Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Published by International Reading Association
Online ISSN: 1936-2706
Print ISSN: 1081-3004
Although research on improving child literacy is converging, no such body of research exists for adult literacy. Yet the need is no less significant. This study extends the knowledge garnered with younger populations by determining the reading comprehension strategies most important to adults' success on adult literacy outcome measures and aligning them with previously researched interventions. According to an analysis of key adult literacy outcome measures (i.e., competency-based, standardized tests of literacy commonly accepted as reasonable proxies for the global construct of adult literacy: Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System [CASAS], General Educational Development [GED], and National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP]), adults should benefit from strategies that teach looking for clues in or generating questions about a text. Additionally, adults need to learn how to summarize and draw inferences in order to address higher-level literacy demands. Adult learners also need a metacognitive strategy to self-regulate reading behavior (e.g., choose a strategy to use, evaluate its effectiveness, and abandon and choose another strategy if necessary.) Furthermore, when using a competency-based standardized test, adult learners need to be coincidentally taught test-taking skills to reduce the test-related task demands and produce a better index of a learner's reading comprehension skills.
Online fanfiction communities provide adolescent English-language learners (ELLs) with a forum for engaging in an array of sophisticated literacy practices. This article draws on constructs from literacy studies and second-language acquisition as conceptual bases for exploring the writing, reviewing, and social practices in an online fanfiction community. Analyses focus on how the networked structure of such sites facilitates English-language learning and promotes writing by providing ELLs with access to a broad audience of readers and multiple community writing resources. By highlighting the social and interactive nature of writing in this space, connections among language, literacy, and identity are emphasized. In conclusion, the author explores some of the possibilities that networked computer environments offer for developing authentic, interactive writing activities in the classroom.
This study addresses the gap that exists between literacy educators’ knowledge of content disciplines and the literacy strategies often suggested for use in content classrooms. The authors worked with disciplinary experts in mathematics and geography to understand the differences that exist in their conceptions of the disciplines and what it means to be literate in them. Study results were categorized into themes, which include “major understandings of the field,” “literacy in the discipline,” and “practice of the discipline.” Further subcategories include texts used in the discipline; the types of strategies used to become literate in the discipline, and the types of questions addressed within the discipline. Implications for teachers and teacher candidates are also addressed.
Adolescents seek to understand who they are and where they belong in the world. Quality young adult literature can familiarize them with a broader view of the world, open doors in their minds, and reveal similarities and differences among a multitude of others who have struggled with similar issues. Literature that provides a range of perspectives can broaden young adolescents' vision of self and the world, providing an avenue for reflection and a means for personal development. Quality multicultural literature can also help to interrupt prejudice and misunderstanding by exposing unacknowledged bias and intolerance. Availability of quality young adult literature written by people with a range of perspectives provides all students with affirming images of self and culture.When selecting multicultural literature, accuracy and authenticity about the cultures portrayed are crucial. Identifying appropriate multicultural literature can be problematic for teachers whose days are already encumbered with multiple tasks. To assist in the process, a guide for evaluating multicultural literature is provided, along with suggestions for substantiating an author's credentials for writing about a specific culture. Examples of quality multicultural literature appropriate for middle-level students are also included.
Research indicates that there is a strong relationship between leisure reading and school achievement, but the leisure reading habits of urban adolescents have rarely been studied. From their investigation of the leisure reading habits of 584 urban minority middle school students, the authors identify these key findings:•More than two-thirds of the students indicated that they read for fun and relaxation, to learn new things, or because they were bored.•Magazines were the preferred reading material for both males and females, followed by comics and the Internet.•Celebrities, “people or characters like me,” sports figures, and musicians were among the most popular subjects pursued in respondents' leisure reading.•Reading during summer vacation was not popular with either sex.Based on these findings, the authors provide eight recommendations for teachers and librarians to keep in mind as they strive to support the literacy development of urban adolescents.
