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An examination of the effect of teacher read-aloud on adolescent attitudes and learning in science

Dissertation
Author: Sylvia Kay Fletcher Hurst
Abstract:
Having been established as an important component of early literacy development, the use of teacher read-aloud as an instructional strategy has the potential to benefit adolescent students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect teacher read-aloud had on adolescent learning in science and how the results varied according to individual reading ability. The study was a counterbalanced design gathering both quantitative and qualitative data for analysis from two treatment procedures. Seventh and eighth grade students were given the reading portion of the SAT-9 to provide a national percentile ranking in reading. All students then participated in two consecutive units of study: one unit requiring students to read the science text silently and the second unit providing a teacher read-aloud of all text. The classroom procedures, assignments, and related activities were exactly the same for both treatments. Student learning was measured with pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest concept map scores on each unit of study. A survey administered at the end of the study examined student attitudes toward the teacher read-aloud and served as the source for in-depth interviews concerning preference for or dislike of the teacher read-aloud strategy. An interview with the science teacher provided another outlook on the oral reading treatment. A repeated measures analysis suggested both teacher read-aloud and silent reading were appropriate for student learning but results do not support either method as superior over the other. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on the posttest and delayed posttest scores as the dependent measured, had a significant relationship between treatment by reading ability interaction on one analysis. Regression equations constructed for each level of the treatment indicated that as reading ability increases, students received more benefits from the teacher read-aloud procedure. A correlation compared reading ability with attitude toward teacher read-aloud. Seventy-eight of the participants had a positive attitude toward the intervention, with no students reading below the 50th percentile showing disapproval. Interview responses supported these results since all below average readers favor the oral presentation. Overall themes from the interviews offered advantages and disadvantages of teacher read-aloud, suggestions for implementation, and a teacher's perspective on practical applications in science classes.

vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements......................................................................................................iv

Table of Contents.........................................................................................................vi List of Tables.............................................................................................................viii List of Figures..............................................................................................................ix Abstract.........................................................................................................................x CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background and Statement of Problem.............................................................1

Purpose of Study................................................................................................5

Research Questions............................................................................................6

Importance of Study...........................................................................................7

Definition of Terms............................................................................................8

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction......................................................................................................10

Theoretical Foundations of Teacher Read-aloud.............................................10

Research on Teacher Read-aloud.....................................................................14

Student Achievement.......................................................................................14

Surveys of Teacher Practices...........................................................................20

Motivation and Attitude...................................................................................21

Teacher Action Research.................................................................................24

Research Summary..........................................................................................26

Related Research Methodology Literature......................................................28

Teacher Read-aloud Practices..........................................................................29

Chapter Summary............................................................................................31

vii CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN

Purpose of Study and Research Questions.......................................................33

Method.............................................................................................................33

Instruments for Data Collection.......................................................................35

Design..............................................................................................................38

Procedures........................................................................................................41

Data Analysis...................................................................................................46

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS Teacher Read-aloud and Student Learning......................................................54

Teacher Read-aloud and Individual Reading Ability......................................65

Qualitative Results...........................................................................................74

Summary of Results.........................................................................................77

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY Method.............................................................................................................79

Design..............................................................................................................81

Procedures........................................................................................................81

Results and Discussion....................................................................................84

Conclusions......................................................................................................91

Recommendations............................................................................................94

Limitations of the Study...................................................................................96

Recommendations for Future Studies..............................................................97

REFERENCES............................................................................................................99 APPENDICES...........................................................................................................107

viii LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

Table 1 Linear Transformation of Concept Map Unit Scores..........................48

Table 2 Group Means and Standard Deviations for Counterbalanced..............55 Concept Maps Table 3 Treatment, Test, and Interaction Analysis of Variance.......................56 for seventh and eighth grades Table 4 Interview Participants..........................................................................57 Table 5 Regression—Model One......................................................................66 Table 6 Regression—Model Two.....................................................................67 Table 7 Regression—Model Three...................................................................67 Table 8 Regression—Model Four.....................................................................68 Table 9 Hierarchical Regression Analysis........................................................70

ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Units............................................35

