New folder (5)/Action Research additianl instruction and framework.pdf

DIGEST EDO-FL-03-08 • DECEMBER 2003

Action Research RICHARD DONATO, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

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Action research can inform teachers about their practice and em-power them to take leadership roles in their local teaching contexts. Mills (2003) provides the following definition of action research:

Action research is any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher researchers to gather information about the ways that their particular school operates, how they teach, and how well their students learn. The information is gathered with the goals of gaining insight, developing reflective practice, effecting positive changes in the school environment and on educational practices in general, and improving student outcomes. (p. 4)

Action research is conducted by teachers and for teachers. It is small scale, contextualized, localized, and aimed at discovering, developing, or monitoring changes to practice (Wallace, 2000). The defining features of action research also reflect the qualities of leaders in collaborative cultures of change. These qualities include a deep understanding of the organization, vision and insight, a quest for new knowledge, a desire for improved performance, self-reflective activity, and a willingness to effect change (Fullan, 2000a, 2000b). This Digest discusses a framework for conducting action research and describes an action research study carried out in an elementary school Spanish program.

A Framework for Action ResearchA review of action research frameworks reveals several common fea-

tures. An action research project seeks to create knowledge, propose and implement change, and improve practice and performance (Stringer, 1996). Kemmis and McTaggert (1988) suggest that the fundamental components of action research include the following: (1) developing a plan for improvement, (2) implementing the plan, (3) observing and documenting the effects of the plan, and (4) reflecting on the effects of the plan for further planning and informed action. New knowledge gained results in changes in practice (see also, Fullan, 2000a). Action research is often conducted to discover a plan for innovation or inter-vention and is collaborative. Based on Kemmis and McTaggert's (1998) original formulation of action research and subsequent modifications, Mills (2003) developed the following framework for action research:

• Describe the problem and area of focus.

• Define the factors involved in your area of focus (e.g., the curriculum, school setting, student outcomes, instructional strategies).

• Develop research questions.

• Describe the intervention or innovation to be imple-mented.

• Develop a timeline for implementation.

• Describe the membership of the action research group.

• Develop a list of resources to implement the plan.

• Describe the data to be collected.

• Develop a data collection and analysis plan.

• Select appropriate tools of inquiry.

• Carry out the plan (implementation, data collection, data analysis).

• Report the results.

This deductive approach implements a planned intervention, moni-tors its implementation, and evaluates the results. A more inductive approach, formulated by Burns (1999), is to carry out action research to explore what changes need to be made or what actions need to be taken in a specific instructional setting. Burns suggests the following interrelated activities:

• Explore an issue in teaching or learning.

• Identify areas of concern.

• Observe how those areas play out in the setting of the study.

• Discuss how the issue might be addressed.

• Collect data to determine the action to be taken (e.g., student questionnaires, observation reports, journal entries).

• Plan strategic actions based on the data to address the issue.

Kemmis and McTaggert's approach focuses on implementing an action plan, whereas Burns’ focuses on planning for action.

Commonly used data collection tools in action research projects include existing archival sources in schools (e.g., attendance reports, standardized test scores, lesson plans, curriculum documents,), ques-tionnaires, interviews, observation notes and protocols, videotapes, photographs, journals and diaries, and narratives (e.g., stories told by teachers, see Hartman, 1998).

An Action Research Project in Pittsburgh: Elementary School Spanish

The following project illustrates how teachers can assume leadership roles to support their programs, contribute to the knowledge base on the teaching and learning of foreign languages in their school and school district, and promote well-informed changes in practice.

In 1996, a school district in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, decided to implement a foreign language in the elementary school (FLES) program. After considerable discussion of issues such as sched-uling, teacher availability, and the necessity of developing long-term articulation from one grade to the next, the decision was made to form a program steering committee and propose to the school board the implementation of a Spanish FLES program that would begin in September 1996 for all district kindergartners. The proposal recom-mended extending the program one grade level each year. That is, all kindergartners and first graders would participate in the program in the 1997-1998 school year, all kindergartners and first and second graders in the 1998-1999 school year, and so on. The Board of School Directors formally approved the plan and authorized a 5-year pilot project.

Teachers as researchers. After 5 years of implementation, the program steering committee had to prepare a presentation for the school board that would demonstrate that the program was work-ing, that the children were progressing, and that the approval of 5 more years of funding was warranted. Responding to this challenge

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called for both leadership and research. To achieve the research goal, it was decided that the five Spanish teachers needed to add a new role to their work—they would become researchers. As researchers, they would reflect on their practice, collect information, make decisions, and develop action plans.

The program steering committee needed solid information to pres-ent to the school board. They wanted to present the current state of student progress, a list of recommendations, and a plan for informed and responsible future action. The steering committee hoped the pre-sentation would convince the board that the investment over the past 5 years had resulted in adequate growth in student language proficiency and cultural knowledge. The five FLES teachers became involved in a small-scale action research project that focused on student proficiency at each grade level in the program. The teachers felt that they were succeeding with their early foreign language instruction, but they had no clear data to support their intuition.

