Effective Practice for Adolescents with Reading and Literacy Challenges

All About Adolescent Literacy
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We can now say, with certitude, that effective teachers of literacy:. Effective teachers understand literacy learning Effective teachers of literacy have a deep understanding of the complexities and cumulative processes of reading and writing. The also understand the developmental nature of literacy learning.

Effective teachers are aware of the complexity of a wide range of texts and the potential challenges these pose for students. They also recognize the sequence of events that occur within the classroom and how it could impact student learning. Most importantly, effective teachers know it is not how much students know, but rather, how they apply this knowledge. Effective teachers see themselves as lifelong learners.

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They understand the need to continuously update their skills and knowledge in response to the changing world, new research, and emerging information about literacy learning and teaching. In order to ensure that students are on track for college and career, effective teachers know what literacy skills and understandings their students require.

Helping Teens Improve Reading Skills : Teaching Reading & Writing

The new Standards set rigorous expectations for students, and effective teachers understand the instructional shifts in practices that are needed to ensure that students meet these raised expectations. Effective teachers understand that while the standards set common outcomes for students, this does not mean equal input. Effective teaching involves knowing the student as an individual. The most important single factor that influences learning is what the learner already knows Ausubel, Knowing students as learners requires one to understand the pathways of progress for individual students and the patterns of progress for students as a whole.

Therefore, effective teachers need to extensively and continuously develop their knowledge of:. Effective teachers recognize assessment as central to their classroom practice and gather data from a range of sources. Effective teachers strategically gather, analyze, and use information to guide students learning, which is accomplished by their own understanding of literacy learning and what is expected as a measure of success.

The expectations teachers have for their students are a powerful indicator of success. Research shows that students know that they are treated differently and that teachers have higher expectations of some than others Weinstein, This applies to older students who have not yet mastered reading and writing, and to students who are learning to both speak, and become literate, in English. The social setting that teachers provide is equally as important as the physical environment.

Research shows that the quality of the instruction makes a difference and more than that, that it is the interaction between the teacher and student, most especially the feedback the student gets, which is essential Hattie, Learning to read and write involves taking risks. This is more likely to happen if students feel that their attempts will be valued. Teachers need to help students see that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process.

While teachers can create the conditions that foster learning and demonstrate strategies for learning to occur, the students have to actively engage in the process. The program needs to be interesting enough so that students want to be engaged in the learning. Effective teachers also create learning environments that are alive with purposeful print and where students have access to reading, and creating, a wide range of texts.

Pushing vs. Pulling Adolescent Readers Toward Comprehension

Above that is intermediate literacy generic comprehension strategies, common word meanings, and basic fluency —skills necessary for many tasks. At the top is disciplinary literacy—skills specific to the disciplines i. The first principle of the disciplinary literacy framework developed by the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh is "Knowledge and thinking go hand in hand" McConachie et al.

In other words, in order to develop a deep understanding of a discipline, students must be able to "read, reason, investigate, speak, and write about the overarching concepts within that discipline" McConachie et al. Bain and Lee view disciplinary literacy as a form of evaluative literacy, one which builds an understanding of how knowledge is produced within each discipline rather than just building knowledge in the discipline.

Regardless of the language or terminology used to define secondary-level literacy e. One of the forms of language used in literacy is academic language, which is used in schools for the purposes of learning.


It is the language of interacting in classroom discussions and writing on academic topics, as well as the language of texts students read. Textbook language requires some interpretation because it includes specialized features that make it different from the language used in everyday life e.

The Roles of School Leaders and the Literacy Team

Snow, Burns, and Griffin found that children whose home language experiences did not include language used in the ways expected at school faced challenges in learning school language. Teachers may find it difficult to follow the reasonings of such students or may fail to recognize the logic in their writing Schleppegrell, All of this indicates that attention to language in schools must go far beyond vocabulary development and knowledge of word meanings.

Teachers must help students understand what they are reading as well as how language resources work and are different based on content or discipline. Additionally, teachers need to help students develop their capacity to read critically, reflect on what they read, and recognize how they are being influenced by the author toward a particular point of view.

Teachers also need to help students develop strategies to highlight and talk explicitly about meanings in what they read as a way to help support their comprehension and to provide models for speaking and writing Schleppegrell, Academic language draws on discourses of mathematics, science, history, language arts, and other subjects, recontextualized for purposes of schooling and becoming more challenging at every level" Schleppegrell, p. Every content-area teacher believes—knows—that his or her subject is different from any other and requires particular kinds of literacy skills.

Content-area teachers use reading and writing as tools and in ways peculiar to their subject matter. Their goals are content achievement and student success.

We attack their identity and value when we tell them who we think they should be. They know who they are. Explicitly discussing language in the classroom can help students understand that they need to adopt new levels of usage for academic tasks and contexts. This kind of explicit instruction that includes the what, the how, the why, and the when of literacy integration with content could help students move from "everyday" ways of talking about what they are learning by "bridging" their conversations Gibbons, into more technical, discipline-specific usage of the language Schleppegrell, Fisher and Frey contend that educators might "find it helpful to think of all of our students as language learners; that is, learners of the language of the discipline" n.