Figure 2 Mixed Methodology Designs...............................................................39 Figure 3 Design of Study by Group and Treatment...........................................41 Figure 4 Multiple Regression Model..................................................................47 Figure 5 Counterbalanced Read-aloud Treatment and Implementation............50 Figure 6 Percent of Variance Accounted for by Reading Ability,.....................69 Treatment, and Interaction of Reading Ability and Treatment Figure 7 Regression for the Interaction of Reading Ability and........................72 Delayed Posttest Scores on Minerals/Cell Structures Figure 8 Scatterplot of Correlation Between Reading Ability...........................73 and Attitude Toward Teacher Read-aloud

x ABSTRACT Having been established as an important component of early literacy development, the use of teacher read-aloud as an instructional strategy has the potential to benefit adolescent students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect teacher read-aloud had on adolescent learning in science and how the results varied according to individual reading ability. The study was a counterbalanced design gathering both quantitative and qualitative data for analysis from two treatment procedures. Seventh and eighth grade students were given the reading portion of the SAT-9 to provide a national percentile ranking in reading. All students then participated in two consecutive units of study: one unit requiring students to read the science text silently and the second unit providing a teacher read-aloud of all text. The classroom procedures, assignments, and related activities were exactly the same for both treatments. Student learning was measured with pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest concept map scores on each unit of study. A survey administered at the end of the study examined student attitudes toward the teacher read-aloud and served as the source for in-depth interviews concerning preference for or dislike of the teacher read-aloud strategy. An interview with the science teacher provided another outlook on the oral reading treatment. A repeated measures analysis suggested both teacher read-aloud and silent reading were appropriate for student learning but results do not support either method as superior over the other. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on the posttest and delayed posttest scores as the dependent measured, had a significant relationship between treatment by reading ability interaction on one analysis. Regression equations

xi constructed for each level of the treatment indicated that as reading ability increases, students received more benefits from the teacher read-aloud procedure. A correlation compared reading ability with attitude toward teacher read-aloud. Seventy-eight of the participants had a positive attitude toward the intervention, with no students reading below the 50 th percentile showing disapproval. Interview responses supported these results since all below average readers favor the oral presentation. Overall themes from the interviews offered advantages and disadvantages of teacher read-aloud, suggestions for implementation, and a teacher’s perspective on practical applications in science classes.

1 CHAPTER ONE Introduction Background and Statement of Problem Over the past two decades, a great deal of attention has been focused on how children learn to read and ways instruction could facilitate maximum growth. While professional organizations and teachers have continually searched for higher quality instruction, recent public discussion has looked specifically at the beginning stages of reading. The National Reading Panel’s research on teaching children to read became a basis for the “No Child Left Behind” act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2002. Concerned that only 32 percent of the nation’s fourth graders perform at or above grade level in reading (Donahue, Finnegan, Lutkus, Allen, & Campbell, 2001), new legislation focused specifically on funding and instruction for successful reading through third grade. This concentration on reading fluency is critical for younger students, but unresolved reading difficulties remain an obstacle for learners far beyond fourth grade. Equally relevant for reading research and public attention would be the students who have moved beyond the first six grades and the important literacy learning necessary throughout adolescence. Middle school years and the accompanying physical growth are often considered a transition time for many adolescents. After spending the majority of the school day in a classroom containing the same teacher, routines, and classmates, most middle schools require moving through a less personal environment of frequent class changes, several teachers, and a much larger peer group. Reading instruction, replaced by English grammar and literature, is no longer a separate daily subject but a required skill for all

2 curriculum areas. Coupled with unpredictable physical changes, adolescents are faced with multiple events that can impact their academic success. A typical class of middle school students contains a mixture of reading abilities and motivations. The most recent NAEP statistics (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005) indicate 73 percent of eighth graders have reached a basic reading level, which is defined as having partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills. Of that total 73 percent, 31 percent of that group are considered proficient or showing solid academic performance. A typical middle grade class has a wide spectrum of abilities and interests with average reading abilities becoming progressively higher each year (Worthy, Broaddus, & Ivey, 2001; Manzo, Manzo, & Thomas, 2005). However, the ability range widens further as some students with reading difficulties could not progress the expected full year and others rapidly outpaced the norm. “A typical seventh-grade class may be expected to have reading levels ranging from the third to the tenth grade level” (Manzo et. al., p. 11). NAEP’s cumulative data indicate the achievement levels of adolescents have remained stagnant over the last two decades (Carnegie, 1995), ensuring diversity in reading levels will continue. Considering continual fluency growth is fueled by motivation and attitude, changes in school structure can accelerate frustration level and desire to learn. McKenna, Kear, and Ellsworth’s 1995 survey found attitudes toward reading grow increasingly negative, particularly for those least able, as students move from first to sixth grade. Steven Dreher (2003), a secondary English teacher, observed reading problems for older students were extremely difficult to reverse because of repeated patterns of failure. Students with reading disabilities experienced ongoing learning problems throughout