Examples of morphological relationships that are easy, somewhat challenging, and challenging
Many students arrive at middle school without the academic language skills they need to read sophisticated texts with comprehension. In particular, English language learners and students from low-income backgrounds attending underresourced, urban middle schools lack opportunities to learn the thousands of academic words they need to succeed. To build their comprehension, teachers must not only teach the meanings of specific vocabulary words, but must also equip students with tools to be active word learners. This article presents a research-based approach to improving adolescents' word-learning abilities by building their understanding of morphology.
Turns per Topic
This article examines two adult book club members’ responses to literary texts over a 23-month period to identify practices that contribute to productive book club participation. Members were interviewed regarding their book selection procedures, preparation for and perceptions of the discussions, and what they valued about the discussions. Discussions were analyzed in terms of book club members drawing on their knowledge and expertise to interpret texts, developing topics based on the number of different turns per topic, and adopting “point-driven” versus “story-driven” stances. Three basic factors are identified as contributors to productive book club participation: (1) the use of codified, vetted selection procedures; (2) collaborative sharing of knowledge and expertise to provide insights into books in ways that transcend members’ individual responses; and (3) the development of discussion topics through building on members’ interpretations.
Secondary preservice teachers often articulate the belief that literacy instruction is irrelevant in their future content-area classrooms. Resistance is not a new concern in literacy teacher education programs, but the longevity of this belief and the absence of content area literacy instruction in the majority of secondary classrooms are distressing realities. This article documents one math teacher's initial negative beliefs about literacy instruction and his teacher literacy identity transformation to openly embrace and advocate for literacy instruction. In order for beliefs to shift regarding content area literacy instruction in secondary social and cultural contexts, teacher educators must focus on the developing teacher literacy identities of the preservice teachers sitting in their classrooms; that is, their conscious and confident view of self as responsible for and in control of improving the literacy learning of self and the competency to enact engagements to guide the literacy learning of students.
Technological changes and the proliferation of digital devices have created new reading experiences for students. The rapid transition from print to digital texts is evident in the movement toward the adoption of an e-book standard, increasing sales of e-book readers and tablet devices, and projections that universities and public schools may use more e-textbooks and e-book devices than print curricula in the near future. Considering these changes, it is necessary to examine the digital tools and the theoretical perspective of affordances, a term originally coined in ecological psychology. This column discusses how affordances are related to multimodal texts. It examines three promising tools with multimodal affordances and argues that this perspective might offer educators a new way of conceptualizing how to use emerging digital technologies.
Donna E. Alvermann, Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, received recognitions and honors as a scholar/leader in adolescent literacy. Her thoughts about contexts for literacy learning challenge that the divide between in- and out-of-school literacy learning is real and needs bridging. Alvermann sees educators creating learning conditions, especially with interactive multimodal communication technologies, that cannot be classified according to a particular context. She began questioning this divide while observing young people's discussions in classrooms and after-school Read and Talk clubs. Educators can tap the potential in youth's multiple literacies as they pertain to motivation, self-efficacy, and engagement. Educational researchers who share this view can increase what they say about learning in general. Metaphorically treating context as a sieve, rather than a structured, impermeable container, can open possibilities for questioning the assumption that literacy learning is qualitatively different in different contexts.
Using multiliteracies and sociocultural perspectives on language and literacy learning, this article describes three Japanese as a foreign language (JFL) students' literacy development through involvement with Japanese popular culture. As part of a larger qualitative ethnographic study, the author interviewed JFL learners who have a particular interest in Japanese popular culture. Analysis suggests that JFL learners develop literacy skills such as word recognition, listening, and pronunciation in the social contexts provided by anime, or Japanese animation. It appears that “anime students” are simultaneously developing foreign language literacy skills, taking up a critical stance toward media, and constructing identities within anime culture.
