated in critical literacy practices and social action projects with the assumption that critical analysis of written texts and concrete social actions were necessary for student empowerment. Using Discourse Analysis within a microethnographic framework, participants’ responses were analyzed. Early in the study, participants were hesitant to join in critical conversations about race. Over time, as participants deepened their critical literacy engagements, they divulged lived racism both in their private and public worlds. Specifically, the participants described the tensions and transgressions they experienced as minorities from civil rights curriculum, teachers and other students. The findings revealed instead of text based analyses, critical literacy practices transformed into the participants’ critical analysis of racism they experienced in their various worlds (home, school, and the larger, outside world) through language (not text). Similarly, the pre-conceived idea of social action projects changed from the creation of concrete products or actions into discussions in which mainstream discourse was interrupted. Tacit and overt understandings about race, identity and power suggested that the participants assumed multiple and contradictory identities (such as “victim of racism” and “racially prejudiced”) that both empowered and oppressed others in the social action group. Implications for critical literacy practices include that empowering and liberating pedagogy through ‘risky conversations’ is difficult, transitory and radical within the context of school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103287/
Developing Culturally Responsive Literacy Teachers: Analysis of Academic, Demographic, and Experiential Factors Related to Teacher Self-efficacy
This mixed-methods study examined teachers' culturally responsive teaching (CRT) self-efficacy beliefs and the relationships among selected academic, demographic, and experiential factors. Guided by theoretical and empirical research on CRT, teacher dispositions, and assessment in teacher education (TE) programs for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, this study utilized an extended version of Siwatu's 2007 Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE) Scale to conduct correlational and comparative statistical analyses. Data sources included surveys from 265 participants enrolled in TE classes in the spring 2012 in Texas (one private and one public university). Content analyses were also conducted on participants' descriptions of CRT activities using a priori and inductive coding methods to triangulate and elaborate the explanation of quantitative results. In this population, those with higher CRTSE were typically young (undergraduates), specializing in ESL and bilingual certification coursework, who felt their TE program prepared them well for working with CLD student populations. Regression analyses showed that certain certification areas (ESL, bilingual, elementary, and advanced) and perceptions of better quality in TE program preparation for working with CLD students emerged as significant predictors of increased CRTSE. Those with second language skills were more efficacious in delivering linguistically-responsive instruction, and those professing more experiences with and interest in diverse individuals felt more confident in applying CRT skills. While the younger teacher candidates felt more efficacious, their descriptions of CRT were less sophisticated than those with more teaching experience. Despite much of the literature relating to CRT and minority teachers, ethnicity was not a significant factor in heightened CRTSE. This study informs TE programs for better measuring and supporting teacher candidate CRT development by revising and extending Siwatu's 2007 study in three ways. First, the CRTSE Scale instrument was extended to include items that address greater depth and breadth of the culturally responsive teaching continuum as developed by the researcher, relating particularly to language and literacy development of English language learners. Second, this study involved a more varied and appropriate population, including both pre-service and in-service teachers. Third, specific participant factors were analyzed to see which correlated with higher CRTSE Scale scores. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177251/
Developing Oral Reading Fluency Among Hispanic High School English-language Learners: an Intervention Using Speech Recognition Software
This study investigated oral reading fluency development among Hispanic high school English-language learners. Participants included 11 males and 9 females from first-year, second-year, and third-year English language arts classes. The pre-post experimental study, which was conducted during a four-week ESL summer program, included a treatment and a control group. The treatment group received a combination of components, including modified repeated reading with self-voice listening and oral dictation output from a speech recognition program. Each day, students performed a series of tasks, including dictation of part of the previous day’s passage; listening to and silently reading a new passage; dictating and correcting individual sentences from the new passage in the speech recognition environment; dictating the new passage as a whole without making corrections; and finally, listening to their own voice from their recorded dictation. This sequence was repeated in the subsequent sessions. Thus, this intervention was a technology-enhanced variation of repeated reading with a pronunciation dictation segment. Research questions focused on improvements in oral reading accuracy and rate, facility with the application, student perceptions toward the technology for reading, and the reliability of the speech recognition program. The treatment group improved oral reading accuracy by 50%, retained and transferred pronunciation of 55% of new vocabulary, and increased oral reading rate 16 words-correct-per-minute. Students used the intervention independently after three sessions. This independence may have contributed to students’ self-efficacy as they perceived improvements in their pronunciation, reading in general, and reported an increased liking of school. Students initially had a very positive perception toward using the technology for reading, but this perception decreased over the four weeks from 2.7 to 2.4 on a 3 point scale. The speech recognition program was reliable 94% of the time. The combination of the summer school program and intervention component stacking supported students’ gains in oral reading fluency, suggesting that further study into applications of the intervention is warranted. Acceleration of oral reading skills and vocabulary acquisition for ELLs contributes to closing the reading gap between ELLs and native-English speakers. Fluent oral reading is strongly correlated with reading comprehension, and reading comprehension is essential for ELLs to be successful in school. Literacy support tools such as this intervention can play a role in ameliorating English acquisition faster than the rate attained through traditional practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149659/