3 their adolescent school years (McCray, Vaughn, & Neal, 2001). Upon reaching secondary levels, the everyday expectation is for students to independently comprehend complex reading material and new vocabulary. The teacher designs the majority of instruction in middle school and there is little differentiation to meet individual needs (Ivey & Broaddus, 2001). The Carnegie Corporation’s 1995 research concluded adolescents between 10 and 14 are at a very crucial turning point, beginning the education behavior patterns that affect their future. The struggle to succeed with an inability to engage with the classroom focus is discouraging to any student. Over time this can lead to less interest in reading and little motivation to attempt participation. Varied abilities and attitudes found in typical classrooms affect all subjects, not just language arts. Examining teaching practices is relevant and necessary when looking for different ways to actively involve all middle school students with literacy. Freeman and Person (1998) evaluated the difficulty of content area texts and found both science and social studies generally too difficult for the majority of students and offered inadequate access to provisions for different reading abilities. Current publications concerned about content area instruction argue since inclusion places all students in these classes, instructors need information about relevant reading strategies to fit content areas. It is particularly beneficial that literacy development can be done while teaching, not in addition to the content (Manzo, Manzo, & Thomas, 2005). Teachers who are aware of learners’ unique needs can help offset some of the difficulties inherent in adolescence by actively adapting instructional techniques (Atwell, 1998). Even though educators realize the implications of reading difficulties and work to improve methodology, the search

4 remains relevant for additional approaches that foster unlimited involvement for all ability levels. Research supports my experience as a middle school teacher. In each reading class of adolescents there was a wide variety of ability levels and motivations. Content area subjects contained an even broader spectrum of reading levels since all students, including those requiring Individual Education Plans (IEP), were part of the class. Efforts to involve everyone required multiple strategies for reading, responding, and thinking critically about the current topic. There is an especially strong lack of motivation for adolescents who are adjusting to the middle school environment and are struggling to be successful academically or socially. In literature and civics class, I began to periodically provide my reading of a text to students who were interested. Over time, I noticed not only requests for a teacher read-aloud in both classes, but also observed better attention to written text, in-depth discussions, and a higher level of involvement from students with lower reading ability. Observations and a literature search for explanations did not satisfactorily resolve what the effect of teacher read-aloud is on student learning in a middle school content area classroom. Little is known about the value of teacher read-aloud with older students, particularly in content area classes. The questions then arise: What value does teacher read-aloud have for middle school instruction? Is teacher read-aloud a relevant practice in a content area classroom? Does individual reading ability impact the usefulness of teacher read-aloud for older students? The high volume of reading required for students above sixth grade coupled with the wide variation of reading abilities typically found in

5 classrooms suggests the strategy of teacher read-aloud for adolescents is a potentially valuable research topic. Purpose of Study This study proposes to examine teacher read-aloud of the textbook in seventh and eighth grade science classes. In the treatment groups, the science teacher will read orally to an entire class all the required text for one unit of study. In contrast, the control class will read the same required text silently for the entire unit. Both groups will participate in the same classroom discussions, activities, and assignments. Concept maps will be used to measure student learning with a pre-, post-, and delayed post-test over each unit. This will be a counterbalanced design. Students at each grade level will be presented two consecutive science units, one using the treatment method and the other using the control method. Intact classes will be assigned at random to begin with either the treatment or control. The science units at each grade level were selected to match in terms of similar text length, number of lessons, and related concepts. An additional research component involves the impact of individual reading ability on teacher read-aloud as an instructional aid. National percentile scores in reading will be obtained for each student before the study begins. Students will be classified as high, average, or low readers to examine how reading achievement impacts learning with teacher read-aloud. A final area of study will be the attitudes of students and teachers toward the teacher read-aloud intervention. All participants will complete a survey evaluating attitudes toward the teacher’s oral reading and individual student interviews will provide

6 more in-depth responses. In addition, a teacher interview will be conducted to examine the value of teacher read-aloud from the instructor’s perspective. It can be reasoned that teacher read-aloud will be most likely to improve student learning for seventh and eighth graders classified as low ability readers. There are also potential advantages for some average and high readers because of text difficulty commonly found in the required science textbooks. Thus, it is expected that by measuring learning through concept maps, the individual mean scores obtained during the read-aloud unit would be significantly higher than during the silent reading unit, especially for students with lower reading achievement. In addition, teacher read-aloud can allow students of all reading abilities to actively participate with the written science text and can positively impact student attitudes. The students with lower and average reading abilities are more likely to benefit from teacher read-aloud intervention and have positive attitudes toward the treatment. Students with high reading abilities are more likely to have indifferent or negative attitudes toward the intervention. Research Questions The research questions guiding this study are: 1. Does teacher read-aloud have an impact on student learning of science content? 2. How does the impact of teacher read-aloud vary when accounting for individual reading ability?