Measuring student progress. The teachers attempted to document student progress in relation to the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 1998). Based on descriptions in the ACTFL guidelines, a can do/can’t do assessment was devised. This “Teacher Assessment of Student Progress” asked the teachers to rate how well and how accurately their students understood and spoke Spanish, and to rate the students’ vocabulary knowledge, communication strategies, and cultural understanding by checking can do or can’t do on the assessment. Teachers were also asked to document the quantity of language each child produced during class. Teachers completed the questionnaires individually and without consultation with their colleagues.

Results. The teachers' ratings were tallied and compared across classes and grade levels. Results showed that the majority of children, regardless of grade level, had developed the ability to do the following in Spanish:

• Use memorized material

• Imitate pronunciation well

• Speak with accuracy when presenting practical material

• Understand key words and phrases in Spanish

• Comprehend and say everyday vocabulary

• Pick up Spanish vocabulary from other sources

• Recite cultural facts about Spanish-speaking countries

• Say words, phrases, and full sentences

Additionally, it was found that items for which systematic grade-level differences did appear were those that involved complex language tasks requiring discourse-level ability, the negotiation of meaning, linguistic creativity, and literacy skills. That is, the kindergarten children were re-ported not to perform any of these advanced tasks, whereas the students in Grade 4 were reported to control all of them. Systematic growth in ability was observed at intervals in Grades 1 to 3.

The conclusion from this study is clear. The students demonstrated progress each year in specific language skills and cultural knowledge and developed more advanced language functions throughout their language study. Analysis indicated quite dramatically that these students advanced in their proficiency, that the curriculum was well articulated, and that with each passing year, the children could say and do more with their new language.

The results of this action research led the teachers to realize the need for child language learners to have extensive opportunities to

hear and produce the target language and the need for teachers to include more discourse-level tasks (e.g., story telling) in the fifth-grade curriculum. The results also indicated the need to prepare students for content-based Spanish study beginning in sixth grade and to address literacy skills even more vigorously in fifth grade. It also alerted teach-ers in the lower grades to include more storytelling in their classes as a means of preparing the children to understand and produce Spanish in discourse-level contexts.

Features of Action ResearchThis project illustrated several features of action research identified

by Burns (1998) and Mills (2003). It was highly contextualized and localized in its attempt to investigate a situation in a specific school. The project converted tacit knowledge of student progress to explicit knowledge that could be communicated clearly to other constituents, such as board members and parents. The project results led to confir-mation of individual opinions, observations, and intuitions based on investigation and data. The impetus for changes in practice and cur-riculum was based on information that was systematically collected and synthesized. This information led to the goal of expanding the language capacity of the children through a revised curriculum that involved storytelling, sentence-level production of the language, and the use of content-based discourse-level speaking tasks. The research was participa-tory and collaborative, involving all of the Spanish teachers, the steering committee, a university researcher, and—indirectly—the school board members who reacted to the information presented. Finally, the teachers collaborated to create knowledge of their program and took leadership positions in helping the program receive an additional 5 years of fund-ing. The instructional roles that the teachers played were enriched with leadership opportunities that directly affected their program and their professional practice. In Fullan's (2000a) terms, these teachers became participants in a collaborative culture of change.

ConclusionLeaders for change can become learners as well when they engage

in research. As a result, they become less vulnerable to and less depen-dent on external answers to the challenges they face (Fullan, 2000b). To respond to the challenges in their Spanish program, the teachers in the study described here took on new leadership roles and moved beyond their traditional roles. Their leadership emanated from their collaboration to understand their local situation and to bring about change that would improve their teaching and the lives of the students in their program.

ReferencesAmerican Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (1998). ACTFL

performance guidelines for K-12 learners. Yonkers, NY: Author.Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative action research for English language teachers.

New York: Cambridge University Press.Fullan, M. (2000a). Change forces. The sequel. Philadelphia: Falmer Press.Fullan, M. (2000b). Leadership for the twenty-first century: Breaking the

bonds of dependency. In The Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership (pp. 156-63). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hartman, D. K. (1998). Stories teachers tell. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook.

Kemmis, S., & McTaggert, R. (1998). The action research planner. Geelong, Victoria, Australia: Deakin University Press.

Mills, G. E. (2003). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Stringer, E. (1996). Action research: A handbook for practitioners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

New folder (5)/literture review for 2-3 -pages use this.docx

Running head: Literature review2

Literature review2

Literature review

Abstract

The Covid-19 epidemic has a variety of effects on school systems worldwide. The results are extensively investigated in this research to determine whether the tactics employed were beneficial in resolving the current difficulties. There are multiple sources from various perspectives ranging from administration and teachers to the parents of the children in question as a result of the abrupt change in duties where the parent or family were in most cases were the one’s responsible for the children's education. The paper will focus on the recommendations are the most cost-effective tactics to employ.

