Advanced Literacy Practices: Volume 2

Cover of Advanced Literacy Practices

Table of contents

(25 chapters)

As the second volume in the book series, Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, this text was envisioned to disseminate salient information about literacy clinics. From historical perspectives to cutting-edge practices, this compilation fills a void in existing literature as it relates to best clinical practices. Advancing the mission of literacy clinics requires their relevancy to be widely recognized by literacy professionals; this volume serves to springboard clinical practices back into the limelight.

Purpose – This historical perspective highlights the evolution of reading clinics (also called literacy labs, centers, etc.) from medical-type clinics to instructional powerhouses for struggling readers. Of particular interest, also, is the development of teacher expertise while participating in reading clinics, particularly in the areas of reflection, a critical view of assessments, and using assessment to inform instruction. Furthermore, this chapter traces the history of research that has come out of reading clinics.

Design/Methodology/Approach – A brief history of reading clinics since the 1920s is followed by a deep examination of some of the themes that have shaped more recent reading clinics and research that has emerged from the clinics: assessment, mandates, teacher reflection, and twenty-first Century Literacies.

Practical implications – This chapter offers key information for stakeholders who are designing, establishing, or refining a reading clinic, either university-based or K-12 school-based.

Social implications – Struggling readers and writers deserve and need experiences that help them acquire literacy skills, including reading and writing for twenty-first century purposes. Teachers need support as they navigate mandates from educational policy-makers, enhance their skills as literacy leaders and literacy coaches, and reflect on best practices.

Purpose – This chapter provides the reader with an overview of the process involved in creating a Literacy Center to help students to rise above challenges and flourish academically. It focuses on instructional planning that brings the curriculum to life for P-12 students and emphasizes their strengths and interests.

Methodology/Approach – The authors describe the process of creating a Literacy Center that focuses on students’ strengths and enhances student achievement. They communicate the factors involved in (1) initiating the planning process, (2) designing a policy manual, (3) creating instructional frameworks, and (4) enhancing literacy development through support from home.

Practical implications – This chapter includes a detailed overview of the creation of a Literacy Center, a process that could be replicated by the educators who read the chapter. This description provides educators with insights that could facilitate the planning process and provide ideas for lesson planning and curriculum development in a Literacy Center.

Social implications – The chapter suggests how faculty could work together to create a Literacy Center to enhance student achievement in the community. This could potentially help P-12 students in many locations to acquire the skills and strategies they need in order to turn challenges into strengths. This will help Literacy Centers to provide effective, research-based literacy instruction and promote outstanding literacy leadership in our schools.

Purpose – The chapter describes how teacher preparation programs can design effective off-campus clinical programs. Information provided is applicable to clinical practicums, capstone experiences, and to individual course assignments at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Methodology/Approach – The author describes the foundational components involved in designing a high-quality off-campus clinical-based program. These components include selecting and building a partnership with an off-campus site, using forms, fees, space, and materials, engaging families, aligning assignments to course content, grading, supervision, and acquiring funding.

Practical implications – In addition to the foundational components involved in designing an effective off-campus clinic, the chapters describes a university-based model that uses two different off-campus clinical-based experiences that support community-based programs and local area schools.

Social implications – The chapter addresses the need for teacher preparation programs to build partnerships with off-campus community-based programs to better prepare teachers to meet the literacy demands of all students, particularly students living and learning in urban communities.

Purpose – The chapter provides the reader with an overview of the UCF Enrichment Programs in Literacy that includes a year-round reading clinic with undergraduate and graduate students serving as clinicians and a summer Digital Storytelling Camp. The focus of the chapter is on the development and evolution of these programs, with an emphasis on the role of coaching in the clinic process.

Methodology/approach – The authors describe how they used Bean's Levels of Coaching Complexity (2004), adapting it to their clinical setting, to meet the current high demand for reading coaches in schools, and to strengthen their reading program courses and practicum experiences.