This article offers recommendations for literacy and mathematics leaders as they design and implement effective professional development and support for middle and secondary mathematics teachers to integrate literacy into their instruction. To cross the mathematics literacy divide, the authors provide an annotated bibliography of articles detailing the effective use of literacy strategies for mathematics instruction. The article closes with a discussion of the characteristics of these articles and list of suggestions for greater collaboration between literacy and mathematics leaders to support the instructional practices of mathematics teachers.
Understandings about genre govern nearly all of the choices writers make. They make choices about form, persuasive moves, conventions, and even ideas through a sense, whether articulated or tacit, of the social situation from which a piece of writing is arising. In a semester-long high school writing course, the authors engaged students in a series of activities designed to help them develop genre awareness. The goal was to support students in becoming more independent and flexible writers who possess genre analysis skills they can apply anywhere. Through whole-class genre studies, self-selected genre studies, and collaborative analyses of state test materials, students built deeper understandings about genre. Their sense of what is “OK” in a piece of writing shifted from successful evaluation by a teacher to successful navigation of the demands of a given rhetorical situation.
In 2006, a secondary English and feminist studies teacher created a course and designed a study around a reading exchange for eighth-grade girls from two vastly different communities. Girls from a school in a northeastern state read young adult novels and wrote about their reading and related topics with girls from Washington, DC on a wikispace created for their collaborations. The participants wrote reading responses, posted videos, and deliberated over questions related to their reading and topics related to the challenges of growing up as girls. In addition, they co-authored a girls' zine for a wider audience. In May, 2006, the girls met face-to-face to continue their work together. This study was designed to address the question: What happens when girls from different locations and backgrounds read and write together, and how might the internet facilitate this exchange? This article describes a part of that exchange.
In a six-week literature circle unit in a tentth-grade classroom, one group of students discussed Dorothy Allison's novel Bastard out of Carolina. By criteria frequently used to judge the quality of discussion, this literature circle was successful. However, several key moments are highlighted that point to the limits of literature circles as they are typically implemented for engaging students in the full critical depth of multicultural and political texts. Finally, suggestions are offered for rethinking literature circle pedagogy with the goal of offering students a more nuanced and robust experience with such texts.
Critical literacy is usually described as a theory with implications for practice, rather than as a distinctive instructional methodology. Critical literacy proponents warn against a too narrowly conceived curricular approach and advocate innovative local solutions.In order to provide exemplars for local adaptation, the author examines 35 articles published between 1999 and 2003 that present lessons or units to support critical literacy at the upper primary or secondary levels. His review organizes the classroom practices into six broad categories based on student activities or tasks:1Reading supplementary texts2Reading multiple texts3Reading from a resistant perspective4Producing countertexts5Conducting student-choice research projects6Taking social action
Researchers collaborated with two high school creative writing teachers to consider how a particular use of technology—PowerPoint poetry interpretations—would function in their creative writing classes. Their findings encouraged them to consider three kinds of “classroom remix” related to the introduction of techno-literacy practices into the curricular activities: (1) “composition remix,” which refers to the blending of visual, linguistic, and auditory composition elements afforded by PowerPoint technology; (2) “mindset remix,” which refers to the way teachers and students create a collage of insider and outsider mindsets; and (3) “participation remix,” which refers to the distribution of knowledge, expertise, and agency. In all cases, the classroom remix created a new blend of patterns and hierarchies that led the teachers, students, and researchers to challenge assumptions and raise new questions about how language arts classrooms function in the digital age.
With the advent of Web 2.0, the “social web,” microblogging has emerged as a popular literacy practice through platforms such as Twitter. Yet the potential of microblogging in educational communities is currently underexplored. This case study of 150 preservice teachers shows how microblogging can positively influence reading and writing, with implications for literacy instruction in primary, elementary, and secondary settings.
The power of culture to shape gender identities becomes particularly crucial for adolescents as they make the transition from child to adult. Yet as adults we offer little coherent, direct instruction in such matters. The author advocates supporting girls as they explore complex and empowering literacy practices, particularly online.