Introduction

As the world grows more interconnected, the threats we confront increase in number and severity. The COVID-19 epidemic has crossed national boundaries. It has afflicted people of all nationalities, levels of education, income, and gender. However, the same cannot be said for its repercussions, which have disproportionately impacted the most disadvantaged. Lockdowns in reaction to COVID-19 have disrupted traditional learning, resulting in statewide school closures in the majority of schools in the country, with the majority lasting at least 10 weeks. While the educational community worked hard to ensure learning continuity throughout this time, children and students had to rely increasingly on their own resources to continue studying remotely via the Internet, zoom meetings and the I ready system. Teachers were also required to adapt to new educational concepts and ways of instruction for which they had not been trained. Students from the most marginalized groups, in particular, who lack access to digital learning tools or the resilience and engagement to learn on their own, are at danger of falling behind.

The primary goal of this article is to determine the effects of Covid-19 on the educational system. The research focuses on the reaction to the negative effects of Covid-19, with the goal of evaluating which tactics were beneficial and which were not. In order to achieve the goal, a review of relevant literature is conducted with the goal of supporting the research, as demonstrated in the theoretical framework discussion. Toward the end of the literature, a research gap is found in order to decide the best method to filling the gap. Also, recommendations are provided in relation to what is needed in the future (Nguyen & Tran, 2022).

Theoretical framework discussion

In order to assess the influence of Covid-19, an examination of what was the typical practice or operations before to the pandemic must be conducted. The second stage must be to determine what changes occurred in the educational system as a consequence of the pandemic's spread. As a result, there is a direct relationship between Covid-19, the independent variable, and the education system, the dependent variable. As a consequence of the pandemic, efforts to resist the spread and safeguard members of the school system are seen as reactionary methods. The figure below depicts the link between the independent factors and the dependent variables, as well as the primary areas of emphasis of the research.

Education system

Impacts/negative effects

Covid-19 pandemic

Response

Methodology

The method of document analysis was used to gather data for this investigation. This involved looking for peer-reviewed scientific literature and evaluating the sources based on their relevance to the main study issue. This method resulted in the development of a list of the most relevant sources, following which the data collection was carried out. In producing appropriate literature to assist the research investigation, just five sources were employed.

Findings

From the review of the various scholarly reviews used in the study, various findings were made. The quality and availability of education in several Commonwealth countries was one of the report's most significant findings. Students had less opportunities to learn and received lower marks as a result of the pandemic's impact on communities that were not already struggling and didn't have access to the resources and help, they needed. According to the research, females who drop out of school are more likely to get involved in domestic tasks, increasing their risks of academic failure and confirming the community's belief that education for boys is more necessary than education for girls. For individuals who cannot afford technology or who live in rural areas where internet access is still a barrier, the use of urgent remote teaching to monitor and maintain in the learning and teaching activities further excluded vulnerable communities. still a big concern (MARTINEZ et al, 2021).

Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, remote classes were also formed. At the height of the outbreak in 2013, 45 countries in Europe and Central Asia closed their schools, affecting around 185 million students. As a result of the abruptness of the shift, educators and administrators scrambled to come up with last-minute solutions for remote learning. One of the limitations of emergency remote learning is the lack of facial expression interaction between teacher and learner. For obvious reasons, this is not possible with broadcasts. Remote learning can benefit from a wide range of additional tools, including email and even the post office.

Because of its widespread distribution, the coronavirus has an effect on educational systems around the world. All leaning institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities have been shut down because of the coronavirus. School closures have an impact on students, teachers, and parents alike. Distance learning can help keep the educational system running smoothly. The absence of communications infrastructure, computers, and internet connectivity are all disadvantages of distant learning in underdeveloped countries. Because of this, countries design a strategy for using educational technology, free online academic materials, free learning internet resources, and education-related television broadcasts on the Internet. During the time when schools are closed, teachers and students are preparing lessons for after the coronavirus outbreak. As soon as schools reopen, plans are put in place to assist students in regaining lost knowledge and getting back to class as quickly as possible. The coronavirus has impacted the face-to-face schooling system in poor countries (Qutishat et al, 2022).

Despite the pandemic, some countries found strategies to keep the educational systems up and running as normal. Technology options for online learning could be put to the test during a virus outbreak and nationwide lockdowns. Few systems have made it to this point prepared for the challenges ahead. Despite the closure of many institutions, Chinese education has continued because to the internet and distance learning. Preparedness in those other countries or educational systems is lacking High-bandwidth internet and mobile phone use are connected with household income even in middle-income nations. As a result, efforts to quickly identify those most in need are crucial. During a crisis, educational activities can benefit students and their learning, and they can help to prevent and recover from public health crises. If there are no hospitals in the area, schools can serve as crisis centers. Making plans requires careful consideration of all factors, especially during the difficult periods of adjustment and recovery.