Practical implications – In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the UCF Enrichment Programs in Literacy, this chapter includes the nuts and bolts of how the authors “coach for success” in the reading clinic. This involves coaching for success during data collection, in the analysis and decision-making process, in the delivery of tutoring, and beyond the clinic setting. Along with the tutoring process, specific teaching tools (including student samples) and photographs are shared in order to allow for replication by educators who read this chapter.

Social implications – This chapter suggests how reading programs in colleges of education can reexamine their existing field experiences to develop a more deliberate model intended to (1) extend clinician skills in reading assessment, diagnosis, and instructional delivery; (2) promote self-reflection and collaborative professional learning; and (3) provide mentoring experiences that can be replicated in school and district settings by graduate student clinicians as they acquire new leadership roles and responsibilities. This chapter proposes programs that offer consistent, affordable instructional support in literacy for children and families in the surrounding community.

Purpose – This chapter describes a university-based reading clinic for struggling readers. Created over 40 years ago, this reading clinic continually evolves as it is founded on well-grounded theory and the most current research. The purpose of the chapter is to explain this foundation and how it has informed the structure and day-to-day operations of a successful clinic program.

Methodology/approach – The reading clinic described in this chapter is based largely on the theoretical premises of self-determination theory. This theory has been widely researched in a variety of fields and contexts, including educational settings. Self-determination theory research and reading research, conducted from a multitude of perspectives, provide support for appropriate practices designed to create a motivating classroom environment.

Practical implications – The ideas presented in this chapter show how research and theory can be successfully applied to classroom settings. The author describes various ways in which the theory and research have led to specific, practical decisions in the reading clinic setting. Broadening the use of these practices to regular classroom contexts is also discussed.

Social implications – Despite research that has established how teachers can create a meaningful, motivating classroom environment, unsound practices continue to be used in classrooms everywhere. If, as most educators claim, we want students to become independent thinkers who are able to contribute meaningfully to society, then we need to seriously examine the controlling, performance-oriented, competitive practices that are typical in many classrooms today. We must move toward creating classrooms where the focus is on learning and where children enjoy ownership of the learning process. This chapter describes a program for struggling readers that operates from this stance.

Purpose – To provide educators with an overview of strategies that can be incorporated into clinical settings that foster vocabulary and comprehension development.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter highlights underlying themes of reading failure, benefits of large vocabularies and comprehension skills, and components for remediation/instruction.

Findings – Content provides detailed information on designing clinics that prepare students to meet the vocabulary and comprehension demands of reading in the 21st century.

Research limitations/implications – The chapter highlights the most reliable and practical reading strategies that are fundamental to every reader's advancement.

Practical implications – This chapter serves as a resource for all clinical instructors, providing a wealth of ideas for incorporation into their clinics and classrooms.

Originality/value of paper – This compilation of vocabulary and comprehension strategies works in tandem to produce highly skilled readers who can in turn learn independently.

Purpose – This chapter profiles a summer reading clinic that utilizes graduate students (clinicians) to provide diagnostic literacy intervention for students in grades one through six who struggle with reading and writing. The chapter asserts that struggling readers can become successful when instruction is designed around research-based principles of teaching and learning. A description is provided of the instructional routine employed at the clinic that focuses on fluency and has been shown to assist students in making significant improvements in their literacy progress.

Methodology/approach – The authors describe how teachers and intervention specialists work together to provide an effective intervention to the students that emphasizes a specific guided oral fluency routine known as the Fluency Development Lesson (FDL). Each step in the FDL is explained. Prior to instruction, clinicians administered an informal reading inventory to gain baseline data about the students in the areas of word recognition, fluency, and comprehension and to subsequently inform instruction. During the fifth and final week of the program, posttests were administered. T-Tests indicated that students made significant progress (p <.001) from pretest to posttest in all areas measured.

Limitations – The authors acknowledge that the study is small in scale, the intervention period was limited, and the results may have been influenced by outside factors beyond their control.

Research implications – The study's primary purpose was to improve the reading outcomes of the students involved. The reading clinic setting is ideal for further FDL research including its impact on older students and the incorporation of digital texts on student performance. Additionally, readers of the chapter are encouraged to apply the methods and processes to their own classrooms.

