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Effective Teaching Strategies for Predicting Reading Growth in English Language Learners

  • Author(s): Melgarejo, Melina
  • Advisor(s): Gerber, Michael M
  • et al.
Abstract

The goal of the present study was to examine how effective use of teaching strategies predict reading growth among a sample of English Language Learners. The study specifically examined whether the types of teaching strategies that predict growth in decoding skills also predict growth in comprehension skills. The sample consisted of students in 1st grade (n=115) and 2nd grade (n=95) who were identified as English Language Learners by their California English Language Development Test (CELDT) scores. Students were assessed with decoding and comprehension reading measures in the Fall of the first year of the study and in the Fall of the second year of the study. Classroom observations were conducted at three time points during the school year during language arts instruction. The English Language Learner Classroom Observation Instrument was completed to record objective measures of reading instruction during classroom activities. A total of 24 first-grade (n=14) and second-grade (n=10) classrooms were observed over the course of the first year of the study. Our findings suggest that teaching strategies are differentially effective for different reading skills and outcomes. This suggests that instructional intent is important to consider in the implementation of teaching strategies. Growth in beginning stages of reading such as sight-word reading might be associated primarily with strategies targeting engagement, while reading skills such as decoding and comprehension require strategies in which the teacher is focused on modeling skills and strategies and monitoring student comprehension. Our preliminary analyses suggest that there are different sets of strategies that are uniquely effective depending on the desired reading outcome.

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