Technology options for online learning could be put to the test during a virus outbreak and nationwide lockdowns. Ultimately, only a few systems have reached this point where they are well-prepared for what is to come. China's educational system has remained strong despite the closure of numerous institutions, mainly to the internet and distance education. Another country's or school's lack of readiness A household's ability to afford high-speed internet and telephones is directly linked to its wealth. Therefore, efforts that can quickly identify those in most need are essential.

Since it initially surfaced two years ago, the COVID-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc on educational systems all around the world, with the most vulnerable students facing the brunt of the damage. It has exacerbated existing educational disparities. Some countries have not had any school closures, while others have had closures that lasted up to an entire school year. Some students were unable to take advantage of online learning due to a lack of internet connectivity and electronic devices. Most countries have developed health and safety rules and vaccination programs in order to keep their schools open, despite the existence of the Omicron variant. In relation to educational setbacks, health concerns and school dropout rates, the implications are tremendous. To avert a generational calamity and promote long-term recovery, education must be prioritized as a public benefit. It is imperative that education systems adapt to and build on the new ideas and partnerships that arose during this crisis (Gobbi & Rovea, 2021).

Summary/conclusion

Based on the review, the pandemic resulted into closure of schools and learning institutions. This contributed into mass disruption of the curriculum as majority of students stayed at home rather than going to school. Also, the level of disparities in the education system widened as less privileged communities and students experienced more challenges compared to other communities and societies particularly those that had sufficient resources to support the new education systems. In addition, the pandemic led to the establishment of distance learning platforms to support learning for the students. The literature also shows the inefficiencies in the procedures adopted to counter the disruptions in the educational systems. However, there is a research gap on what needs to be done in enhancing efficiency in the interventions adopted to counter the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on education system. This include determining ways of countering the high costs of distance learning.

Implications for future research

In future, more research efforts should be made towards determining cost effective strategies to use in improving the quality of education offered to the students during a crisis. Among the factors to consider in developing educational policies include accessibility of education as well as reliability of the adopted interventions. This should be carried out across all states in the United States. An effective way of attaining this is using a sample constituting institution across the states and using the data collected from the study in developing more efficient policies.

The literature has provided a clear view of the prevailing situation in the US education system following the impact of the Covid-19 and the needed improvements. Therefore, there is a need to focus research efforts on optimal funds allocation systems and impacts of student mobility programs. There is a risk that education spending will be reduced in the next years. Even in a developed country such as the US where short-term stimulus packages have been implemented, long-term public investment on education is a risk. As the economy deteriorates and the number of unemployed climbs, private support will be harder to come by. In nations such as the US where tuition is higher for international students, the reduction in international student mobility as a result of travel restrictions already reduces the cash available. In addition, the lockdown has increased the gap between the rich and poor in the workforce. With this disparity, there is a high risk of inefficiency unless a strategy is developed to strike the balance and enhance efficiency.

References

Gobbi, A. & Rovea, F. (2021). Distance teaching and teaching ‘as’ distance. A critical reading of online teaching instruments during and after the pandemic. Teoría de la Educación. Revista Interuniversitaria, 33(1), 71-87. https://doi. org/10.14201/teri.23451

MARTINEZ, J., AMİCK, L., & McAbee, S. (2021). The Reopening of a School during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Administrative Lens. Research in Educational Administration and Leadership6(2), 515-552.

Nayir Funda & Sari Tamer (2021). Identifying Parents’ Home-schooling Experience During Covid-19 Period.

Nguyen, N. T., & Tran, H. T. T. (2022). Factors Affecting Students’ Desire to Take Upcoming Online Courses after E-learning Experience During COVID-19. iJIM16(01), 23.

Qutishat, D., Obeidallah, R., & Qawasmeh, Y. (2022). An Overview of Attendance and Participation in Online Class During the COVID Pandemic: A Case Study. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies16(4).

New folder (5)/main example pls don;t copy but follow format .pdf

Implementing Reading Strategies for

Second Grade Immigrant Students to

Increase Reading Proficiency and Help

Them Enjoy Reading

FLORALBA ARBELO MARRERO AND THAISE MUSTELLIER

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to describe the effect on reading proficiency by using diverse reading

strategies to improve ESOL student reading achievement. Twenty-five second grade students in a

Reading/Language Arts located in Miami, Florida were the participants. The methods included a

questionnaire that assessed students’ reading habits, strategy use, and reading problems. Results indicated

that less than half the class enjoyed reading, about 52% of the class read less than two days a week, 57% of the

students were not independent readers, and more than half of the class was reading below their level. As part

of the intervention students were taught several reading strategies, including think alouds, context clues,

making predictions, making connections, asking questions, rereading, finding the main idea and key details,

self-monitoring, drawing inferences, and visualizing. While test scores did not increase significantly, interest

in reading was enhanced.

