Reading and Relationships: Leveraging Community Strengths in a Cross-Age, Bilingual, Dialogic Reading Intervention
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One sociopolitical factor that contributes to the reproduction of education disparities, many argue, is that current curriculum and instruction paradigms do not adequately acknowledge or draw on racial- and/or language-minority students' existing capital and knowledge. This leaves these students in situations where they cannot leverage all of their resources in their learning efforts. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of an intervention designed to build on the language, literacy, and relational strengths of bilingual students in an after-school Latino community organization. Five intermediate-grade students were given extra support via explicit instruction and peer collaboration as they learned to facilitate dialogic reading to kindergarten partners. Grounded in sociocultural theory, this embedded case study examined change over time, and closely attended to the contextual factors of the program (institutional plane of sociocultural activity), students' interactions around text in their partner reading sessions (interpersonal plane of sociocultural activity), and older and younger students' individual literacy proficiency, conceptions of reading, engagement, and self-efficacy (personal plane of sociocultural activity). An extensive set of pre and post field notes, student and teacher interviews, documents, reading inventories (older group), listening comprehension and oral language tests (younger group), as well as audio and video recordings of five weeks of partner reading sessions were analyzed. Findings from this study highlight what is possible for students, particularly language minority students, when they have access to a wide range of their resources and when they experience instruction designed to bridge their existing strengths and practices to new learning and new practices. This research also challenges educators and researchers to carefully consider a spectrum of sociocultural dimensions when designing and investigating literacy learning.
- Education - Seattle