This article explores the use of digital poetry in a secondary English classroom and its implications for adolescents’ multimodal composition and identity development. The authors—an English teacher and a library media specialist—collaborated over the course of three years to design, implement, and reiterate a digital poetry curriculum. Through their work, they sought to infuse new vitality into literacy practices in order to enhance students’ engagement, increase their awareness of audience, and encourage their progressive use of media and technology. After students read, critiqued, and wrote poetry using traditional print text, they then employed digital tools to reinterpret those poems using multimodal elements. The authors argue that if teachers are to successfully implement new literacy practices in their classrooms, they must first establish a community of practice with other like-minded educators in order to engage in ongoing, critical dialogue around issues of literacy, learning, and technology.
Based on a framework of identity-as-narrative and multiliteracies, this article describes Graphic Journeys, a multimedia literacy project in which English learners (ELs) in middle school created graphic stories that expressed their families’ immigration experiences. The process involved reading graphic novels, journaling, interviewing, and integrating written text with family photos and other images to produce original graphic stories with computer software. The components of Graphic Journeys supported a multiliteracies pedagogy in that the students engaged with various linguistic modalities and multiple means of communication, including collaborative learning, composing, visual and graphic arts, and technology. The project also provided a powerful forum where the students could express their individual and family identities, explore their cultural heritage, and share their immigration stories with others. Suggestions are provided as to how the components of Graphic Journeys can be extended to EL academic language and writing development.
Increased attention is being given to the attitudes exhibited by preservice teachers enrolled in secondary-level content area literacy courses, who frequently resist the idea of teaching reading to their future students. To develop a greater understanding of such perspectives, the author analyzed literacy narratives written by undergraduate students enrolled in five sections of secondary-level content area literacy courses. The findings suggest that preservice teachers' past literacy experiences must be addressed before they can acclimate to learning methods designed to support the needs of struggling readers in content area instruction.
This article focuses specifically on teacher candidates’ preconceptions about poetry and poetry teaching and how these preconceptions shift as they work through various tasks on a wiki. Through an analysis of their definitions of poetry and ideas about poetry pedagogy captured in online discussion, survey, and interview responses, the authors explore ways in which beginning teachers can develop confidence in teaching poetry.
The Relation Between Implementation and Student Achievement  
The Relation Between Teacher Implementation and Student Gains  
Use of research-based practices for improving content area literacy of English learners is important both because of their growing numbers and their overall poor academic performance. However, how do we ensure that teachers are implementing proven methods with fidelity? This study shows the direct relationship between teachers' level of implementation of such practices on student achievement. Specifically, we report findings from research through the Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners (CREATE). In the study, teachers learned and implemented the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model of instruction to improve their students' language and content literacy development. The degree to which teachers implemented the model with fidelity resulted in relative improvement in student performance, underscoring the importance of teacher implementation of proven practices.