Originality/value – This chapter shows how a summer reading clinic strives to apply research-based, common sense factors that matter most in teaching struggling students to read in intervention and classroom settings. Some of the factors such as the importance of instructional routine, time-on-task, text selection, targeted teaching, and instructional talk are considered key to the successful implementation of the FDL and the clinical experience.

Purpose – This chapter outlines a six-week graduate level writing practicum that fosters collaboration among teachers, elementary school writers, and families.

Design – Through the voices of teachers, students, and families, the authors describe a newly developed writing practicum where teachers engage in the writing process to build communities of writers and develop partnerships with families.

Practical implications – Teacher educators can use the practices presented in this chapter as a springboard to create their own school-based writing practicum.

Originality/value – This approach to teacher education values communities of writers and family partnerships to build on student writers’ strengths and interests.

Purpose – To share a model of preparing special educators to teach reading to students with mild-to-moderate disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors describe a specific model for preparing special educators to teach reading.

Findings – Data are provided regarding the effectiveness of this model of special education teacher preparation based on performance of students with disabilities who participated in the program.

Research limitations/implications – This research was done as a program evaluation and may have validity and generalizability limitations.

Practical implications – Other institutions of higher education may gain insight on how a similar preservice teacher preparation program could be developed and implemented at their institution.

Originality/value – The school/university partnership described is extremely unique and effective in preparing future special educators to teach reading to students with disabilities.

Purpose – This chapter describes the structure and environment of the Cougar Literacy Clinic, the theoretical framework, and the transferred and transformed knowledge and practices that support the constituents as a community of learners.

Theoretical perspective/methodology – Our research embraces theories of transfer and transformation, self-extending systems, intersubjectivity, social constructivism, social learning, and social cultural that helps to explain how children, families, teachers, other educators, administrators, professors, and community members learn and benefit through mutual interactions, as they find ways to help each other become better thinkers and decision makers. The data were categorized into four types of practices from the clinical experience that have transferred to and transformed the school and community. These categories of practices include assessment, instruction, coaching and consultation, and family–school–community literacy connections. The data analysis and interpretation demonstrate the importance of having a shared understanding regarding literacy development, learning, and teaching that enhances each member's intellectual and academic growth.

Practical implications – Our Cougar Literacy Clinic innovations, built on beliefs of shared understanding, can be a model for both existing and newly established clinics that are striving to transform the thinking of each member involved. During assessment practices, each of the constituents will learn to make informed decisions on the selection of assessments and analysis of assessment data, confidently identify their own and others strengths and needs, and provide constructive feedback. In the areas of instruction, reciprocal coaching, and family–school–community literacy connections, each of the constituents will learn to focus on strengths and prior knowledge, scaffold learning, and pose and respond to questions.

Purpose – To provide educators with an overview of issues and strategies important for preparing preservice teachers to plan instruction, engage students, and assess learning in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter reviews sociocultural, sociolinguistic, and cognitive literature that informs differentiated instruction for linguistic diversity. It then offers a case study example of a preservice student teaching seminar where this knowledge was put into practice.

Findings – Content provides detailed information about the design of a preservice seminar that included the role of a nationally piloted performance assessment. It demonstrates how preparing the assessment portfolio provided a vehicle for a structured and useful focus on diversity within the seminar.

Research limitations/implications – The chapter highlights literature that is specifically useful for preservice teachers and their instructors who are seeking to address the specific needs of English Language Learners and the culturally diverse population of students found in U.S. classrooms. This is important to those who seek to expand this attention to diversity within general teacher education practices.

Practical implications – This chapter serves as a resource for all clinical instructors, providing ideas for incorporation into their clinics and classrooms.

Originality/value of paper – Culturally responsive teaching and a specific focus on teaching English Language Arts for linguistically diverse students are infused in clinical teacher education practices rather than as “add-on” practices.

Purpose – This chapter explores how teachers and learners can use technology in powerful and agentive ways for literacy development. It presents information about communication technologies (ICTs) that can be used to develop student literacy skills in each of the major areas of literacy learning: emergent to beginning literacy, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. It also addresses how assistive technologies fit within a literacy development program.

