Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adult Hispanic ESL Students and Graded Readers
by Martinez, Liza E., Ed.D., Northern Arizona University, 2013, 220; 3606825
Abstract (Summary)

Adult Hispanic ESL students in rural San Luis, Arizona, face a challenging situation. Since San Luis lies on the southwestern tip of Arizona and borders with Mexico, Spanish is the predominant language. English, on the other hand, is mostly heard in classrooms. This can be a predicament for adult Hispanics who need to be proficient in English in order to excel at college or university. What can be done to assist these students? The literature states that one becomes a better reader by reading extensively (Krashen, 1999; Grabe, 2009). How does one get ESL students to read extensively if they are stymied by their limited vocabulary? A solution is graded readers. These are books written specifically for second/foreign language learners and consist of seven to eight levels. According to the literature, as individuals read through the different levels, their vocabulary and reading comprehension will increase (Nation and Wang, 1999; The Extensive Reading Foundation, 2011). Eventually, they will be able to comprehend text written specifically for native English speakers (Waring, 1997).

A mixed-methods study was conducted to assess the effect that graded readers vis-รก-vis Scaffolded Silent Reading (ScSR) had on adult Hispanic ESL students at a community college on the U.S.-Mexico border. The areas examined were vocabulary growth, reading comprehension, and reading attitude. The findings were promising and showed some growth in vocabulary and reading comprehension for both the treatment and control groups. Furthermore, participants of the treatment group had a positive attitude towards reading graded readers through Scaffolded Silent Reading.

There is the need for further studies of a longer duration with adult Hispanic ESL students who live on or near the U.S.-Mexico border. The findings could build on this preliminary study. Furthermore, they contribute to the literature on extensive reading in general and graded readers through Scaffolded Silent Reading, specifically. .

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Markel, Sherry
Commitee: Cockrum, Ward, Fetsco, Thomas, Riek, Ellen
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Teaching and Learning/Educational Specialities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Adult education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Adult students, ESL, Graded readers, Hispanic, Reading attitudes, Reading comprehension, Scaffolded silent reading, Vocabulary development
Publication Number: 3606825
ISBN: 9781303640964