7 Importance of Study This study will examine the use of teacher read-aloud in a regular science classroom as a reading strategy for involving students with varying reading abilities. Most studies in teacher read-aloud have looked at beginning reading and early literacy development. The value of adult modeling for beginning readers is well documented and considered one important component for reading success. There are very few studies on teacher read-aloud with older students, especially in specific content area subjects. Because of the wide variety of reading abilities typically found in middle school classrooms and the difficulty of content area textbooks, it is important to examine the value of an easily implemented strategy such as teacher read-aloud to help student learning. Current research has briefly hinted that students who struggle with reading are more likely to benefit from teacher read-aloud. To date, no study has looked specifically at adolescent reading ability, teacher read-aloud, and the relationship between those two. This research will compare student learning with and without teacher read-aloud and examine which students are more likely to benefit and improve their attitudes toward reading of text. Instructor feedback can also provide personal insights and observations about the feasibility of teacher read-aloud in content area subjects. The perspectives of the teacher combined with student learning and attitude analysis can help lead to simple classroom changes that potentially benefit students up through high school.

8 Definition of Terms Teacher read-aloud is the process of having a teacher read literature or any text to students. This can occur as a replacement for independent reading or as a foundation for independent reading by the student. Although current definitions of adolescent readers place the beginning range at fourth grade, in this study adolescence describes the transitional stage of development between puberty and full adulthood. The typical age ranges from 13 years to 19 years old. Content area subjects refer to a core of academic areas in education. The general topics include language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language, and the arts. Reading in a content area typically focuses on subjects outside of language arts instruction. A concept map is a two-dimensional hierarchical diagram showing the relationship between concepts, or nodes, and the relationship with other related ideas. Concept maps are a tool for organizing and representing knowledge. Counterbalanced design in research allows all participating groups to receive each research treatment in a different order. It is important to have the number of groups be equivalent to the number of treatments. Counterbalanced design is best suited for intact groups and permits the comparison of average performance of groups on each treatment (Gay & Airasian, 2003). Middle school describes the grades found between elementary school and high school. Grades six through nine are commonly viewed as the intermediate grades and

9 middle schools can include any combination of these ages. Until recent years, teacher certification for these grades could include both elementary and secondary instructors. Mixed methodology research involves the collection and analyzing of both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study. Reading ability is defined in this particular research as a composite reading achievement score from comprehension and vocabulary on the Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition. The terms reading ability and reading achievement are used interchangeably in this study. Regression analysis allows a researcher to model the relationships in data and test for the effect of treatment. This is often done in a graphic form with the line of regression describing the relationship between two or more variables. Repeated measures analyses examine the effect of treatment with two or more measures over time. Specific to this research, the repeated measure examines three assessments over one unit of study. The following dissertation chapters will address all aspects of the research on teacher read-aloud. Chapter two will provide a review of literature on the theoretical perspectives toward teacher read-aloud and summarize current research. Chapter three will give a comprehensive description of the mixed methodology research design, including participants, setting, data collection instruments, procedures, and analysis. The fourth chapter presents all results on treatment and control group learning, student attitudes, student interviews, and teacher interview. The final chapter will offer an overall summary of the research and include discussion, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations for future research.