Example of a Student's Use of e-Book Note and Highlight Text Tools
Contemporary transformations in digital technologies have prompted a reassessment of what literacy means and what is determined a “text.” Traditionally, text has been perceived as written messages and symbols in the forms of books, magazines, and newspapers. Today, text is recognized as much more than written words or images.As teachers consider the need to expand the definition of text to keep up with the evolution of digital technologies, they should remember that today's readers are immersed in multimodal experiences and, consequently, have a keen awareness of the possibility of combining modes and media to receive and communicate messages. This awareness results in an urgent need for teachers and researchers to address the discrepancy between the types of literacy experiences students encounter at school (paper, pencil, and print texts), and those they practice in their daily lives outside the school environment (Web 2.0). One way to bridge such incongruity is to expand the types of texts students are exposed to and engaged with at school by turning attention to electronic books.لقد أثارت التحويلات المعاصرة في التقنيات الرقمية إعادة تقييم معنى معرفة القراءة والكتابة والمعنى المحدد للـ((نص)). كان ينظر إلى كلمة النص تقليدياً كرسائل مكتوبة ورموز في أشكال الكتب والمجلات والجرائد. ولكن اليوم يعتبر النص كشيء أكثر بكثير من كلمات مكتوبة أو صور مطبوعة.حين يتأمل المعلمون الحاجة لتوسيع تعريف النص كي يلاحقوا تطور التقنيات الرقمية فينبغي عليهم أن يتذكروا بأن قراء اليوم منغمسون في تجارب ذات تعددية الطرق وبالتالي لديهم وعي مرهف لاحتمال جمع الطرق والوسائل كي يستلموا الرسائل ويسلموها. ويتنج هذا الوعي حاجة ماسة للمعلمين والباحثين إلى تناول الخلاف بين أنواع تجارب التعلم التي يواجهها الطلاب في المدرسة (الورقة والقلم والنص المكتوب) والتي يمارسونها في حياتهم اليومية خارج بيئة المدرسة (ويب 2.0). إن تصليح عدم التوافق كهذا يتم على أساس توسيع أنواع النصوص يتعرضها الطلاب ويشتغلون معها في المدرسة عن طريق استرعاء الانتباه إلى كتب إلكترونية.当代数码技术的转化已促使人们重新评估读写能力的定义及什么才算是「文本」。从传统角度看,文本一直被视为书籍、杂志及报纸中的书面信息与符号。现今,文本被认为不单止包含书面文字或图像信息。当教师考虑需要扩展文本的定义以配合数码技术发展时,他们应该记着现今的阅读者都是沉浸在多模态的经验中,因此都会强烈地意识到结合各种模态及媒体以接收及传达信息的可能性。这种意识导致教师与研究者迫切地需要应付学生在校内所遇到的读写文化经验(纸、铅笔及印刷文本)与学生在校外日常生活环境所实践的读写文化经验(Web2.0)两者之差异的问题。一个协调这种差异的方法就是教师把注意力转向电子书本,以扩阔学生在学校里所接触到及所投入阅读的文本类型。Les transformations contemporaines des technologies numériques incitent à une réévaluation de ce que signifie la littératie et de ce que l'on appelle « texte ». Traditionnellement, un texte était perçu comme des messages et des symboles écrits sous forme de livres, magazines, et journaux. Aujourd'hui, un texte apparaît comme beaucoup plus que des écrits faits de mots ou d'images.Au moment où les enseignants prennent en compte la nécessité d'étendre la définition du texte pour prendre en compte l'évolution des technologies numériques, il faut qu'ils se souviennent qu'aujourd'hui les lecteurs sont immergés dans des expériences multimodales et, par conséquent, ont une conscience aigüe de la possibilité de combiner des modalités et des médias pour recevoir et envoyer des messages. De cette conscience résulte un besoin urgent pour les enseignants et les chercheurs de prendre en compte le décalage entre les types d'expérience de littératie que les élèves rencontrent à l'école (papier, crayon, et textes imprimés), et ceux qu'ils pratiquent dans leur vie quotidienne hors de l'école (Web 2.0). Une façon de venir à bien de cette contradiction est de diversifier les types de textes qui sont présentés aux élèves et auxquels ils ont à faire à l'école en s'intéressant aux livres électroniques.Современные достижения в области цифровых технологий заставляют переоценить такие понятия как “грамотность” и “текст”. До сих пор под “текстом” понимались письменные сообщения и символы в форме книг, журналов и газет. Сегодня это понятие трактуется шире, чем только письменные слова или изображения. Учителям, которые хотят идти в ногу со временем, следует учесть, что сегодняшние читатели имеют обширный мультимодальный опыт и легко комбинируют форматы и средства обмена информацией. Учителям и ученым надо безотлагательно преодолеть пропасть, существующую между моделью грамотности, с которой сталкиваются ученики в школе (бумага, карандаш и печатный текст), и их ежедневной практикой за пределами школы (Web 2.0). Один из способов “осовременить” преподавание состоит в том, чтобы знакомить учащихся с текстами разнообразных форматов – в частности, с электронными книгами.Las transformaciones de hoy día en las tecnologías digitales han provocado una revaluación del significado de alfabetización y lo que es un “texto.” Tradicionalmente, el texto ha sido considerado como mensajes escritos y símbolos en forma de libros, revistas y periódicos. Hoy sabemos que “texto” es algo más que palabras escritas o imágenes.A medida que los maestros consideran la necesidad de expandir la definición de texto para estar al día con la evolución de las tecnologías digitales, deben recordar que los lectores de hoy están inmersos en experiencias multimodales y, por lo tanto, están muy concientes de las posibilidades de combinar modos y medios para recibir y mandar mensajes. Esta conciencia hace urgente la necesidad de que los maestros y los investigadores aborden la discrepancia entre las clases de experiencias de competencias que los estudiantes encuentran en la escuela (papel, lápiz, textos impresos), y las que ellos practican en sus vidas diarias fuera de la escuela (Web 2.0). Una manera de salvar tal incongruencia es incrementar los diferentes tipos de textos que los estudiantes encuentran en las escuelas usando libros electrónicos.