Effects of teaching reading through discussion of text structures.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of teaching reading through discussion of text structures on students' reading comprehension. The design of the study was a Pretest-Posttest Control-Group Design. One hundred twenty-six sophomore and senior Thai college students majoring in English and attending afternoon English classes participated in the 10-week study and were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received reading instruction in the characteristics of narrative and expository text structures and how to discuss the details of story by applying knowledge of text structures. The control group, on the other hand, read each story silently by themselves and answered comprehension questions. The posttest means of the two groups were compared, and a t test was used to test the significance difference of the means. The results did not reveal any differences between the means. The short time of the intervention may be a crucial factor that made the two strategies yield the same effects. However, the survey responses showed the participants liked reading through discussion of text structures more than reading by themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3035/
Examining the nature of interactions which facilitate learning and impact reading achievement during a reading apprenticeship: A case study of at-risk adolescent readers
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the interactions that take place during a reading apprenticeship which facilitate the learning of reading strategies by adolescent students who are at the middle school level and are still at-risk for reading failure and to investigate how a reading apprenticeship affects reading achievement in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, comprehension, and the self-perception of the reader. The case study was descriptive and interpretive in nature, and examined two students, each of whom was part of a one-to-one reading apprenticeship. The researcher served as participant observer in both cases and was the teacher in each of the one-to-one reading apprenticeships. The primary data set was qualitative in nature, and elements of quantitative data were also considered. Sessions included pretesting and posttesting using the Classroom Assessment of Reading Processes (Swearingen & Allen, 1997), reading from narrative or expository books, working with words, writing, and dialoguing about the reading. Reading strategies were directly taught, modeled, and reinforced by the teacher/researcher with the goal of the students internalizing the strategies and improving their reading in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension, as well as improving their attitudes toward reading and their self-perception about their reading ability. This study described a reading apprenticeship which positively impacted reading achievement for two students in the areas of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary development, as well as influencing their motivation for reading and their self-perceptions as readers. The environment of the reading apprenticeship, the dialogue that occurred throughout the reading apprenticeship, and strategy instruction, modeling, and reinforcement were found to be factors and interactions which facilitated learning during this intervention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2233/
Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing
The purpose of this research was to conduct case studies to explore and describe Thai university students' awareness and application of cognitive and metacognitive strategies when reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL). Four participants, including two high and two low English language proficiency learners, were selected from 14 students enrolled in a five-week course called English for Social Sciences offered at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The major sources of data for the analyses included the transcripts of the participants' pair discussions, think-aloud protocols, interviews, and daily journal entries. In addition, field work observations, reading and writing strategy checklists, participants' written work, and the comparison of the pretest and posttest results were also instrumental to the analyses. The interpretive approach of content analysis was employed for these four case studies. Findings were initially derived from the single-case analyses, and then from cross-case analyses. Major findings revealed that strategic knowledge enhanced these English-as-a-foreign- language (EFL) learners' proficiency in English reading and writing. However, applying elaborative strategies for higher-level reading was challenging for most of the participants. Two crucial factors that impeded their development were the learners' uncertain procedural and conditional knowledge of strategy uses and their limited English language proficiency due to limited exposure to the second language (L2). The teacher's explanations and modeling of strategies, the participants' opportunities to discuss strategy use with peers, and extensive practice positively enhanced their development. Additionally, the learners' schema and knowledge of text structures played significant roles in their development of the two skills. These English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners also developed metacognitive awareness and strategy applications, but not to the level that always enhanced effective regulation and control of their reading and writing behaviors. Combining reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) instruction promoted the learners' awareness of the relationships of certain strategies for the two skills, and developed their literacy skills holistically. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5429/
From inside the Arab family: What literacy practices occur when raising bilingual and biliterate children?
