An exploration of how teacher language scaffolds the development of strategic processing in emergent readers

Polly Ann Lee, Purdue University

Abstract

The focus of the study was the examination of the influence of teacher language on the development of strategic processing in emergent readers. The research questions were: (1) Is there a correlation between the frequency of using language to scaffold learning and student demonstrations of behaviors in terms of strategic, self-regulated processing? (2) Is there a correlation between the type of teacher language used and student demonstrations of behaviors in terms of strategic, self-regulated processing? (3) Are students aware of their own mental processing with respect to literacy strategies they use? ^ Four sources of data were used for this study: An Observation Survey of Early Literacy (Clay, 2002) pretest and posttest, (b) Schmitt's (1998) Metacognitive Interview pretest and posttest, (c) audiotapes of the new book introduction and the child's first reading of the new book, and (d) students' Running Record sheets from the second reading of the book the next day. ^ The study, which explored the relationship between teacher language and the development of strategic processing in emergent readers during Reading Recovery lessons, involved eight student-teacher pairs as participants. ^ The new book introductions and the teachers' interactions with the students during the first reading of the book were audio taped for lessons 1-15 of the students' Reading Recovery intervention. The audiotapes of the teachers' language and the students' Running Records were analyzed across eleven categories: (a) searching for information, (b) self-monitoring, (c) cross-checking, (d) rereading to problem solve, (e) rereading to confine, (f) taking words apart in reading, (g) linking sound to letter sequence, (h) self-correcting, (i) using meaning as an information source, (j) using structure as an information source, and (k) using visual as an information source. Statistical analysis was used to determine if a relationship existed between the type of teacher language used and the students' development of reading behaviors that provide evidence of the development of strategic processing. ^ The findings of this study, although not providing evidence of cause and effect, do suggest that teacher language is related to the development of strategic processing in emergent readers. One implication for instruction is the worthiness of providing educational training for teachers to build knowledge, understanding, and expertise in the area of teaching for strategic processing. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Reading

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