Wednesday, February 25, 2009

K-12 Topic: Interesting Research (2)

10-second review: Variety of topics and findings in recent research.

Title: “Annotated of Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” ed. R Beach, et al. Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) (November 2008), 188-235. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

1. SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). Did the use of SSR affect students’ reading for pleasure? Studies effects of SSR on student’s attitudes toward reading and on reading habits. Three times during one-year period. Significant increase in students’ reading books for pleasure. Decline in students’ reading for pleasure outside of school.
SP Chua. The Clearing House, 81 (4), 180-184. RTE (Nov. 08), 206. [Comment: Maybe the decline is the result of making SSR required in school. Some kids hate required reading. My own father never read a book after completing law school because of it. If reading has some specific purposes, people will read. I think. RayS.]

2. Reading. When does students reading start to decline? How do children and their parents feel about reading print and online? Surveyed 501 children aged 5-17 and their parents. Half read books two or three times a week. Favorite books are self-selected. Reading for fun declines age 8 through adolescence. Online reading supplements and extends, but does not replace reading books. 62% prefer to read print over computer texts. Parents are sources for book suggestions but have difficulty finding information about books.
Yankovich and Scholastic. (2008). Scholastic Publishers. RTE (Nov. 08), 209-210. [Comment: Interesting findings on reading print in books and magazines vs. online. RayS.]

3. ELL (English Language Learners). What are the negative influences in English Language Learners’ learning to master English? “Critiques standardized testing and the many classes devoted to review for the tests, inauthentic language use/materials, and lack of meaningful literacy instruction related to students’ most important goals (e.g., finding a job, communicating with landlords and child’s teachers).”
D.S. Warriner. (2007). Linguistics and Education. 18 (3-4), 305-324. RTE (Nov. 08), 214. [Comment: If they have a purpose, they will learn to read it. I think. RayS. ]

4. ELL (English Language Learners, i.e., Learning English as a Second Language). What works in teaching English Language Learners? Show interest in ELLs’ culture. Encourage ELLs to share their cultural experiences. Include ELLs as full participants in class activities. Model how to appreciate ELLs’ cultural differences. Encourage mainstream students to support ELLs’ classroom learning.
P Yoon. (2007). Reading Teacher. 61 (3), 216-225. RTE (Nov. 08), 214. [Comment: Interesting summary of attitudes and behaviors needed to work successfully with English Language Learners (ELLs). RayS.]

5. Writing Drafts. Does writing drafts improve students’ writing? “Finds that over half of first drafts scored as well if not better than final drafts for general students; no significant differences between first and final drafts for special education and ‘general education’ eighth graders.”
L Crawford and K Smolkowski. Accessing Writing 13 (1), 61-77. RTE (Nov. 08), 226. [Comment: That’s my experience. I learned it long ago. The writing process helps people to start writing, tells them how to organize and how to polish their writing. But drafts only help when people are trying to say something more clearly and smoothly. Purpose is all. RayS.]

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