Living in the United States creates unique challenges in biliteracy and bilingualism for the Arab family. While extant literature provides insight into the literacy interactions and experiences of families from many other cultures now living in the U.S. , there is next to nothing regarding the Arab family literacy experience. Thus, knowledge about the literacy activities Arab families engage in as they gain access to and knowledge of a new culture and language is important. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the literacy practices of the Arab families raising bilingual and biliterate children in the U.S. This study , using methodology based on ethnographic approaches, investigated the literacy events, behaviors and interactions which occurred within one Arab family over a 16-week period. A second group of participants were 5 other Arab families living in the U.S. Data sources included video and audio recordings, field notes, observations, journals, informal interviews, and artifacts of children's literacy. The researcher and the participants engaged as co-participants in the research. Findings showed that driving factors behind home literacy practices were religious beliefs and the imminence of return to the home country. Arab mothers were found to yield a heavy influence on the pursuit of literacy, as well as the consistency of literacy learning events in the home. Findings should contribute to helping parents of children with different cultural backgrounds and languages provide the most effective types of support in the home instruction to develop fluency in both the new and the primary language. Information gathered would also help teachers bring together these children with their peers and the subject matter to create a positive synergy wherein all learners can be successful. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4722/
Home-based family literacy practices of an Hispanic family: A case study of activities, functions, and the interface with school-based literacy expectations.
This study examined the home-based family literacy practices of one Hispanic family, especially focusing on the parents' memories of home-based and school-based literacy activities, current home-based literacy activities and functions, and the interface of home-based family literacy practices and school-based literacy expectations. Ethnographic data offered insight into the understanding that literacy acquisition begins in the home and is dependent and reflective of literacy experiences that are sociocultural based. These home-based family literacy activities and functions are broad in scope and are valuable forms of literacy. However, these activities of marginalized families are often regarded as unimportant and/or unrelated to school-based literacy expectations, and therefore inferior. In response to this perceived mismatch between home-based family literacy activities and school-based literacy expectations, educators approached families from a deficit perspective. This deficit assumption created a sense of devalue on the part of the parents, who assisted their children by culturally and socially relevant means. To meet the school-based literacy expectations familial relationships were jeopardized as the pressure, frustration, and guilt from educators can result in emotional and physical abuse from mother to her children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5353/
Identity issues in Asian-American children's and adolescent literature (1999-2007).
Published research suggests that literature should transmit ethnic and societal values as well as reassure one's own confidence and self-respect. This study provides a model for examining Asian-American children's and adolescent literature critically from the perspective of identity issues. It examines fifteen award-winning Asian-American children's and adolescent titles written by writers of that culture and published in the United States from 1999 to 2007, with a focus on Chinese (Taiwanese) American, Korean American, and Japanese American books. As published studies indicate, self, social, and ethnic identities are significantly intertwined. Hence, a content analysis was conducted based on these three major groups of categories. The findings of the study demonstrate that even though the selected books cover all three aspects of the identity issues to a certain degree, a considerably greater number of depictions of ethnic identities are made over those of internal identities and social identities. Moreover, less than half of the main characters assume an active role in improving the difficult situation. Two major voids regarding the presentation of social identities are successful social integration and positive social interactions. Recommendations for teaching, writing, illustrating, publishing, and future research are suggested, including publishing more Asian-American books which present an optimistic outlook on life, active conflict-resolving behaviors, and a balance of gender among individuals with whom the main character interacts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12155/
Identity of African American Characters in Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor Award Winning Books: a Critical Content Analysis of Books From 1991 to 2011
The purpose of this study was to conduct a critical content analysis of the African American characters found in Newbery Medal award winning books recognized between the years of 1991 and 2011. The John Newbery Medal is a highly regarded award in the United States for children's literature and esteemed worldwide. Children's and adolescents' books receive this coveted award for the quality of their writing. Though these books are recognized for their quality writing, there is no guideline in the award criteria that evaluated the race and identity of the characters. Hence, there are two overarching research questions that guided this study. The first question asked: To what extent are the African American characters in each award winning book represented? Foci in answering this question were the frequency of African American characters and the development of their ethnic identities. The second question asked: How are the African American characters' intergroup attitudes and interactions represented? Foci in answering this question examined the frequency of intergroup interactions and the characters' attitudes within the context of each book. The theoretical framework that undergirded this study is critical literacy, which encourages adults and youth to examine issues of diversity and social justice through their reading. Eighteen books met the criteria for the study, which provided 98 African American characters for investigation through content analysis. The qualitative methodology used frequency counts, anecdotal notes and questionnaires to analyze the characters. Findings revealed two key themes: the characterization of ethnic identity as a reflection of society and African American characters as models of agency. Further themes became evident in this study as well: the evolution of cultural authenticity, strong African American female characters, importance of the African American family and the acknowledgement of African American involvement in history. These findings are significant because they provided evidence of the potential of these Newbery award winning books to be the catalyst for critical classroom conversations on identity and agency. Findings also provided increasingly strong examples of ethnic role models within these notable titles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177233/
Missed Opportunities: Examining The LiteracyExperiences Of African American Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina.