Introduction and Statement of the Problem As immigrant children arrive in the United States and are placed in public school classrooms they are often

confused and afraid due to their new surroundings and their inability to speak English which inhibits

communication with teachers and classmates; individual’s that can help them navigate the educational system.

Understanding the school language helps demystify the immigrant experience within the governing society. It

is estimated that in the United States there are about 4.6 million English language learners in the public school

system and it has been documented that English language learners (ELLs) have difficulties comprehending

what they read (NCES, 2014). This fact stresses the importance of teaching proven reading strategies that

increase reading comprehension for ELLs. Thaise Mustelier, one of the authors of this article states, “I think

back to my childhood when I first arrived in the United States at seven years old, I remember feeling confused

and scared because I did not speak English. I could not understand my teachers or classmates when they spoke

to me. This is the same feeling, I imagine, the lower level English speakers of other languages (ESOL) students

experience when they are placed in an all-English speaking class. Therefore, it is understandable when they

struggle with the grade-level curriculum that is taught to them. Although we are unable to change the situation,

we wanted to provide students with the tools that they needed to become better readers while learning English

as a second language; we also believed that becoming better readers would help them develop good reading

habits. In meeting their needs we believed that we were giving each student an equal opportunity to learn”.

In this study, we describe a reading intervention developed for a densely Hispanic immigrant classroom of

25-second grade students at diverse ELL proficiency levels that were struggling with reading in the English

language. This was a challenging situation since ESOL levels ranged from one to five and while struggling

readers deserve to learn at their own pace, more advanced readers deserve increased opportunities as well.

With this in mind the intervention focused upon reading strategies that had the potential to benefit all of the

students, regardless of reading level. The specific goal of this intervention was to impact reading proficiency

by using diverse ESOL strategies to improve ELL reading achievement.

Literature Review Research on this topic indicated that the reading strategy and type of instruction used have a positive impact on

students’ reading performance. According to Noursi (2014), students score very low on reading tests,

especially English Language Learners (ELLs) that tend to have problems understanding what they read.

Researchers stress the importance of teaching students to use several cognitive and metacognitive reading

strategies. According to the research, the most positive outcome of teaching reading strategies is that it

increases students reading comprehension (Aghaie & Lawrence, 2012; Choo, Eng, & Ahmad, 2011; Latawiec,

2010; Noursi, 2014).

In addition, research indicates the importance of teachers becoming knowledgeable in reading and pedagogy

pedagogies in order to be able to teach students appropriate reading skills and strategies (Noursi, 2014).

According to Noursi (2014), teachers need to know about reading comprehension, basic cognitive knowledge,

comprehension strategies, how to motivate students to read, quality instruction, and to assess reading

comprehension to ensure that their students become better readers. Furthermore, it is important to teach

various reading approaches and make students aware of the strategies that they are using, especially low level

readers, with the intent of helping them become more successful, independent readers (Griva et al., 2009). For

instance, modeling and think-alouds are effective ways of helping students become more aware of the

strategies that they use (Lawrence, 2007).

Specifically, it was found that teaching comprehension strategies, such as predicting, questioning,

summarizing, and clarifying, enables students to construct meaning from the reading passages (Choo et al.,

2011). Similarly, Griva, Alevriadou, and Geladari (2009) found that using a combination of cognitive and

metacognitive reading strategies, enables students to construct meaning from texts. In addition, strategies such

as problem-solving, planning, and translating, enabled learners to understand and decode reading passages

(Jafarigohar & Khanjani, 2014). Finally, Noursi (2014) asserted that teaching students the appropriate skills

and strategies will enhance their performance and engagement in reading classes as well as improve fluency

and reading comprehension, which are vital skills for ELL learners.

Method An action research plan was developed by the researchers in order to focus the literature and to develop steps to

accomplish the study to align with the literature and practices of other educators. The goal was to increase the

ELL students reading proficiency using diverse reading strategies which were developed for use during

specific reading lessons while addressing the research question:

Action Research Question: Will the implementation of specific reading strategies increase reading

proficiency for a group of second graders made up of a predominantly immigrant population and help

them enjoy reading?

The classroom had 25 second grade students, 23 of the students ranged in ESOL levels one to five, five being

proficient and one being not very proficient, two were non-ESOL students. Originally, the study was to focus

on ESOL levels one and two, thinking that these two low proficient groups would benefit most from the

targeted reading strategies. Yet, since the range of proficiency varied in the group, it was decided to use

targeted reading strategies so that all of the groups could benefit from this type of intervention. Student levels

were determined by the Florida Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment which is

administered once a year and it measures the progress of proficiency in English, these scores allowed us to

place the students in group by proficiency.