Design/methodology/approach – A brief overview of the breadth of technologies available for instructional uses and the pedagogical perspective used is followed with specific ideas for free or inexpensive technologies that can be used to address literacy development. Additionally, websites for professional reviews of software are included to help readers learn about emerging technologies and software applications as they become available.

Practical implications – Specific ideas for instruction that addresses student literacy development while integrating 21st-century technology are included. Teachers and teacher educators will find immediately useful, practical ideas for boosting literacy learning with technologies matched to specific literacy needs such as sight words, fluency, and comprehension.

Social implications – Struggling readers and writers deserve and need experiences that help them acquire technology skills. Too often these students are excluded from technology activities because they are participating in intervention instruction or do not finish seatwork and have no available “free” or “choice” time. Technology can be a powerfully motivating tool for literacy instruction. It can also provide engaging practice, targeted specifically at the learning needs and developmental stage of the literacy learner. Most importantly, struggling readers and writers need exposure to the academic possibilities of technology.

Purpose – The purpose of the chapter is to provide the reader with an overview of the “Pocket Tutor” project. This project created and implemented read-aloud enhanced podcasts into a University Reading Clinic. The authors provide suggestions for creating, implementing, and modifying the project.

Methodology/approach – The chapter is organized from rationale to creation to implementation. The chapter then makes recommendations for future projects.

Practical implications – The chapter demonstrates how a University Reading Clinic implemented read-aloud enhanced podcasts. These are inexpensive to create and host on free websites for families to access.

Originality/value of paper – As many struggling readers need motivation to read independently outside of school, the Pocket Tutor project provides a viable resource for engaging these readers. Not only are they listening to text at their instructional level, they are also being provided with metacognitive comprehension prompts.

Purpose – The chapter provides the reader with an overview of the impact technology has on literacy education and makes a case for utilizing the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework for incorporating instructional technology in the reading clinic. The focus then shifts to how instructional technologies can be utilized to enhance literacy learning during a one-on-one tutoring program.

Methodology/approach – The author describes the changing nature of literacy instruction and the need for 21st century skills for teacher candidates and the students they serve. Pedagogical possibilities and instructional expectations are shared through discussion of the technology activities used by teaching candidates participating in school-based reading clinics.

Practical implications – In addition to descriptions of how teacher candidates utilized technology within their reading clinic instruction, the author notes affordances and challenges of integrating technology in one-on-one instructional settings. Instructional uses of eReaders, laptops, and iPads for literacy learning are noted in the chapter for possible replication in other reading clinic programs. Future directions for additional research are included.

Social implications – The chapter suggests how the university reading clinic can provide opportunities for teacher candidates to work collaboratively with students to incorporate technology into literacy learning activities. Working with technology in a tutoring environment serves as a foundation for incorporating digital literacy instruction in teacher candidates’ future classrooms and ensuring that students have the 21st century skills necessary for college and employment.

Purpose – This chapter provides the reader with an overview of a reflective video pedagogy for use within a literacy center or within professional development contexts. The conceptual overview is followed by two-case examples that reveal how literacy centers can serve as rich, productive research sites for the use and study of reflective video pedagogy.

Methodology/approach – The authors describe their ongoing work to develop and integrate a reflective video pedagogy within a literacy center during a 15-week practicum for literacy-specialists-in-training. The reflective video pedagogy is not only used by the clinicians who work with struggling readers twice a week, but it is also used by the researchers at the literacy center who study the reflective video pedagogy through the same video the clinicians use.

Practical implications – Literacy centers are dynamic sites where children, families, pre/in-service teachers, and teacher educators work together around literacy development. Reflective video pedagogies can be used to closely examine learning and teaching for adult students (i.e., clinicians) and for youth (i.e., children in elementary, middle, and high school) and also for parents who want their children to find success with literacy.