The purpose of this study was to examine how five African American middle school students, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina represent their literacy experiences before, during, and after their displacement. Specifically, the two research questions were: (a) What are the stories that these middle school students tell about their lives, before, during, and after their displacement, and (b) What do their stories reveal about their literacy experience before, during, and after their displacement? Narrative Inquiry was the chosen methodology for the study, which allowed the participants to tell their experiences from a first-person perspective. It also encouraged the participants to reflect upon these experiences, in order to give meaning to their thoughts and emotions. Employing a critical lens and perspective, I constructed a narrative profile for each participant, which was then analyzed using these methods. Each narrative profile detailed the literacy experiences of the participants before Hurricane Katrina, during the transition period, and current literacy experiences now that the participants are resettled and attending school in the host city. These data were supplemented by archival data such as report cards, individual education plans (IEPs), and Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores. Data analysis of the five participants’ literacy experiences revealed common themes. These participants have pleasant memories of school literacy before the storm and mentioned “choice” as a component of those experiences. During the transition period, few or no literacy experiences took place. Hence, there were missed opportunities for the participants to use literacy experiences to make connections to their new world. Participants reported current classroom and school experiences were controlled environments that led to controlled literacy experiences. This compartmentalization of literacy experiences is not consistent with the critical literacy perspective adopted in this study. Their interviews suggested that they that they saw no connection between school literacy and their literacy experiences outside school. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103373/
The nature of the impact of a reading tutoring program on participating students in the classroom: A qualitative study
The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to explore the nature of the impact that a tutoring program, which featured preservice teachers as tutors, had on participating fifth grade at-risk students’ literacy behaviors in the classroom.The researcher served in the role of passive participant observer during the scheduled language arts period three days per week in the participating students’ classroom for a period of twenty-three weeks. Field notes were made in the classroom and coded, and audio tapes were recorded and transcribed of the tutoring sessions. Formal and informal interviews with the teacher, tutors, and participating students were conducted, transcribed, and coded. Lesson plans and reflections developed and written by the tutors were gathered and coded. Observations indicated that there were four types of reading required on a daily basis in the classroom. Assigned readings made by the teacher included narrative and expository texts. Pleasure readings were materials chosen by the students, but at certain times were teacher initiated and at other times, student initiated. The four types of reading found in the classroom were mirrored by the tutoring sessions. Students observed in the classroom could be divided into two types and four categories. Those with positive attitudes were called eager readers. Eager readers were made up of good readers and struggling readers, who lacked some of the reading skills possessed by good readers. Reluctant readers were the second type and had either ambiguous or explicitly negative attitudes toward reading. The type of reader, together with the type of reading required, determined the success of the tutoring sessions. The results of the data analysis show that student motivation toward reading was a key factor in determining the success of the tutoring program. Two of the three student participants in the study reported learning skills in the tutoring program that they used in other contexts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2660/
Perceptions of agency: Beliefs of four adolescent girls in high school as revealed through literature discussions.
