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Beliefs About Language Learning Strategy Use in an EFL Context: A Comparison Study of Monolingual Korean and Bilingual Korean-Chinese University Students.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hong, Kyungsim

The Characteristics of a Community of Practice in a National Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute

Description: 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.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Pearce, Terisa Ronette

Comparison of Pre- and Posttraining Verbal Interaction of Caregivers and Children During Story Time

Description: The purpose of this descriptive study was to create a read-aloud instructional program which could be used in teaching caregivers to promote quality verbal interaction among participants during story time. Prior to and subsequent to instruction, selected high-school students participating in a vocational-technical child development program were audio- and videotaped as they read stories aloud to children. All tapes were transcribed in full. Using the storybook Reading Analysis System (Teale, Martinez, & Glass, in press), dialogue was categorized into form, type of information, focus, instructional intent, and importance categories.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Drescher, Juanita Frost

A Content Analysis of Reading Software Commercially Available for Pre-K to 3rd Grade Children.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Nakjan, Sutat

Critical Literacy Practices, Social Action Projects, and the Reader Who Struggles in School

Description: 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.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bauer, Courtney Marie

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: Developing a Schema for Expository Text Through Direct Instruction in Analysis of Text Structure

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a direct instruction model as a means of enhancing secondary students' schema for expository text. Subjects were seventh- and tenth-grade students in regular reading and English classes in an suburban school district. Students were pre- and posttested on four measures: attitude toward expository text, independent reading comprehension and recall from expository text, organization of information from expository text in notetaking, and expository writing. A nested analysis of covariance procedure was used for data analysis to account for teacher effects and group non-equivalence. The study was conducted over a six-week period in the spring semester. A model of direct instruction in analysis of expository text structure was developed by the researcher, using sample text passages similar to those encountered by seventh- and tenth-grade students in content area reading. Treatment group teachers were provided with lesson plans and materials and were given instruction in the model; comparison group classes were given no particular instructional treatment other than that normally conducted during this period.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Hickerson, Benny L. (Benny Louise)

Developing Culturally Responsive Literacy Teachers: Analysis of Academic, Demographic, and Experiential Factors Related to Teacher Self-efficacy

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Sarker, Amie

Developing Oral Reading Fluency Among Hispanic High School English-language Learners: an Intervention Using Speech Recognition Software

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Ruffu, Russell

The Effects of Cognitive Styles on Summarization of Expository Text

Description: The study investigated the relationship among three cognitive styles and summarization abilities. Both summarization products and processes were examined. Summarizing products were scored and a canonical correlation analysis was performed to determine their relationship with three cognitive styles. Summarizing processes were examined by videotaping students as they provided think aloud protocols. Their processes were recorded on composing style sheets and analyzed qualitatively. Subjects were sixth-grade students in self-contained classes in a suburban school district. Summarizing products were collected over a two week period in the fall. Summarizing processes were collected over an eight week period in the spring of the same school year. The results of the summarizing products analysis suggest that cognitive styles are related to summarization abilities. Two canonical correlations among the two variable sets were statistically significant at the .05 level of significance (.33 and .29). The results further suggest that students who are field independent, reflective, and flexible in their attentional style may be more adept at organizing their ideas and using written mechanics while summarizing. Students who are impulsive and constricted in attentional style may exhibit strength in expressing their ideas while summarizing. Results of the summarizing processes analysis suggest that students of one cognitive style combination may exhibit different behaviors while summarizing than those of other cognitive style combinations. Students who are field independent, reflective, and flexible in their attentional style seem to display more mature, interactive behaviors while summarizing than their peers of other cognitive style combinations.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Mast, Cynda Overton

Effects of Teaching Reading Through Discussion of Text Structures.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Piyanukool, Surachai

Examining First-Graders' Construction of Knowledge of Graphophonemic and Orthographic Relationships: Reading and Writing Student-Selected Continuous Text

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine first-graders' construction of knowledge of graphophonemic and orthographic relationships. Three levels of treatment were assigned randomly to three groups of first-graders in their first semester of first grade. Treatment varied in student engagement with reading and writing texts based on student interests and in the amount of interaction students had with one another and the researcher as they read, wrote, and examined words, word patterns, and graphophonemic relationships. The study was based on a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) with an added within-subjects factor of 12 weekly test occasions. These weekly tests involved students writing a researcher-dictated continuous text selected by students in the full-treatment group from the larger portion of text read each week. Additional elements of qualitative research were included in the design and analyses. Quantitative analyses revealed statistically significant results. Qualitative data analyses confirmed that students who interacted daily with each other and the researcher in reading and writing activities constructed more knowledge about graphophonemic and orthographic relationships than peers from the partial-treatment group and the control group. Results led to conclusions and implications involving a reexamination of current and traditional methods of spelling instruction and assessment for young children.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Frerichs, Linda C.

Examining the Nature of Interactions which Facilitate Learning and Impact Reading Achievement During a Reading Apprenticeship: A Case Study of At-risk Adolescent Readers

Description: 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.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Arthur, Mary L.