Research implications – In recent years “scaling up” and “scientific research” have come to dominate much of the literacy research landscape. While we see the value and necessity of large-scale experimental studies, we also posit that literacy centers have a unique role to play. Given that resources are scarce, literacy scholars must maximize the affordances of literacy centers as rich, productive research sites for the use and study of a reflective video pedagogy.

Purpose – To provide a model for mentoring teachers through the process of improving instruction and intervention.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter describes the Gradual Increase of Responsibility model for coaching, an adaptation of Pearson and Gallagher's (1983) Gradual Release of Responsibility model that can be used by coaches as they support teachers in a clinic or school setting.

Findings – Content describes stages of the coaching model that provide less scaffolding as teachers gain confidence and competence. These stages include modeling, recommending, questioning, affirming, and praising.

Research limitations/implications – The Gradual Increase of Responsibility (GIR) model provides a process that coaches can follow to support instructional improvement. GIR requires that coaches have instructional expertise; it provides them with a guide for their work with teachers to incorporate effective practices.

Practical implications – The GIR model can be applied by coaches in both clinical and school settings, with teachers who instruct students at both elementary and secondary levels.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter provides examples for each stage of the GIR process, clearing indicating how coaches can guide teachers to take on increased responsibility for strong, intentional instruction and intervention.

Purpose – This chapter provides the reader with a discussion of a peer-conferencing component, called “cadre conferencing,” which was incorporated into undergraduate and graduate reading clinics. University students were placed into cadres based on the grades of the children they were tutoring. Cadres met during scheduled class time to discuss assessments, strategies, and materials.

Design – Graduate and undergraduate students were asked to provide feedback about the cadre conferencing model. They identified what they liked about the peer conferencing and what changes they would make. The feedback was used as a way for the faculty member to evaluate an instructional change in existing courses.

Implications – Both graduate and undergraduate students reported benefits to the cadre conferencing component. Graduate students were in-service teachers who reported that they benefited most from sharing ideas about strategies and materials. Undergraduate students reported that they benefited from sharing ideas, but also from the personal support they experienced from members of their cadre. Both groups recommended that cadre conferencing continue to be included in the two courses.

Practical and social implications – Observations of the cadres in their meetings and feedback from a course survey indicate that peer conferencing can be a powerful tool for groups of educators. The model would transfer best into programs that are designed to include shared decision-making and peer collaboration. Schools that adopt a professional learning communities model or team-teaching approach could integrate the cadre conferencing into their existing group structures.

Purpose – This chapter shares a model of responsive teacher preparation in literacy labs/reading clinics that emphasizes student-centered instruction.

Approach – Through vignettes and the voices of teachers enrolled in literacy lab/reading clinics, the authors highlight clinical practices effective in helping teachers focus on learners including building relationships, learning from students, structuring opportunities for student success, and understanding the power of language choices.

Practical implications – Teacher educators can use practices presented in this chapter in their clinical instruction. In turn, their teachers can transfer these clinical practices and foundations to school settings.

Originality/value – This approach to teacher education creates a culture of collaboration and responsive teaching that moves beyond clinical settings to classrooms and schools.

Purpose – The chapter provides the reader with an overview of how teacher preparation programs can utilize a school-based reading/literacy clinic model within university coursework. Information on how to successfully scaffold teacher candidates into becoming more reflective educators through the use of a reading clinic model is provided. Details for partnering with community organizations to provide tutoring support for struggling readers is illustrated.

Methodology/approach – The research support for utilizing tutoring programs is shared. Implications for teacher preparation programs seeking to develop literacy experiences for preservice and practicing educators are depicted. This book chapter describes a framework for establishing and maintaining tutoring partnerships within communities.

Practical implications – The author provides examples of effective community partnerships with suggestions and techniques for developing new programs and/or partnerships. Practical tips for establishing and maintaining tutoring programs which are composed of innovative practices are included.

Social implications – The key element of effective tutoring programs is to improve student achievement in literacy. Educators must build meaningful and thought-provoking literacy practices into the tutoring setting. A model for using a tutoring approach supportive of struggling readers is described. The components for effectively designing and preserving a reading clinics program are shared.

Cover of Advanced Literacy Practices
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Book series
Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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