10 CHAPTER TWO Review of Literature Introduction This review of literature examines the role of teacher read-aloud as one component contributing to student reading ability. Relevant theories, research, and current practices will be presented on oral modeling and its relationship to teacher read- aloud. Theoretical Foundations of Teacher Read-aloud A commonly accepted definition of the reading process states it is how humans make sense of written language, giving meaning to the print (Goodman, 2000; Ruddell & Unrau, 2000; Rumelhart, 2000; Smith, 2003). This general description applies to reading print with any age group, language, or genre. However, this broad interpretation of reading does not address the many complexities involved in the process of learning and successfully continuing to understand written texts. An elaborate combination of individual factors simultaneously work together and help any reader to comprehend print or ideas from another source. One known component is the modeling of oral language. Reading aloud to children has been considered an important part of literacy development for many years. Becoming a Nation of Readers (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson, 1985) claimed that reading aloud to children is the single most important component of early successful reading. Theory supports the oral reading of text for beginning reading and continued reading growth with older readers. One perspective on reading acquisition addresses literacy learning by separating the most important processes into two primary components. The simple view of reading

11 was first proposed to identify abilities required for successful reading comprehension (Hoover & Gough, 1990). This theory contends reading ability is composed of two main factors: decoding and comprehension. While both skills are extremely complex, the simple view holds the complexities can be divided into two equal parts necessary for fluent reading ability; both decoding and comprehension are of equal importance (Juel, 1988; Juel, Griffith, & Gough, 1986). Although initial research was focused on beginning reading through fourth grade, current research (Floyd, Gregg, & Keith, 2004) has supported the simple view by finding significant effects for decoding and comprehension across age levels. From this viewpoint, reading comprehension will be poor under the following conditions: 1) students can comprehend the language but not decode the print, 2) students can flawlessly decode but not understand written or spoken language. While both conditions could limit fluent reading at any age, the primary focus of this research are adolescents who have the cognitive ability to understand the words and concepts presented in text but are limited by difficulties in decoding the words. The broad theoretical perspective toward reading supports the value of teacher read-aloud since it helps address decoding or comprehension difficulties for struggling readers. The processing of information or written text requires fluent readers who can decode and understand text with ease. The LaBerge-Samuels 1974 model of information processing in reading addresses the same two components from another perspective. The reading process requires a dual operation of decoding and comprehension; as decoding becomes automatic more attention is focused on meaning (Samuels, 2000). This theory of automaticity suggests if decoding requires too much cognitive effort, it interferes with

12 the reader’s comprehension. Again, the oral presentation of text eliminates the struggle to decode words and focus attention on content. From the beginning stages of literacy, readers decode written text to obtain meaning. Kenneth Goodman’s (2000) model proposes that comprehension is a building process using a written text between the reader and the author. Multiple sensory factors help mediate the meaning process and teacher read-aloud could contribute to any of four cycles comprising the holistic process. The optical cycle occurs when the eye scans and fixates on the text to provide visual input. Readers selectively determine what is significant or must be ignored to interpret what is seen during the perceptual cycle. A third syntactic cycle forces the reader to address the structure and context of sentence patterns. The final cycle helps the reader understand semantic devices such as special style, terminology, or text formats from written language. Working rapidly in a cyclical process, the four cycles are sequentially repeated to understand text. Ruddell and Unrau (2000) also contend reading is a meaning making process, however the negotiation occurs between reader, teacher, and classroom context. Teacher read-aloud obviously can either fit as part of the teaching role or support the classroom context if it assists the reading process. The search for text meaning continues as readers mature and move progressively through secondary grades. Louise Rosenblatt’s transactional theory (2000) states that each “reading act is an event, or a transaction involving a particular reader and a particular pattern of signs, a text, and occurring at a particular time in a particular context. ..The meaning . . . comes into being during the transaction between reader and text” (p. 1063). Meaningful transaction with text contributes to student knowledge about the

13 world and application to personal life. Whether approached efferently for information or aesthetically for enjoyment, there is no transaction if a meaning is not acquired. Rosenblatt believed responsibility falls on the teacher to connect students with texts and support developmental differences for gaining meaning. A teacher read-aloud is one mechanism for adolescents to relate to text, particularly if they are developmentally unable to do it alone. A final perspective looks at the reader’s attitude and its role in reading understanding. Repeated inability to obtain meaning can affect the attitude of the reader toward reading. A positive attitude leads to an intention to read, which then leads to the reading act itself (Mathewson, 2000). The combination of theories supports the idea that difficulties in decoding limit the focus on meaning. Recurring negative encounters with reading progress to lack of motivation and avoidance of written text, which is a typical symptom found with adolescent readers. Teacher read-aloud eliminates cognitive struggle and allows the listener to concentrate on meaning, which in turn affects reactions and comprehension during the reading task. There is a common thread decreeing that all readers must decode the written signs and have the need to derive personal meanings from the text. This is important at any age but seems especially meaningful for students moving into adolescence. Young people who have the ability to encounter new ideas and think critically about their implications are frequently limited by their ability to comprehend the complex writings. Teacher read- aloud has the potential to decipher the code for every student, to foster more positive attitudes toward reading, and to allow active participation in a meaningful transaction with the written text.

