Capstone/Dissertation Title

Academic Language in Book Clubs

Term

Summer 7-28-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Ann Mabbott

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kathryn Heinze

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Sarah Hernandez

Abstract

Book clubs are increasingly used by teachers to help raise ELL literacy levels. Yet, there has been little research on whether this tool actually contributes to improved oral language proficiency. The research question is, after being taught the academic language needed to ask and answer higher order questions, how well are students able to ask and answer questions? This study examines to what extent students are able to engage in higher-order questioning after receiving direct instructional support through book clubs. The methods employ anecdotal notes, transcripts of student conversations, and student written work to assess how students can discuss text before and after being taught scaffolds. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain to measure results, the author concludes that: 1) engagement in authentic discourse through book clubs can increase long-term language learning; and 2) and book clubs are an effective forum to teach higher order questioning.

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