Date of Graduation
Six, fourth-grade struggling readers from Glendale Elementary School participated in this study. Specifically, these students were identified because they could decode words adequately but comprehended text poorly. The main innovation of this study was that it provided insight into the role of strategy acquisition in the comprehension performance of students. Identified students participated in 20 sessions following the reciprocal teaching frameworkâ€”a reading intervention program that incorporates direct instruction in four comprehension strategies, questioning, predicting, clarifying, and monitoring. Additionally, the reciprocal teaching approach is grounded in dialogue, as the teacher explicitly demonstrates how, when, and why to apply each strategy while reading text. After the initial demonstrations, the teacher slowly withdraws her support as the students begin to take turns as leaderâ€”modeling the strategies and offering feedback to peers. An examination of pre- and post-test data occurred to determine the effects of direct strategy instruction on both strategy mastery and comprehension performance. Additionally, sessions were taped, transcribed, and analyzed in search of themes, patterns, and trends in the dialogues relative to strategy use. Results indicated that direct strategy instruction appeared to effect strategy acquisition which then led to improvement in the students' abilities to comprehend a specific text. Further, it seemed that these six students relied heavily on their world knowledge, manifested through the strategy of prediction, at the early stages of strategy acquisition. Finally, questioning to clarify an idea seemed to be an important function as the impetus for group discussions, which led to the joint construction of meaning. The other strategies were embedded within the discussion, and the joint construction of meaning appeared to result from the mutual dependencies of all four strategies. The results of this study may be important to practitioners interested in developing reading instruction that meets the needs of students who can decode words adequately but comprehend text poorly. This study provides insight into the particular nuances of direct strategy instruction and the necessary scaffolded support that teachers must provide in order to lead students toward internalizing and applying the comprehension strategies to text.
Diehl, Holly L., "The effects of the reciprocal teaching framework on strategy acquisition of fourth-grade struggling readers." (2005). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8753.