Term

Summer 2017

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Ann Mabbott

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Margaret Farrell

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Cecilia Kessler

Abstract

The first research question addressed in this study was, how can one modify the standard methods of teaching guided reading to better meet the language needs of non-native speakers? The second question was, what adjustments need to be made to include the teaching of academic language functions with guided reading instruction? This study documents the teacher’s exploration of the most effective strategies for teaching English learners (ELs) to learn the language needed to accelerate reading levels. The author uses the Modified Guided Reading for ELs lesson model produced in the work by Avalos, Plasencia Chaves and Rascon, and combines it with a functional language approach as described by Derewianaka, to design and implement reading lessons that will help learners reading levels grow at accelerated rates as well as improve language ability as evidenced by student work. Action research was used to reflect on the process with pre- and post- running record assessments to measure gains in reading level. Anecdotal records were also used to document growth in language production, language use and the ELs attitudes and motivations. She describes both success and struggles in the results and concludes that: 1) students are more engaged with vocabulary when it is explicitly taught and connected to the text they are reading; 2) the functional language approach helped students to identify a targeted language structure in text; 3) there is an accelerated growth in reading levels when these strategies are used to teach ELs to read; and 4) students with a higher oral language gained reading levels at a faster rate.

Research Methodology

Action Research

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