The authors explain an instructional framework that gradually releases responsibility from teachers to learners. The article illustrates with an example of real teaching from an arts classroom, and multimedia supplements (http:www.reading.orgGeneralPublicationsJournalsJAALSupplementalContentjaalJAAL-53-1-Rosssupp-1.aspx) further demonstrate what modeling and gradual release of responsibility look like with teachers and teens.تلخيص البحث: يوفر هذا المخطوط القراء بمعلومات عن التعليم في إطار التنازل التدريجي عن المسؤولية. ويشرح المؤلفون النموذج التعليمي وثمة يضربون مثالاً لتعليم حقيقي من صف فنون.本文是关于以渐进式责任解除为理论框架的教学方法。本文作者解释这教学方法的模式,及提供一个文科课堂的真实教学示例。Cet article apporte aux lecteurs des informations sur l'enseignement dans un cadre comportant une responsabilité progressive. Les auteurs présentent leur modèle pédagogique puis apportent un exemple concret d'enseignement dans une classe d'enseignement des arts.Читатели получат информацию о методах обучения, основанных на постепенном перераспределении ответственности между учителем и учащимися – в пользу последних. Авторы объясняют учебную модель и приводят в пример работу учителя-предметника на уроках художественного творчества и истории искусств.Este manuscrito presenta a los lectores con información sobre la enseñanza basada en el marco de liberación gradual de responsabilidad. Los autores explican el modelo de instrucción y proveen un ejemplo real en una clase de arte.
Using the framework of social literacies studies, this article illustrates the central role of pleasure as both the motivation for and result of rap composition. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted with four young adults who are part of a rap collective, the author identifies three key sources of pleasure in composition:1Discourse membership2Self-expression and self-representation3PlayThese young adults, aged 15 to 21, are part of the very demographic overrepresented in statistics of school dropouts and underachievement: they are urban, African American, and from low-income backgrounds. Their passion for writing belies the statistics, and will be recognizable to educators who have seen adolescents trading oral rhymes in school hallways and scribbling lyrics in their notebooks. This article contributes to the growing body of research on situated literacy practices, offers insights about the young rappers and writers in our midst, and highlights the importance of creating contexts for learning that speak to youths' experiences and motivations.
Graduate Program Concentrations in Argumentation and Forensics
Graduate Faculty
Graduate Students
This column provides reviews of adolescent and adult professional resources and provides a valuable resource for professional resource selection in- and outside the classroom.
Response to Intervention (RTI) has the potential to have a positive impact on adolescent literacy by requiring content-area teachers to provide Tier 1 literacy instruction. This commentary suggests that content-area teachers can help their students improve their content knowledge and literacy skills by providing discipline-specific strategy instruction in their classes. To do this, content-area teachers should have a clear understanding of how literacy is used in their discipline and demonstrate those processes for their students. Moreover, content-area teachers should provide students with more opportunities to read grade-appropriate texts, differentiate reading materials, and assess literacy progress. Furthermore, content-area teachers should provide literacy coaches with classroom texts and topics so that Tier-2 interventions can be coordinated with classroom teaching. These changes in content-area teaching could make a difference in the literacy achievement of students.
