LITERACY RESEARCH A review of the research shows a “resounding agreement across research communities about what is effective and what needs to be done. The fact remains, however, that not much has changed in the past decade in terms of typical classroom practice.” --Adolescents and Literacy: Reading for the 21 st Century, Alliance for Excellent Education (2002) (Meltzer)
LITERACY & INTERVENTION “Research shows... That students who receive intensive, focused literacy instruction and tutoring will graduate from high school and attend college in significantly greater numbers than those not receiving such attention. Despite these findings, few middle or high schools have a comprehensive approach to teaching literacy across curriculum.” --Adolescents and Literacy: Reading for the 21 st Century, Alliance for Excellent Education
LITERACY & INTERVENTION Students in reading strategy groups: 62% of the studies reported a significant facilitative effects 62% of the studies reported a significant facilitative effects 12% reported mixed results 12% reported mixed results * Key Factor- teacher’s ability level --Adolescents and Literacy: Reading for the 21 st Century, Alliance for Excellent Education (Alvermann & Moore)
FIVE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS 1. Phonemic Awareness (Alphabetic Principle) 2. Phonics 3. Fluency 4. Vocabulary 5. Comprehension National Reading Panel
1. PHONEMIC AWARENESS The ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. It is important because it improves the student’s reading, reading comprehension, and helps students learn to spell. Decoding skills
1.PHONEMIC AWARENESS FINDINGS 1 out of 10 adolescents have serious word identification difficulties Compounded by adolescents abandoning the reading process and guessing Not effective instruction for: Low achievers in grades 2-6 Low achievers in grades 2-6 Spelling of students with disabilities Spelling of students with disabilities Math test performance Math test performance National Reading Panel
1.PHONEMIC AWARENESS INSTRUCTIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS a. Systematic, explicit, direct instruction b. High-frequency sound-spelling relationships and words c. Reflective instruction d. Frequent practice of identifying words in context e. Connections National Reading Panel
2. PHONETICS The relationship between the letters, (graphemes) of written language, and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. It is important because it leads to an understanding of the alphabetic principle—the predictable relationship between written letters and spoken sounds.
2. PHONETICS FINDINGS Benefits: Significant for kindergarten through grade 6 Significant for kindergarten through grade 6 Significant for struggling & disabled readers Significant for struggling & disabled readers Decoding & oral reading of older readers Decoding & oral reading of older readers Little Impact: Comprehension Comprehension Spelling Spelling National Reading Panel
2. PHONETICS INSTRUCTIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS Systematic Encourage the unique contributions of teachers Adapt to individual student needs National Reading Panel
3. FLUENCY The ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression. It is important because it frees a student to understand what they read.
3. FLUENCY FINDINGS Results of guided oral reading instruction: Significant & positive impact on: Word recognition Word recognition Fluency Fluency Comprehension Comprehension National Reading Panel
3. FLUENCY FINDINGS Results of independent silent reading: a. Correlational studies—the more students read vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension improves. b. Causational studies—no available data to support improvement in reading skills (especially as the only type of instruction) National Reading Panel
3. FLUENCY FINDINGS Practice of repeated readings: Students read and reread an easy passage until they are fluent Given progressively more difficult passages Results: Positive gains in reading ability National Reading Panel
4. VOCABULARY The words we must know to communicate effectively. It is important because beginning readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words. It is important because readers must know what most of the words mean before they can understand what they are reading.
4. VOCABULARY FINDINGS a. Good readers (grades 3-9) read 1 million words per year b. Reading ability & vocabulary size are related but it has not been demonstrated that increasing vocabulary increases reading ability c. Some instruction can lead to gains in comprehension, if instruction is age appropriate d. Computers have proven to be more effective than traditional instruction
4. VOCABULARY FINDINGS Types of Effective Instruction: Direct & indirect/incidental instruction Direct & indirect/incidental instruction Learning from context & categories Learning from context & categories Repetition & support are essential Repetition & support are essential Multiple instruction methods Multiple instruction methods Restructure tasks—simply defining words is not effective Restructure tasks—simply defining words is not effective National Reading Panel
5. COMPREHENSION The active process of constructing meaning from the text. It is important because it is the reason for reading.
5. COMPREHENSION Why do most older readers struggle? The problem is not illiteracy “Very few older struggling readers need help to read the words on a page (only 10% struggle with decoding) The most common problem is that they are not able to comprehend what they read.”
