Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of English: English Studies
Joyce R. Walker
This dissertation focuses on a study of reading-into-writing strategies employed by students in two sections of first-year-composition (FYC) that were paired with a support course as part of an accelerated learning program (ALP) at a community college. Each FYC course was comprised of 11 students whom the college had deemed college-ready without the ALP course, and 11 students who were deemed at remedial levels in reading and / or writing and who were subsequently required to enroll in the ALP course. The study employs grounded theory methodology to identify and consider the many factors that influenced how reading was portrayed, conceived, taught, learned, and assessed within this context, and ultimately focuses its analysis on the teaching, learning, and assessment of reading and writing that occurred. Texts examined for this study include articulation initiatives, college-wide essential competencies for learning, writing program and course outcomes statements, assignment descriptions, rubrics and instructor-to-student feedback, instructor reflective memos and, most importantly, student writing.
This dissertation presents five discrete but related findings regarding the role of reading in FYC. The first finding suggests that evidence of student reading practices can be made visible via a specific method for reading and analyzing student writing. The “seeing reading” method is then extended to other texts and contexts (institutional and instructional) and yields additional findings: the second and third findings analyze institutional texts, such as college-wide learning outcomes, and their relationship to the formation of course outcomes which in turn appear to shape the curriculum, assessments, and instructor attitudes and dispositions towards reading instruction. The final two findings deal with the immediate teaching-and-learning context of the classroom setting studied, and detail the ways in which in/explicitness of instruction in reading strategies relates to student activity—and especially the activity of using source texts in one’s own writing.
This dissertation concludes with recommendations for a more intentional, mindful approach to the integration of reading instruction into FYC. Suggestions include writing program self-studies to identify student and instructor values concerning reading, and how reading is portrayed in pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment practices. Careful and intentional alignment around a more explicit conception of reading can help students develop as readers, which in turn relates to reading-into-writing performance that is so key to success in college. Composition instructors are called upon to advocate for those values to curriculum committees and the like in ways that can help foster a more dynamic conception of reading not only in FYC but across the curriculum.
KEYWORDS: College Composition, Reading, Remediation, Basic Writing, Writing Assessment, Integrated Reading and Writing, Community College
Felumlee, Matthew, "Seeing Reading in First-Year Composition" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 1036.
Community College Education Administration Commons, Community College Leadership Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Other Education Commons, Reading and Language Commons