Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers Professional Development Module
Christy S. Murray, Jade Wexler, Sharon Vaughn, Greg Roberts, Kathryn Klingler TackettThe University of Texas at Austin
Marcia KosanovichFlorida State University
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Adolescent Literacy: Research and PracticeOne in three fourth-graders is reading below a basic level.Only 31 percent of eighth-graders are proficient readers.(Lee, Grigg, & Donahue, 2007)
Essential Components of Reading Elementary Level vs. Secondary Level
ComponentElementarySecondaryPhonemic AwarenessWord Study(Advanced)FluencyVocabularyComprehensionMotivation
ObjectivesEnhance your understanding of selected research-based instructional practices associated with positive effects for adolescent struggling readers.Learn how to implement these research-based practices.
NOTE: Assessment and its influence on instruction will not be a focus of this presentation.
(Scammacca, Roberts, Vaughn, Edmonds, Wexler, Reutebuch, & Torgesen, 2007)Reading Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-analysis With Implications for PracticeOverall, how effective are the reading interventions for adolescent struggling readers that have been examined in research studies?What is the specific impact of these reading interventions on measures of reading comprehension?What is the specific impact of these reading interventions on students with learning disabilities?
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Scientific Rigor of Highlighted StudiesAll highlighted studies used random assignment and standardized measures.
General Findings of the Meta-AnalysisVarious levels of intervention effectiveness:
Students with LD vs. students without LD;Researcher-implemented vs. teacher-implemented; andStudents at the middle school level vs. students at the high school level.
Highlighted Studies: CaveatThe instructional practices used in the studies we selected represent some of the practices associated with improved outcomes for students in grades 412. The scope of this presentation does not allow us to present all studies and referenced practices from the meta-analysis.
Essential Components of Reading for AdolescentsWord Study
What is Word Study?
What do I do when my students with reading disabilities and difficulties cannot read grade-level words accurately?
Practices that improve word-level readingResearch indicates that
Older students in need can benefit from word study instruction (Edmonds et al., in press; Scammacca et al., 2007).
Interventions focused on word study had a moderate overall effect.IMPLICATION
For older students struggling at the word level, specific word study intervention is associated with improved reading outcomes.
Word Study(Bhattacharya & Ehri, 2004; Nagy, Berninger, & Abbott, 2006; Boardman et al., 2008)
Reasons for Word Study DifficultiesStudents might not have been effectively taught how to decode in the earlier grades.Students might not have been given adequate opportunities for practice.Students may struggle to understand letter-sound correspondences or the rules of the English language.
Strategies for Teaching Word Study
Following are examples of two types of word study practices that can be used with older readers.
Word Study: Instructional Practice #1Instruction in orthographic processing, or the ability to recognize letter patterns in words and their corresponding sound units. Instructional focus: Various advanced word study components such as syllable types and blending multisyllabic words.
Instructional Practice #1: Example
Mumble = mum bleLocate = lo cateInvalid = in val id
Instructional Practice #1: How do I Teach it?Teach students to identify and break words into syllable types. Teach students when and how to read multisyllabic words by blending the parts.Teach students to recognize irregular words that do not follow predictable patterns.Teach students to apply these practices to academic words (e.g., tangent, democracy, precision).
Syllable Types and ExamplesClosed (e.g., cat) short vowelOpen (e.g., no) long vowelVowel-consonant-e (e.g., like): e makes vowel longConsonant-le (e.g., mumble)R-controlled (e.g., ar, or, er, ir, ur)Double vowel (e.g., team)
Word Study: Instructional Practice #2Expose students to information and strategies that will help students gain access to the meaning of words and make the connection between decoding and comprehension.
Instructional focus: Prefixes, suffixes, inflectional endings, root words, and base words.
Instructional Practice #2: Example
Transplanted = trans (across) + plant (base word) + ed (happened in the past)Useless = use (base word) + less (without; not)Careful = care (base word) + ful (full of)
Instructional Practice #2: How Do I Teach It?Teach students the meanings of common prefixes, suffixes, inflectional endings, and roots.Provide instruction in how and when to use structural analysis to decode unknown words.
Highlighted Study:Bhattacharya & Ehri (2004)Participants60 struggling readers (non-LD),grades 6 through 9Received one of two interventions provided by a researcher for four sessions totaling 110 minutes.WholeWordReadingn = 20SyllableChunkingn = 20Received current school instruction.(Comparison Group)n = 20
Students were taught to:
Orally divide multisyllabic words into syllables; State the number of syllables; Match syllables to their spelling; and Blend the syllables to say the whole word. Syllable Chunking Intervention
Five Steps in Syllable Chunking Intervention
Students read the word aloud. If incorrect, they were told the word and repeated it.Students explained the words meaning. If incorrect, they were provided corrective feedback.Students orally divided the words pronunciation into its syllables or beats by raising a finger as each beat was pronounced and then stated the number of beats. If incorrect, the experimenter modeled the correct response. (e.g., fin ish = two beats)
Five Steps in Syllable Chunking Intervention (continued)
Students matched the pronounced form of each beat to its spelling by exposing that part of the spelling as it was pronounced, while covering the other letters. (Different ways of dividing words into syllables were accepted.) If incorrect, the experimenter modeled and explained the correct segmentation and students copied the response.Students blended the syllables to say the whole word. If incorrect, they were told the word and repeated it.
Syllable Chunking InterventionLearning TrialsWords were presented on index cards one at a time over four learning trials in random orders.
Trial 1: Perform all five steps.Trials 24: Perform all steps except step 2.Read and analyzed 25 words on each of the 4 days.
Students practiced reading multisyllabic words with no applied strategy.
Whole Word Reading Intervention
Three Steps in Whole Word Reading Intervention
Students read the word aloud. If incorrect, they were told the word and repeated it.Students explained the words meaning. If incorrect, they were told the meaning.Students read the word again by looking at the print. If incorrect, they were told the word and repeated it.
Whole Word Reading InterventionLearning TrialsRead and analyzed 25 words on each of the 4 days.
Highlighted Study:Bhattacharya & Ehri (2004)
Participants60 struggling readers (non-LD),grades 6 through 9Received one of two interventions provided by a researcher for four sessions totaling 110 minutes.WholeWordReadingn = 20SyllableChunkingn = 20Received current school instruction.(Comparison Group)n = 20
Current School Practice(Comparison Condition)Students received the schools typical reading instruction.
Which Strategy do You Think was Most Effective? Why? Study Findings
Syllable training enhanced readers decoding ability on transfer tasks.Syllable training enhanced readers ability to retain spellings of words in memory.Whole word training was not found to help struggling readers on any of the decoding or spelling transfer tasks.
Implications for the Classroom
There is value in teaching adolescent struggling readers to read multisyllabic words by matching syllables to pronunciations.
Instruction in word study for the weakest readers is needed as well as comprehension strategy instruction.Authors note that the intervention could be enhanced by also teaching students informa