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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

English Word-Level Decoding and Oral Language Factors as Predictors of Third and Fifth Grade English Language Learners' Reading Comprehension Performance
by Landon, Laura L., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2017, 205; 10601015
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the application of the Simple View of Reading (SVR), a reading comprehension theory focusing on word recognition and linguistic comprehension, to English Language Learners’ (ELLs’) English reading development. This study examines the concurrent and predictive validity of two components of the SVR, oral language and word-level decoding, for determining ELLs’ English reading comprehension in the third and fifth grades, using data from a nationally representative dataset, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey (ECLS-K). Literature in both first (L1) and second language (L2) reading comprehension development suggest that, in addition to word- and text-level decoding factors, oral language skills (such as listening comprehension) also impact L2 reading comprehension. This study found that while English word-level decoding skills were the strongest predictors of ELLs’ English reading comprehension in third grade, both third and fifth grade English oral language skills were stronger at predicting fifth grade ELLs’ English reading outcomes, thereby confirming the hypotheses grounded in the conceptual frameworks of ELL reading comprehension development (Proctor et al., 2005; Zadeh et al., 2011; Kim, 2015).

These findings suggest that screening fifth grade ELLs using English oral language measures may be more effective at predicting potential difficulty in reading comprehension than traditional fluency measures (such as DIBELS ORF). Moreover, while English word-level decoding factors are stronger predictors for third grade English reading comprehension, these findings indicate that third grade English oral language measures may be better at determining how ELL students will perform in English reading comprehension as they conclude elementary school in fifth grade than traditional fluency and decoding measures. In sum, the results of this study underline the importance of instruction, intervention and assessment in English oral language skills as critical components of literacy programming for elementary ELLs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gomez, Joel
Commitee: Morano Magee, Christine, Peng, Peng, Rice, Elisabeth, Swayze, Susan
School: The George Washington University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, English as a Second Language, Special education
Keywords: Comprehension, Decoding, English, Language, Oral, Performance, Reading, Word-level
Publication Number: 10601015
ISBN: 978-0-355-08590-7
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