Running Head: IMPROVING READING OF GRADES 9-12 Improving Reading and Vocabulary of Grades 9-12 Name School ABSTRACT Reading problems in the higher level relate mostly to comprehension and vocabulary. Therefore, reading interventions and materials should be appropriate to help struggling readers…
There are strategies ideal only for children and there are those applicable only for grownups. In teaching Grades 9-12, teachers will find issues relating mostly to comprehension and vocabulary. This paper reviews three articles that investigated effective reading strategies for improving vocabulary of Grade 9-12 students. One article worthy of attention was written by Douglas Fisher (2007). In this paper, Fisher reports the five-part program that the teachers and administrators of Hoover High School developed and implemented in order to improve the vocabulary performance of students in state-administered tests. According to Fisher (2007), Hoover High School was a low-performing school with a population of 2,300 students at the time of study, all qualifying for free breakfast and lunch and 76% speak a different language apart from English. To improve vocabulary at the school level, the school implemented vocabulary routines and instruction. The first component of the program was wide reading. This component consisted silent sustained reading (SSR) and independent reading for content area subjects. The school identified and purchased appropriate reading materials, among these were historical accounts of WWII. In addition to these resources, the school assigned teachers who could provide relevant information to students regarding the materials they read. The students devoted 20 minutes per day to SSR and just read any material they wanted. This method was not enough, thus additional time was provided during content area instruction for independent reading. The second component of the program was reading aloud. This strategy is very common for beginning readers. Nevertheless, Hoover High School used it because of its tested effectiveness to learn content and vocabulary. In this method, the teacher read aloud a passage for 3-5 minutes at every class. Again, the school had to purchase materials specially designed for the procedure, including Richardson’s (2000) “Read It Aloud! Using Literature in the Secondary Content Classroom,” Trelease’s (1993) “Read All About It! Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, and Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens.” These materials, along with other interesting books, were purchased using the school’s site book funds. School administrators conducted observation of read aloud sessions. Consequently, to enhance interest of teachers in implementing read aloud sessions, professional development funds were also utilized to pay teachers to observe other teachers during read alouds. The third component composed of content vocabulary instruction. This was the usual vocabulary instruction in which teachers used graphic organizers, semantic maps, tables, etc. One issue that aroused teachers’ attention on this component was deciding on what vocabulary words to teach. To address the problem, several questions were raised to qualify the words, such as “Will the word be used in other subject areas? Will the word be used again during the school year?” This kind of questions served as guide to teaching specific vocabulary words. The fourth component was academic vocabulary development. For this component, the school team consulted Coxhead’s (2000) “Academic Word List” and Marzano and Pickering’s (2005) “ELL Students and Academic Vocabulary” and came up with 570 academic words to teach their students. The last component was called the “ ...
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