Table 1.1 Student Level of English Language Proficiency

Level 1 9

Level 2 5

Level 3 6

Level 4 2

Level 5 1

Non ESOL 2

Additionally, a questionnaire was developed and administered (Appendix A) to learn about students’ reading

habits, the strategies that they used, and problems that they encountered while reading. This questionnaire

would help to target specific needs in the development of reading strategies; it was designed to help us

comprehend each student’s needs. The idea was to learn about students’ reading habits and whether they were

already using reading strategies. It was also created to learn about the kinds of strategies that have been helpful

to them and what else could be used to help increase their reading proficiency. In addition, the questionnaire

was kept simple with some pictures for the low level students who are still learning English as a second

language. The questionnaire also included simple open-ended and closed questions, it had a multiple choice

format where the students were able to choose as many answers that applied to them, while still being able to

provide their own answers using the “other” multiple choice option. This design was chosen over other

instruments because it was easier to answer and it took less time than an interview.

The questionnaire was administered in the regular classroom setting during Reading and Language Arts

period. Each question and answer choice was read to the students and they were given enough time to provide

their responses. The students were told that the questionnaire was to learn a little more about their reading

habits and the strategies that help them read. They were also told that it would not be graded and that their

answers were not going to be shared with the class. The reasoning behind this was to make them feel

comfortable and to encourage honesty. Twenty-one second grade students participated and the assessment

took place in the regular classroom setting, four were absent. The questions and answers were read to each

student. Following the reading of the sentence, each student was asked to circle or write in their answer the

space provided. Students were given enough time to answer each question. The assessment was collected and

the class proceeded to the reading lesson for the day.

Intervention Once completed, the questionnaire along with the test scores helped the researchers understand the level of

student proficiency and level of engagement in reading. Based on the results of this assessment we predicted

that the ESOL levels 1 and 2 students were going to need intensive instruction in ESOL strategies because their

test scores were very low on both the state exam and the assessment created for this study. The data also

indicated that about 57% of the group were not independent readers. Overall, these students required help

understanding what they read, identifying the meaning of unfamiliar words, and reading with fluency. Later on

in the study we learned that even the students who spoke English needed to learn to use reading strategies to

help them become better readers.

With the baseline data we developed various interventions that consisted of introducing students to a variety of

genres (fantasy, realistic fiction, fiction, expository text, fable, poetry) through stories. Scaffolding techniques

were used during “think alouds” to explain and model how to self-monitor, make connections, ask questions,

draw inferences, make predictions, and summarize. Then the students practiced these skills as they read. For

example, students were taught that looking at pictures gave them information about a story. Also, participants

were taught to use context clues to identify unfamiliar words. Additionally, participants were taught to activate

prior knowledge and ask themselves questions about how the events in the story were similar to the events that

they have experienced in real life.

Throughout the study, students used reading journals to write down main ideas and key details using the

graphic organizers. They wrote sentences using the new vocabulary words and were assessed each week.

Interventions included think alouds twice a week, graphic organizers twice each week, context clues and

vocabulary once each week, making predictions for three weeks over the course of the study, making

connections once each week, asking questions throughout the study, rereading one week, finding the main idea

and key details over six weeks, self-monitoring each week, drawing inferences throughout the study, and

visualizing throughout the study (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2 Student Level of English Language Proficiency

Interventions and Frequency of Use

Think Alouds 2x Per Week

Graphic Organizers 2x Per Week

Context Clues Weekly

Vocabulary Weekly

Making Predictions 3x Over Course of Study

Making Connections 1x Per Week

Asking Questions Ongoing

Rereading 1 Week

Finding Main Idea 6 Weeks

Self- Monitoring 1x Per Week

Drawing Inferences Ongoing

Visualizing Ongoing

The school principal provided us with another second grade reading teacher to act as a sounding board for the

methods being developed and to help in developing the curriculum content in the home language of the

students. This was extremely helpful because this teacher was able to work in a small group with the ESOL

level 1 students that spoke little to no English at all. The teacher gave them the one-on-one time they needed

and helped to reinforce the reading strategies taught in each lesson over the three months. Field notes were

taken through observations each week during the various activities and interventions developed in order to

reflect on the practices being implemented and behaviors of the students. This helped to inform how we could

further help to improve their English language learning and reading habits. Portfolios were kept for each

student which contained all of the weekly skill building activities and reading strategy interventions along with

assessments. Progress reports for each student included all of these documents.

In order to encourage independent reading, the plan of intervention also included a new book display in the

classroom library, the implementation of a reading log that tracked students reading at home for at least fifteen

to thirty minutes each night (Appendix B), time allowed in the classroom to read while students used the

reading strategies they were taught, and a book of their choice was read to them each week as a reward for good

behavior. At the end of each week, students volunteered and talked about a book that they enjoyed reading

during that week. The students were motivated to read a book of their own when they saw and heard their peers

talk about their favorite books. We found that more students needed to read books that were at their level, they

needed to be challenged a little more and encouraged to read more books. Small groups were created to assist

these readers.

Results and Conclusion While the intervention plan had a positive influence on students’ reading habits, it has not had a significant

impact on their reading test scores. The reading strategies implemented have demonstrated to improve student

reading habits and attitudes, students are more interested in books and want to think and talk about the stories.