An Exploratory Study of the Relationship Between Curiosity and Print Awareness of Four-Year-Old Children

Description: This study has five chapters, organized in the following manner: (1) Chapter I contains the introduction, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, questions, significance of the study, and definition of terms; (2) Chapter II is a review of the literature; (3) Chapter III is a description of subjects and tests and procedures for treating the data; (4) Chapter IV contains the statistical technique of the analysis and the findings related to the questions, and (5) Chapter V consists of the summary, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. The problem of the study was to explore the relationship between curiosity and print awareness among four-year-old children. Subjects participating in the study were 71 four-year-old children from six licensed child care and preschool settings located in different geographical sections of a north central Texas city. The study included thirty-four girls and thirty-seven boys. Instruments used to collect the data were Kreitler, Zigler, and Kreitler's battery of curiosity tasks and Goodman's Signs of the Environment and Book Handling Knowledge tasks. Canonical I correlation analyses do not yield a significant relationship between variables of curiosity and print awareness. An alternate Pearson Product Moment correlation yielded some specific pairwise correlations between certain curiosity variables and print awareness. Results, although not statistically significant, were used as trend indicators to identify areas worthy of further investigation. On the basis of the findings, it was concluded that the possibility of a degree of correlation between specific curiosity variables and levels of print awareness suggests the need for further research in this area. In the print awareness tasks, it was concluded that the more context available to children the greater their ability to respond appropriately to print. Knowledge of print in the environment was more advanced than knowledge of print in books for some of the children in the ...
Date: December 1988
Creator: Estrada, Anita

Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn

From inside the Arab family: What literacy practices occur when raising bilingual and biliterate children?

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Alshaboul, Yousef Mohammad

Home-based family literacy practices of an Hispanic family: A case study of activities, functions, and the interface with school-based literacy expectations.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Page, Jim Larkin

Home Literacy Environment and Experiences: A Description of Asian American Homes and Recommended Intervention

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the home literacy environments and literacy experiences of a select group of Asian American children, and to recommend an intervention program based on the findings. The target population was the families which sent their children to a Saturday Asian language and culture school while sending them to public schools during the week, because of their expressed interest in literacy and the probability of their being the group to most likely benefit from intervention. The Home Literacy Environment and Literacy Experiences survey was initially sent out and results tallied and quantified. Upon placing the returned surveys into groups of "high," "middle," and "low" home literacy environment and literacy experiences, a sample of five "high" and five "low" families was selected for further study. Home visits, interviews, field notes, collection of artifacts and other methods of data collection provided a clearer picture of the state of the home literacy environment and literacy experiences of the families studied. Families rated as having "high" home literacy environment and experiences were found to have a larger number of literacy-related materials and higher frequency of literacy-related activities. Bilingualism and education were perceived as being important. The families also exhibited a strong interest in music and music lessons. Parents expressed a desire for two two-hour training sessions which would be held at the Saturday school location while their child attended classes there. It would be ideally held in the native language of the parents by a speaker from the native country. The parents preferred workshops with actual practice and examples which could be seen, accompanied by reading materials. Topics in which parents expressed interest include, in descending order: (a) 'selection of books for and with their child, (b) how to encourage their child to read, (c) how to discuss ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Lewis, Junko Yokota

How Computer Use Functions as an Aspect of Literacy Development : A Qualitative Description of a Second-grade Classroom

Description: In this study, the researcher investigated how computer use functions as an aspect of literacy development within a second-grade classroom. The researcher sought to gather data to help define the role that computer use plays in the literacy development of elementary school students by concentrating on how computers are actually used in the classroom being studied, and by looking for relationships revealed by students' and teacher's beliefs about computer use in the classroom.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Kostelnik, Joyce L.

Identity Issues in Asian-American Children's and Adolescent Literature (1999-2007)

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Liu, Yi-chen

Identity of African American Characters in Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor Award Winning Books: a Critical Content Analysis of Books From 1991 to 2011

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2012
Creator: Morton, Tami Butler

"I Like the Name but Not the Soup!": An Ethnographic Study of the Metalinguistic Sentience of Young Gifted Children, Its Reflection of Their Cognitive Ability and its Relationship to Their Literacy Acquisition and Literacy Learning

Description: Metalinguistic sentience refers to the conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to language as something with form and function that can be manipulated. This includes, but is not restricted to, conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to the following aspects of language and literacy: pragmatics, syntactics, semantics, phonology, orthography, morphology, figurative, metalanguage, print "carries" meaning, print conventions, book conventions, text conventions, referent/label arbitrariness, purposes of literacy, and abilities. These aspects of language and literacy are part of a morphological model developed by the author for classifying the evidence provided by children of their metalinguistic sentience. The two other faces of the model, displayed as a cube, depict (1) Literacy Acguisition and Literacy Learning and (2) four Prompt States: Self-, Child-, Adult-, Text. This ethnographic study of nine verbally gifted kindergarten and first grade children was conducted with a three-fold purpose: to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience coincided with their cognitive ability, to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience influenced their literacy acquisition and literacy learning, and to explore whether young verbally gifted children's literacy acquisition and literacy learning enhanced their metalinguistic sentience. The study took place during a full school year, while the author was a participant observer in the informants' classrooms. The evidence from the research indicated that the nine verbally gifted children who served as the informants for the study had a lower threshold for metalinguistic sentience than did their agemates. This lower threshold allowed them to acquire and learn literacy more easily and more efficiently.
Date: August 1988
Creator: McIntosh, Margaret E.

Missed Opportunities: Examining The LiteracyExperiences Of African American Students Displaced By Hurricane Katrina.

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: Pollard, Tamica McClarty

The Nature of the Impact of a Reading Tutoring Program on Participating Students in the Classroom: A Qualitative Study

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Arrowood, Dana R.