Published research suggests that cultural practices and institutional structures influence adolescent girls' engagement and achievement in school. This study was an attempt to further investigate that claim by describing the perceptions of agency held by four adolescent girls in high school. Members of the same English class, the girls volunteered to participate in three lunchtime meetings to discuss Evelyn Coleman's (2001) Born In Sin. Analysis of classroom observations, transcripts of audio recordings of the book discussions, and individual interviews yielded a more precise definition of agency than those used in previous research, including a view of agency as dialogic. In addition, four major themes describe these girls' agentic moves: (1) a temporal orientation, which connects the past, present, and future; (2) responsibility for positive and negative events; (3) strategic decision making; (4) negotiating with people in power. Implications of this study inform both teaching decisions and future research related to adolescent girls. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9111/
Reader-Reported Influences on a Fifth Grader's Transaction With Extended Text
This study was designed to investigate the question of what goes on in a reader's mind as she transacts with extended text. It was a case study with one respondent, a ten year old girl. She reported, in writing, her thoughts during teacher read aloud, subsequent silent reading of the same text, and group discussions about the text. The findings support and flesh out Rosenblatt.s transactional theory, Vygotsky.s Zone of Proximal Development theory, and Lipman.s Philosophy for Children theory. Conclusions were that there are numerous sociocultural influences on a reader's transaction with text and that these influences must be taken into account in the classroom. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3049/
Social Networking, Workplace, and Entertainment Literacies: the Out-of-school Literate Lives of Newcomer Latina/o Adolescents
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Studies indicate that Latina/o immigrant youth engage in a wide range of sophisticated literacy practices outside of school that are often transnational, crossing various linguistic, cultural, and social spaces. Technology has further afforded immigrant youth the opportunity to develop transnational capabilities which are rare in the mainstream population, yet needed in the 21st century of global connectedness. However, Latino immigrant youth drop out of school at disproportional rates, suggesting that their literacy practices are not recognized or valued by the educational system. Using a New Literacy Studies perspective that recognizes multiple literacies that are meaningful within their sociocultural traditions, this collective case study investigated the range, form, and purpose of the out-of-school literacies of four Latina/o adolescent English Learners who are new arrivals. The qualitative methodology employed constructivist interviews, digital and actual artifacts, and observations. Findings demonstrated that the most prevalent out-of-school literacies the participants practice take place on the social networking site of Facebook, in their workplaces, and through the entertainment media sources of music and television. A cross-case analysis suggests that the literacy practices in these spaces have unique and purposeful roles for the individuals that allow them to connect to their home countries and maintain their Latina/o identities. Additionally, the participants use their out-of-school literacy practices to acquire English, support themselves, and establish a place to succeed. The five aforementioned spaces that their Facebook, workplace, and entertainment literacy practices fill are virtually absent from their in-school literacies. This study suggests literacy pedagogy and research must not continue to impose a narrow monolingual, monocultural, monoliterate, and monomodal view of Latina/o immigrant students which essentially divests them of their greatest resources. Their literacy practices demonstrate that they are transnational, transcultural, emergent bilinguals who competently engage in multimodal means of communication across multiple linguistic, cultural, social, and geographic borders. Educators must reconceptualize school-based literacy to account for the ways immigrant youth make meaning outside of school to provide them a more equitable education that will nurture their transnational skills needed in modern society. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149668/
Struggling Middle School Readers Learning To Make Intertextual Connections With Texts
When people read, they often make connections to their lives, the world, and other texts. Often, these connections are not overt, but are a thinking process invisible to observers. The purpose of this study was to explore the intertextual connections struggling middle school students made as they read multiple topically-related texts to build knowledge, through observation of discussions, surveys, and interviews with students. The students received 30 lessons based on the constructivist model of comprehension. Data sources included observations during the delivery of these interactive lessons and surveys regarding their connections, their use of the connection strategies in content area classes, and their knowledge of the topic. The observations and surveys were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Information rich cases were developed from these data, as well as from interviews with selected students. Although the students were considered struggling readers, they did not respond to the instruction as stereotypical struggling readers. They were engaged, and they led discussions and shared connections with the class. The students demonstrated they learned to make connections and more text-to-text or intertextual connections overall. The students made connections when interested in the topic and had opportunities to discuss the texts. Finally, the students sometimes made connections in content area classes with opportunity in those classes. The study has implications for theory, future research, and practice of teachers and library media specialists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103338/