One of the key shifts in literacy instruction occurred as a result of the Proficient Reader Research, which moved the education field from trying to "fix" struggling readers to teaching what proficient readers do while in the process of comprehending text. Keene and Zimmerman identified the following processes as aids in comprehension:.

Older students’ literacy problems (updated 2017)

isthrosazirppan.tk: Effective Practice for Adolescents with Reading and Literacy Challenges (): Lou Denti, Gilbert Guerin: Books. loading. Effective Practice for Adolescents with Reading and Literacy Challenges SECTION 2 Meeting Reading and Literacy Challenges for Diverse.

Unfortunately, many adolescent students are not proficient, and the statistics are startling. Kamil et al. These indicators suggest that literacy instruction should continue beyond the elementary years and should be tailored to the more complex forms of literacy that are required of students in grades 6 through However, that has not yet happened. Research indicates that approximately 8. Catherine Snow identified the following factors as the most pressing issues in adolescent literacy:. Kosanovich, Reed, and Miller summarized the five areas of instructional focus and improvement that were recommended in Academic Literacy Instruction for Adolescents: A Guidance Document from the Center on Instruction Torgesen et al.

These recommendations map out an instructional focus that, if implemented effectively, would likely lead to significant and long-term improvement in literacy skills and abilities of adolescent learners:. The researchers argue that these five recommendations should be implemented thoughtfully and systematically, not as fragmented approaches. In order to achieve this, teachers need support through ongoing, high-quality, job-embedded, professional learning Kosanovich et al.

With struggling readers and writers experiencing so many different sources of difficulty as well as rapidly accelerating literacy demands, it is no wonder that teachers and schools are unable to meet the needs of all students.

Page 1: Middle School Literacy

The researchers were asked to envision what kinds of changes would improve student outcomes, based on their collective knowledge of the field. At the same time, they were asked to envision how to advance the field by building a more comprehensive knowledge base. Just as Reading First identified the "Big Five" of K—3 reading, so, too, have researchers identified the "Big Five" of adolescent literacy:.

Comprehension is a metacognitive, nonlinear, multi-strategy process that is specific to the task, reader, text, and context. It involves active engagement with text in order to acquire knowledge and understanding and to determine meaning OSPI, Furthermore, it is a requisite if a reader hopes to enjoy a reading experience. Murray and her colleagues identified the following as reasons for comprehension difficulties:.

Several strategies have been identified as successful in improving reading comprehension:. Armbruster, Lehr, and Osborn reinforced the need for explicit instruction on effective comprehension strategies. They stated that explicit comprehension strategy instruction includes the following steps: an explanation of the strategy, teacher modeling often using think alouds , guided practice, and application. Torgesen is encouraging educators to ensure that students who are on grade level in third grade remain on grade level as they reach tenth grade and to accelerate the development of students who are below grade level toward grade level standards.

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education , research has shown that both direct, explicit instruction and learning from context while reading are significant for increasing vocabulary and perhaps closing the achievement gap. Adolescent learners must hear words used and pronounced and use the words themselves in context before being able to read words without conscious thought.

Torgesen found that the skills and knowledge required to meet standards increases yearly. Thus, adolescent learners must expand their vocabularies by many words and recognize them with automaticity so that brain power is not used solely for decoding. Hyland and Tse conducted a study of 3.

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Therefore, vocabulary development requires that students experience repeated exposure to new words in meaningful and relevant contexts NICHD, Murray et al. They also found that whole word training did not help struggling readers on any of the decoding or spelling transfer tasks.

The researchers identified the following implications for the classroom:. They concluded that good readers use vocabulary to foster comprehension and that teachers can help students build vocabulary by promoting word consciousness, using additive and generative vocabulary instruction, and teaching academic vocabulary.

Furthermore, they recommended that teachers examine the goals of their lessons when choosing the type of vocabulary instruction to provide Murray et al. Hess and Biggam reported that National Assessment of Educational Progress NEAP research has shown difficulty of text passages—along with familiarity with content and type of question—to be the major factors affecting reading comprehension among 4 th -, 8 th -, and 12 th -grade students.

In the past, changes in text complexity were based on length of passages Torgesen, Shanahan, Fisher, and Frey discuss a variety of elements that are now considered determinants of text complexity:. Hess and Biggam provide tables of text-complexity descriptors for individual grade levels or grade bands. To improve reading skills, students must read challenging or complex text. This reasoning differs from earlier theories, which held that overly complex text impeded learning. Such a shift will require reconceptualizing literacy in all content areas. Thus, they are more likely to ask students about symbolism in literary texts than to model how to detect the symbolic from the literal and how to reconstruct inferences about symbols in text.

It may seem that the study of English literature employs everyday language and literacy processes, but in reality, it requires its own set of reading skills. Reading literature normally involves interpreting figurative language, recognizing symbols, irony, and satire in texts that are set in a variety of historical, social, cultural, and political contexts. Students must also identify literary devices that suggest emotions, motives, or goals, as well as understand how the author creates "a world that the reader simultaneously enters and stands apart from through various narrative devices" Moje, , pp.