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    ESL/ELL Reading Comprehension and Literacy Development

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    Reading comprehension is required for such daily activities as understanding the news in the newspaper, reading signs along the road, and reading and responding to emails. In today's society, most standardized tests recognize this and require students to answer comprehension questions about what they have read. This can be tricky for students reading the texts in their first language, but what about students reading material in their second language? How can teachers and other individuals help these students with their reading comprehension?

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    Because reading comprehension is a skill that relies on numerous other skills, research about reading comprehension is linked to studies on phonics development, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge.

    In regards to phonics development, Cirino's research (2009) showed explicit instruction that included modeling, scaffolding, frequent feedback, and teaching when and how to use strategies was effective in teaching beginning bilingual Spanish speakers how to decode words. (This was regardless of whether the intervention was in English or in Spanish.) The students occasionally had a hard time generalizing the strategies learned in one language to the other language, but overall every student benefited from this explicit instruction. The work done by Cirino (2009) focused on word identification and phonetics skills, but the researchers did some initial work on reading comprehension as part of the study and found that the same techniques seemed to also improve reading comprehension.

    While ...

    Solution Summary

    Factors and skills relevant to improving ESL/ELL reading comprehension