Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Department of Special Education
In this intervention study, I engaged principles of culturally responsive research to examine the effectiveness of explicit reading comprehension strategy instruction for English Learners (ELs) with specific learning disabilities (SLD). This study replicated and extended previous research (Jitendra, Hoppes, & Xin, 2000) by modifying instruction found to be effective for native English speakers (i.e., explicit reading comprehension strategy instruction with a self-monitoring procedure). Modifications included: (a) integrating culturally relevant text, (b) providing native language support, and (c) melding strategies from the fields of teaching English as a second language and special education. Through a co-teaching model, I provided instruction to four participants during a 135-min literacy block in a fifth-grade general education classroom for 13 weeks. A multiple probe across participants design (Gast & Ledford, 2010) evaluated effects of instruction on two dependent variables: (a) participants' sophistication with applying comprehension thinking strategies while reading, as measured by comprehension thinking strategy rubrics (Keene, 2006) and (b) participants' comprehension, as measured through percentage accuracy with responding to verbally-posed, researcher-developed literal and inferential comprehension questions. I assessed maintenance of effects for up to 8 weeks after participants exited the intervention. I assessed generalization to on-grade-level text and to a standardized achievement test (Woodcock Johnson Tests of Academic Achievement III-R; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001). Additionally, I examined participants' self-efficacy as readers at pre- and postintervention by collecting information from the Motivation to Read Profile survey and interview (Gambrell, Palmer, Coddling, & Mazzoni, 1996). Finally, I measured participants' perceptions of the social acceptability of intervention procedures and outcomes through a researcher-developed, 9-item, Likert-scale survey. Results of this study show a functional relation for accuracy with answering literal and inferential comprehension questions and for sophistication with applying comprehension thinking strategies to read instructional-level text. All four participants performed within a similar range on on-grade-level probes as compared to instructional-level probes before and after the intervention. Participants improved or maintained scores on a standardized achievement test. Intervention effects maintained at the end of a 2- to 8-week period at a level above respective baseline performance. Moreover, participants' attitudes toward reading and their motivation toward reading increased or maintained at high levels. Results from social validation questionnaires showed favorable impressions of the intervention's procedures and outcomes. Findings are discussed with regard to the need for future research and the implications for practice.
Jozwik, Sara Lynn, "Effects of Explicit Reading Comprehension Strategy Instruction for English Learners with Specific Learning Disabilities" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 415.