Another important outcome was that about 60% of the students were reading on their own after the

intervention as opposed to 43% when the study began. The remaining the students chose to read with a partner

which increased interaction in the reading and comprehension process since students would ask each other

questions, point to the pictures while they discussed a story, and built comprehension through these

collaborations. This finding is supported by research conducted with third graders involved in a study on how

discussions around reading influence comprehension (Gruhn-Tomczak, 2014). They also looked for context

clues when they came across a word they did not know. They talked about the characters in the books and how

the events reminded them of something they have seen in real life. This really helped the students understand

the story and enjoy reading when they had a partner to share it with

However, the grades have remained about the same after three months with the ESOL levels 4 and 5

performing the highest and the ESOL levels 1 and 2 the lowest. However, we know that the students are still

adopting the new strategies and some still need time to learn the English language. We are also aware that the

exams are more challenging for the lower ESOL levels because they are in alignment with the grade-level

curriculum. The lessons learned for our teaching practices include being patient and providing student’s time

to learn; encouraging interaction among students in reading practice, and that some need time and practice to

process the information. Working with these children in small groups has been very helpful. It gives them the

opportunity to understand the lesson when they can practice at a slower pace. Also, reading strategies need to

be introduced one at a time and students need to be given enough opportunities to practice those strategies

inside and out of the classroom. Modeling and guided practice are extremely important when teaching; as

educators we should never assume that students already know the information. Research is still needed to

understand the long-term effect of reading strategies on reading achievement. The study helped clarify

practices that have the potential to work, increased the feeling of community in the classroom, and further

helped us understand the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, we expect our students to learn

enough reading strategies that they can apply outside the classroom in their everyday lives that help them make

sense of their world.

About the Authors

Dr. Floralba Arbelo Marrero, Assistant Professor of Education at Carlos Albizu University in

Miami has been involved in education for over a decade. Dr. Arbelo Marrero has had the privilege of

teaching and collaborating with NGO projects in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and

in the United States in the areas of curriculum development, social justice research, immigration

policy, action research methods, instructional design, and grant writing. Research interests include:

the academic success of Hispanic students, academic persistence, retention, and the socio-cultural

factors that impact achievement for Hispanic students. Dr. Arbelo-Marrero has earned degrees from

Brooklyn College, Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, and a

doctorate from Liberty University. Dr. Arbelo-Marrero has presented her research and work at the

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Association of Hispanics in Higher Education,

Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators, and the National Association of Hispanic and

Latino Studies.

Thaise Mustellier is an elementary school teacher in south Florida and has earned a Master of Science in

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She completed her graduate degree with a 4.0 grade point

average and chose TESOL as her major because she wanted to master the appropriate strategies to help her

students gain English language proficiency. Her focus in on immigrant student education and helping them

reach their maximum potential and succeed beyond their own expectations.

REFERENCES Aghaie, R., & Lawrence Jun, Z. (2012). Effects of explicit instruction in cognitive and metacognitive

reading strategies on Iranian EFL students' reading performance and strategy transfer. Instructional Science,

40(6), 1063-1081.

Choo, T., Eng, T., & Ahmad, N. (2011). Effects of reciprocal teaching strategies on reading

comprehension. Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 11(2), 140-149.

Griva, E., Alevriadou, A., & Geladari, A. (2009). A qualitative study of poor and good bilingual readers'

strategy use in EFL reading. International Journal of Learning, 16(1), 51-73.

Gruhn-Tomczak, K. (2014). How does talk around reading influence comprehension in third grade? Networks,

16(2), 1-15.

Jafarigohar, M. & Khanjani, A. (2014). Text difficulty effect on metacognitive reading strategy use among

EFL learners. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), 47-59.

Latawiec, B. (2010). Text structure awareness as a metacognitive strategy facilitating EFL/ESL reading

comprehension and academic achievement. International Journal Of Learning, 17(5), 25-48.

Lawrence, L. (2007). Cognitive and metacognitive reading strategies revisited: implications for instruction.

Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 7(3), 55-71.

Noursi, O. (2014). Teaching comprehension: what teachers should know. Perspectives (TESOL Arabia),

22(1), 11-17.

National Center for Education Statistics (2014). The Condition of Education 2014 (NCES 2014-083), English

Language Learners. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=96

Appendix A

Needs Assessment Questionnaire

Name:__________________________

1. Do you like to read?

a) Yes

b) No

c) Sometimes

2. How many days a week do you read books? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3. Usually, do you read by yourself or ask someone to do it for you?