14 Research on Teacher Read-aloud Studies relevant to this research each contained a teacher or fluent adult reader reading aloud to students as an essential component. Many studies focused on preschool beginning literacy through second grade. Looking at older students, however, required a broader scope of relevant research that approached the topic from multiple perspectives. Identification of key terms included initial descriptors of reading, reading skills, reading motivation, reading programs, and intermediate reading programs;these were too broad and nondescript. More specific terms such as middle school reading aloud, secondary read aloud, and adolescent reading aloud led to several articles on effective teacher classroom practices. The descriptor read aloud brought in many articles on peer reading, reading buddies, and reading between students. By far the most productive terminology proved to be teacher read-aloud or adolescent teacher read-aloud. This process produced several articles not only in high circulation reading journals and books, but also within the area of special education, teacher education, content area instruction, and multiple subject research journals. Student Achievement Early studies focused specifically on younger students aged four to second grade. One of these addressed 580 second-grade children in New York City (Cohen, 1968). Experimental classes contained a collection of 50 books on open shelves used for one daily read-aloud throughout a full school year; the control group continued with its usual routine but experienced occasional read-alouds. Experimental and control classes were located in separate schools to avoid any contamination of results. Different forms of the Metropolitan Achievement Test were administered as pre- and posttest evaluations. The

15 experimental group showed significant increases in vocabulary, word knowledge, and reading comprehension. The participants classified as socially disadvantaged or lower achieving showed the most significant increase and received the biggest benefit from teacher read-aloud. These findings suggested that teacher read-aloud could significantly contribute to early literacy development and confirms the relationship between oral language and reading. Feitelson, Kita, and Goldstein (1986) investigated 139 disadvantaged first graders in Israel who were read series-format stories 20 minutes every day for six months. Control and experimental classes were in the same school setting, but control classes continued their usual instruction plans that contained reading and writing activities during the experimental classes read-aloud. Teachers in control classes did not increase their oral reading to students beyond their current read-aloud practices. All students were tested with Sharon and Eshel’s 1979 test covering comprehension, technical reading, and a picture-story telling task. Pre- and posttest results were supplemented by classroom observations and interviews. Results indicated experimental groups had significantly better results on comprehension and language measures than students in control classes. The unexpected result was a high level of interest from participants in the series books that were read orally to experimental classes. Teachers reported children asked their parents to purchase these familiar books as gifts, and the children brought them to class for free reading time. Final interviews confirmed that 13 of 31 children in the experimental class had obtained the texts for independent reading at home. The teacher read-aloud helped provide growth in comprehension and language while increasing

Full document contains 136 pages
Abstract: Having been established as an important component of early literacy development, the use of teacher read-aloud as an instructional strategy has the potential to benefit adolescent students. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect teacher read-aloud had on adolescent learning in science and how the results varied according to individual reading ability. The study was a counterbalanced design gathering both quantitative and qualitative data for analysis from two treatment procedures. Seventh and eighth grade students were given the reading portion of the SAT-9 to provide a national percentile ranking in reading. All students then participated in two consecutive units of study: one unit requiring students to read the science text silently and the second unit providing a teacher read-aloud of all text. The classroom procedures, assignments, and related activities were exactly the same for both treatments. Student learning was measured with pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest concept map scores on each unit of study. A survey administered at the end of the study examined student attitudes toward the teacher read-aloud and served as the source for in-depth interviews concerning preference for or dislike of the teacher read-aloud strategy. An interview with the science teacher provided another outlook on the oral reading treatment. A repeated measures analysis suggested both teacher read-aloud and silent reading were appropriate for student learning but results do not support either method as superior over the other. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on the posttest and delayed posttest scores as the dependent measured, had a significant relationship between treatment by reading ability interaction on one analysis. Regression equations constructed for each level of the treatment indicated that as reading ability increases, students received more benefits from the teacher read-aloud procedure. A correlation compared reading ability with attitude toward teacher read-aloud. Seventy-eight of the participants had a positive attitude toward the intervention, with no students reading below the 50th percentile showing disapproval. Interview responses supported these results since all below average readers favor the oral presentation. Overall themes from the interviews offered advantages and disadvantages of teacher read-aloud, suggestions for implementation, and a teacher's perspective on practical applications in science classes.