Uses the "ABCs" of lesson planning so teachers can put the theory of active learning into practice and make learning more meaningful for their students. Concludes that teachers can make reading and learning more meaningful for their students by tying together the three themes of building student interest through attention grabbers, teaching the basics, and supporting comprehension through reading strategies. (SG)
The wide adoption of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in the U.S. has increased expectations for all teachers to prepare all learners to read and write in academic ways. More knowledge is needed about instructional approaches that may lead adolescent English learners (ELs) to meet this goal. Developing academic literacy practices represents an acute challenge for adolescent ELs. This article describes an eight-week instructional unit in a U.S. urban public high school that investigated the effectiveness of using the genre-based Reading to Learn approach to support 20 adolescent ELs in learning to write academic-style persuasive essays. Results indicated a statistically significant increase from pretest to posttest in the participants' effective use of the linguistic resources that function to create persuasion in an academic way. These findings suggest that the Reading to Learn approach may be one way to support adolescent ELs in developing academic literacy practices.
This column features essays written by current middle school and high school teachers, media specialists, librarians, literacy coaches, curriculum specialists, administrators, preservice teachers, teacher educators, and adolescent and adult learners. They highlight diverse perspectives on teaching and/or learning with literacies to inspire reader reflection.
This column features essays written by current middle school and high school teachers, media specialists, librarians, literacy coaches, curriculum specialists, administrators, preservice teachers, teacher educators, and adolescent and adult learners. They highlight diverse perspectives on teaching and/or learning with literacies to inspire reader reflection.
Addresses a concern that integrating packaged technology (such as Accelerated Reader) is taking precedence over maintaining theoretically sound instructional practices. Addresses several arguments against the use and effectiveness of the Accelerated Reader program. Challenges educators to read the results and analysis of the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading assessments and to look at other recognized reading programs. (SG)
Level of Agreement with the Statement “Most or all of my close friends like reading in their spare time” by Gender
Increasing recreational reading is a priority in a climate of growing adolescent aliteracy. Raising the social appeal of books has been identified as one potential avenue for arresting this trend. An understanding of the current social acceptability of book reading amongst contemporary adolescents is important in informing an effective approach to raise the status of book reading, as is insight into how this status impacts upon attitudes toward, and engagement in, recreational book reading. Friend and peer group attitudes may impact upon the palatability of recreational book reading, and this impact may differ for gender. Findings from the 2012 West Australian Study in Adolescent Book Reading (WASABR) are analyzed to provide insight into these key areas, with implications for educators considered.
This article describes a study of both textual and reader response analyses of "The Skin I'm In" by Sharon Flake. Because gender and race constitute central themes in the narrative, Black feminist thought and feminism undergirded the textual critique. Critics' reviews, scholarly articles, and published author interviews also supported the textual analysis. Data were triangulated with excerpts from female student responses to the text and, specifically, their interpretations of the metanarrative of colorism. Reader interpretations occurred during an after-school book club with middle grade African American students. Findings revealed three ways in which readers identified with the story. These led to a discussion about whether and how the study's findings reflect current conversations in the literacy field about using stories pedagogically to examine and disrupt race- and gender-based inequities.