COMPREHENSION STRUGGLES Why do others struggle? Some do not read words with enough fluency to facilitate comprehension.
COMPREHENSION STRUGGLES Some struggle to apply comprehension strategies because they have practiced with a: Some struggle to apply comprehension strategies because they have practiced with a: Limited range of texts Limited circumstances (unable to apply to all subjects)
COMPREHENSION STRUGGLES Others can read accurately and quickly enough for comprehension to take place Others can read accurately and quickly enough for comprehension to take place They lack the strategies to help them comprehend what they read.
COMPREHENSION Explicit & formal instruction of comprehension strategies has: Proven to be highly effective in enhancing understanding Combination of strategies is most effective Improved standardized test scores National Reading Panel
COMPREHENSION Some effective types of instruction: Comprehension monitoring Cooperative learning Graphic organizers Question answering Question generation Story structure Summarization
READING NEXT Instructional Elements 1. Direct explicit comprehension instruction 2. Effective instructional principles embedded in content 3. Motivated and self directed learning 4. Text-based collaborative learning 5. Strategic tutoring 6. Diverse texts 7. Intensive writing 8. A technology component 9. On-going formative assessment
READING NEXT Infrastructional Elements 10. Extended time for literacy 11. Professional development 12. Ongoing summative assessment of students and programs 13. Teacher teams 14. Leadership 15. A comprehensive & coordinated literacy program
2. Effective instructional principles embedded in content Language Arts teachers— instruction & practice Subject-area teachers— reinforcement instruction
3. Motivated and self directed learning Build student choices into the school day to reawaken student engagement: Independent reading Research options Promote relevancy
4. Text-based collaborative learning Interaction around a text or texts Meaning is negotiated through a group process Requires instruction on the use of time & roles
5. Strategic tutoring Intense, individualized instruction: To acquire critical curriculum knowledge Learning strategies—“how to learn” Goal—empower adolescents to complete tasks independently
6. 6. Diverse texts Wide variety of topics at a variety of reading levels High-interest/low-readability: Below the student’s frustration level Self-selected
7. Intensive writing Benefits: Improves reading comprehension Develops critical thinking Reinforces reading skills beyond school For effectiveness: Traditional instruction is not effective Instruction in sentence combining, summarization, & writing strategies Clear objectives & expectations Exercising high levels of reasoning
8. A technology component The Role of Technology: Facilitator of Literacy Medium of LiteracyUses: Instructional Tool—provides support to struggling readers Instructional Topic—responding to the skills necessary for a modern society
9. On-going Formative Assessment Informal vs. Formal Frequent—often daily Computer—charted for inspection Informative—used to adjust instruction
10. Extended time for literacy 2 - 4 hours a day—literacy practice & instruction Subject areas —text-centered; instructional principles (reading & writing specific)
11. Professional development Ongoing, long-term Systematic Team-oriented approach
12. Ongoing summative assessment of students and programs Formal Requires substantial coordination Continuous progress monitoring Program evaluation
13. Teacher teams Interdisciplinary Regular meetings to align instruction Consistency in instruction across subject areas —comprehensive, coordinated literacy program
14. Leadership Principal—assumes the role of instructional leader & visionary Teachers—spearhead curricular improvements & success of the reforms
15. A comprehensive & coordinated literacy program Librarians Reading specialists Literacy coaches Resource room teachers Collaborations —local community & out-of-school organizations
An Optimal Mix In the medical profession, treatment is tailored to an individual patient’s needs; at times, more than one intervention is needed to effectively treat a patient. Similarly, educators need to test mixes of intervention elements to find the ones that work best for students with different needs.
What is the OPTIMAL MIX? Professional Development Ongoing formative assessment of students Ongoing summative assessment of students and programs
ADDITIONAL FACTORS Motivation If students are not motivated to read, research shows that they will not benefit from reading instruction. “Motivation was the clearest determiner of successful students.” If students are not motivated to read, research shows that they will not benefit from reading instruction. “Motivation was the clearest determiner of successful students.”
Resources Biancarosa & Snow (2006). Reading next—A vision for action and research in middle and high school literacy: A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York (2 nd ed.). Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellence in Education. Kamil, M. (2003). Adolescents and literacy: Reading for the 21 st century. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellence in Education. Larson, Kim (2005). Rand summary: A research Agenda for improving Reading comprehension. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI)> Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of scientific Research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. National Reading Panel.