A study of vocabulary instruction with fourth grade students participating in an individualized reading program
he purpose of this study was to determine the effects of one approach to vocabulary instruction on the reading and writing vocabulary of fourth grade students in an individualized reading program. The vocabulary instructional approach used student-selected vocabulary words as well as instruction in vocabulary strategies such as context clues, structural analysis, and definition strategies. The twelve week study exposed one fourth grade classroom to vocabulary instruction in a Reading Workshop setting. Major components of the program were mini-lessons, which often involved vocabulary strategies, the silent reading of self-selected books, one-on-one researcher/student interactions, and the self-selection of vocabulary words. The research design is descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative data included student interviews, teacher interviews, student writing samples, and field note observations. Quantitative data included vocabulary test scores from two groups of students, Group A and Group B. Group A participated in the self-selected vocabulary approach and received vocabulary instruction from the researcher acting as participant observer. Group B received some vocabulary instruction from their classroom teacher, but did not participate in the same program. The test was constructed weekly from a class (Group A) generated list of ten words. Results from vocabulary tests indicate that the vocabulary instruction was effective in helping Group A learn vocabulary. Multiple exposures to words as well as use of vocabulary words in context influenced student performance on tests. Results from qualitative data indicate that students attend to vocabulary words in their print environment. In addition, students used vocabulary words in expressive language, including writing and speaking. The results of this study support opportunities for wide reading, implementation of a variety of vocabulary strategies, repeated exposures to vocabulary words, and opportunities for student choice of vocabulary, as ways to enhance vocabulary learning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2508/
Teacher Decision-Making: Cultural Mediation in Two High School English Language Arts Classrooms
Although studies have addressed high school English language arts (ELA) instruction, little is known about the decision-making process of ELA teachers. How do teachers decide between the resources and instructional strategies at their disposal? This study focused on two monolingual teachers who were in different schools and grades. They were teaching mainstream students or English Language Learners. Both employed an approach to writing instruction that emphasized cultural mediation. Two questions guided this study: How does the enactment of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) in a mainstream classroom compare to the enactment in an ESL classroom? What is the nature of teacher decision-making in these high school classrooms during English language arts instruction? Data were collected and analyzed using qualitative methodologies. The findings suggest that one teacher, who was familiar with CMWI’s principles and practices and saw students as partners, focused her decisions on engagement and participation. The other teacher deliberately embedded CMWI as an instructional stance. Her decisions focused on empathy, caring and meaningful connections. These teachers enacted CMWI in different ways to meet their students’ needs. They embraced the students’ cultural resources, used and built on their linguistic knowledge, expanded thinking strategies to make difficult information comprehensible, provided authentic learning opportunities, used formative assessments as instructional guides, and delivered just-in-time academic and non-academic support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84162/
Who is Helping Our Children? Development of a Model for the Training of Tutors for America Reads
The purpose of this research study was to examine the effectiveness of training for college work study students who participated in an America Reads program, which was designed to help at-risk children struggling with reading. Two groups participated in this research study. One group of college tutors had minimal training in reading strategies at the beginning of the study and the other group of college tutors had continuous training and feedback throughout the study. The research study sought to answer the following questions: 1) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in the strategies and skills, help improve their comprehension and vocabulary? And 2) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in strategies and skills, significantly improve the comprehension and vocabulary scores of the children being tutored? This was a quasi-experimental research design, used to examine the effectiveness of training college students participating in the America Reads program. The tutors were pre-and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The children being tutored were also pre- and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The statistical analysis for this design was the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The ANCOVA was used to handle the main threat to the internal validity of this research design, due to the fact that the tutors for the control and experimental group were not selected randomly. The tutors and the children were randomly assigned to two groups. The control group of tutors received minimal training (11 hours) and the experimental group received the same minimal training with extra (21 hours) weekly training added. The study began in October 1999 and ended in December 1999. The tutoring sessions were 1 ½ hours long, three days a week. The training for the experimental group was for 1 ½ to 2 hours weekly. The results from this study found no significant difference between the control and experimental groups on comprehension, as measured by the assessment instruments. The results from this study did find, however, a significant difference between the control and the experimental groups on vocabulary, as measured by the assessment instruments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2650/