By myself With someone

If you prefer someone to help you, whom do you usually ask? ___________

4. Where do you most often read?

Home School Library

Other ___________________

5. Do you read books that are easy, just right, or difficult? _______________________

6. Do you have problems when you read? What are they?

______________________________________________

Check all that apply

7. When I don't understand what I am reading I

 Look at the pictures

 Read it again

 Look for familiar words

 Underline

 Ask the teacher

 Other ______________

8. I want to learn to

 Read faster

 Understand the meaning of words

 Understand the main idea

 Other _______________

9. I learn best when

 I see pictures

 The teacher speaks slowly

 I hear the story aloud

 Other ______________

Appendix B

Reading Log

Week of

_________

Book Title Author Time Read Parent

Signature

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

New folder (5)/Main instrcutions please follow everything.docx

Action Research Manuscript Template

This document serves as a guide for the requirements of the FINAL ACTION RESEARCH PAPER SUBMISSION – each section must be completed. USE APA and Double Space

a) Cover page – Per APA – Title of Project, Your Name, University Name, Course Title

b) Abstract – The abstract consists of a single, concise paragraph describing the problem, purpose, methods, and results of your study. Use no more than 250 words. Do not write the abstract until you are nearly finished writing, and then draft and redraft until it reads as is a clearly as possible.

c) Introduction and Statement of the Problem (1.5 page maximum)

An overview of the topic of interest and some background information on what your topic is about and how it relates to your school and community. The research question should be described here and remember that at it is to be answered at some point later in the paper. The goal of this section is to combine information about the setting of the action research project and the story behind the project into a smooth narrative that gets the reader engaged in your work’s context; the critical question is also introduced here. This section is usually about three to five pages long. The reader should have a good idea what the paper is about before finishing the first page. In the introduction, be cognizant of the following:

· Context. It is important to communicate to the reader a clear picture of the overall context of your AR project. The way you write the beginning of your paper lays the foundation (weak or strong) for the credibility and trustworthiness of your results and conclusions.

· Use storytelling. Instead of telling about your setting, illustrate it for the reader using stories and anecdotes taken from your notes, reflections, and data. Introduce major players in your analysis and results.

· Include active and layered description. Use multiple data sources to illustrate the setting and story behind the research. It must be clear to the reader that you are thoroughly immersed and engaged in your setting, and are therefore qualified to make credible analyses and interpretations. By referring to some data here you signal to the reader prior to the rest of the paper what type of research this is and how data were generally collected.

· Your story. It is also important to communicate to the reader a clear picture of yourself as the student teacher-researcher and how your own biases and experiences, and assumptions not only influence the study but also provided the fodder for your critical question. This may be woven into your illustration of context by including your own thoughts and memories. If there are key quotes that tell your story in another’s words, consider including the quote in this section. Make it clear how you arrived at your critical question.

· Your critical question. Bring your narrative to a climax in which you lay out your critical question in detail. Explain briefly what your action(s) consisted of. Tell briefly what your conclusions look like (don’t try to keep the reader in suspense).

Literature Review of your Topic (3 page maximum) – Please take your literature review and synthesize the fine points, major themes into a maximum of 3 double spaced pages. What have other researchers found on your topic and in your area? The goal of this section is to introduce the reader to the major issues and/or themes learned from distant colleagues in the literature surrounding your critical question. By broadening your readers' understanding of the major issues surrounding your research, you further solidify the credibility and trustworthiness of your work. This section is generally about three pages long.

· It is best to organize this section in one of two ways: either group the literature you are reviewing by themes or review the literature to provide an overview of the history leading up to the framework for your AR project. For example, one of our students organized her literature review according to these themes: 1) literature on the effectiveness of reading aloud; (2) strategies for increasing reading fluency and comprehension; and (3) meaningful reading fluency and comprehension assessment strategies. Another student organized her literature review as a historical overview of assessment in mathematics. Her review looked at the evolution of mathematical assessments to its present emphasis on problem-solving.

Choose a format that will allow your readers to make the connection between your literature review and the AR study by establishing the theoretical foundation of the action, curriculum review, self-study, or ethnography you later describe in your AR paper.

Note: This section will contain the majority of your citations, although we suggest bringing in the voices of the other researchers that you used in your literature review and also sprinkle that information throughout the paper. Remember that the research question you are exploring is tied to other research that's already been done on this question.

Methodology: My Action Research Project (4 pages maximum)

This is a brief, concise section focusing your reader on the essential elements of your AR project. Assume a more professional style and tone to answer precisely:

· Research Site and Sample Population – A demographic description of sample

· Research Methods Used – Procedures Carried out

· what the critical question was, why the study was conducted, needs assessment, baseline data,

· where the project took place (research site: description of setting);

Intervention (4 pages maximum)

· the interventions, analysis, or strategies you implemented to improve the “problem”;

· the data collection strategies and sources you used, when the data collection occurred (dates of implementation and/or data collection, length of study);

· how data collection was completed (data collection methods – in detail);

· the contents of the data sets you collected;

· the methods you used to analyze, interpret, and deconstruct the data;

· changes you made in your research design.

This is a technical piece of the paper in which the reader gets an inside view of your research process. The idea here is that someone else could do the same research in their classroom by following your detailed descriptions of methodology.

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