Shares some responses from those involved in an ongoing oral history and writing project that connects members from a senior center writing group with children 9 to 12 years old from a self-contained special education program. Hopes that these comments and insights will serve as a parting testimony to the value of such intergenerational efforts. (SG)
Tour Across America is an interdisciplinary, project-based, multimodal (IPM) activity where students get the opportunity to apply what they learn to a real-life situation while illustrating the interdisciplinary nature of literacy. It provides students with a high-interest, creative platform to review, reinforce, and integrate learned literacy skills and strategies across the content areas. Tour Across America allows students the opportunity to become concert tour managers for a fictional band. This IPM framework is an appropriate supplemental activity for upper elementary through high school language arts classes, regardless of the students’ ability levels or socioeconomic status. This article contributes to the research on adolescent literacy in two ways: by demonstrating the importance of using IPM strategies to bridge the gap between in-school literacies and out-of-school literacies, and by providing an activity that is effective and efficient at getting students to become literate across the content areas.
Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published in Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, published by and copyright International Reading Association. In this study the author charts the trajectory of an adolescent student's identity, from being a struggling reader to a competent reader and successful young actor. The author argues that reading is central to our ability to make sense of both our inner selves and our surroundings, and that it is therefore imperative that unskilled readers are given opportunities to improve. A modified Neurological Impress Method Plus is shown to contribute to the focus student's substantial improvements in reading, and to the positive evolution of her sense of identity. Qualitative and quantitative data are combined to provide a vivid account of the student's relationship with reading. Analysis of this relationship helps to challenge some assumptions about the relationship between adolescence, identity, and dyslexia. The article finishes with suggestions for teaching reading with teenage students who have been labelled poor readers.
Suggests that public doublespeak is an abuse of language, power, and people and that it is an excellent site for investigating and understanding the power of discourse. Discusses motivation for doublespeak, skillful use of language, and deconstructing doublespeak. (RS)
This article argues that issues surrounding adolescent literacies problematize the relationship between the acquisition of core skills, the need to connect with a more expansive repertoire of literate practices, and a middle school reform initiative that encourages greater connectedness to the world of the adolescent. The terms public literacy and private literacy are used to offer an expanded notion of the concept of adolescent literacy. A case study representing one teacher and one student's construction of literacy in a year 8 homeroom is presented to determine whether attention was paid to an expanded notion of what it means to be literate as young adolescents. It is argued that the private literacies of adolescents need to be teased out and embedded within middle school reform.
Writing instruction plan by month (90-minute classes per day)
Considers how a systematic approach to writing instruction would increase students' performance in both writing and reading. Notes that teachers should connect their reading and writing activities in meaningful ways because reading and writing are reciprocal and mutually reinforcing. Describes use of a "gradual release" model in which teachers move from assuming all the responsibility for performing a task to a situation in which students assume all responsibility. (SG)
Suggesting that teaching in New Times requires that educators read and re/mediate the social relations, the cultural knowledges, and the relationships of power between adolescents and their social, biological, and semiotic universes, this collection of essays offers new ways of seeing and talking about adolescents and their literacies. Most of the essays were presented at the 1999 International Reading Association annual convention in San Diego, California, and all are reprinted from the February 2000 issue of the "Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy." The essays are all deliberate attempts to raise and "change the subject" of adolescent literacy by pushing the boundaries of the field. After an editorial by Allan Luke and John Elkins, essays in the book are: "Reinventing Adolescent Literacy for New Times: Perennial and Millennial Issues" (Elizabeth Birr Moje, Josephine Peyton Young, John E. Readence, and David W. Moore); "Teenagers in New Times: A New Literacy Studies Perspective" (James Paul Gee); "New Literacies in Teacher Education" (Carmen Luke); "Fandom and Critical Media Literacy" (Donna E. Alvermann and Margaret C. Hagood); "Critical Literacy in Australia: A Matter of Context and Standpoint" (Allan Luke); and "But Will It Work in the Heartland? A Response and Illustration" (Cynthia Lewis and Bettina Fabos). (RS)
Addresses two interrelated factors needed to be resolved at the commencement of any Critical Literacy approach in the mainstream subject classroom--the nature of the texts presented and the concept of resistance. Lists three strategies that help to build background knowledge: activating existing prior knowledge; building on that knowledge from a contemporary localized perspective; and adding new information during reading. (SG)
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