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FOUNDATIONS OF LITERACY

Week 1 Professor Authored Reading


Goal:
IRA Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge: Candidates understand the theoretical and
evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.
Objectives (based on substandards for IRA Standard 1):
The candidate will:
1.1 Understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive,
linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development,
processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension,
strategic knowledge, and readingwriting connections.
1.2 Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over
time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
1.3 Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving
all students reading development and achievement.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
NOTE: For all content sessions, the online lecture information is organized by the IRA standards
as noted by the numbering system, 1.1, 1.2, etc.
A Consideration of Literacy
This first section serves as an introduction to the entire course to get you thinking about literacy
and technology. To start your thinking about the field of literacy, consider for a moment the
following questions.

What is literacy?

What does it mean to be literate?

Are the literacy needs different depending on the time period, culture, or country in which you
live? Why or why not?

What types of literacy are there?

How are technology and literacy interrelated?

What are the essential characteristics of effective literacy instruction?

Defining Literacy
Defining the level of language ability to be considered literate in any one society can be tricky. In
America, given the increasing influence of technology, our definition of literacy is a moving target.
We even hear terms such as media literacy, new literacies, and 21st century literacy.

Literacy can really only be defined in a specific cultural context. And, just as literacy is culture
bound, it is even more closely bound to the technological level of a particular culture. The person
who is literate in one culture may be illiterate in another. Furthermore, as technology changes, the
requirements for literacy change. We are clearly seeing this happen in America.
Literacy is directly related to success in adult life. Whatever our definitions of literacy, those who
are more literate adults are expected to be more successful than those who are not as literate. If
we dont expect this relationship to be true, why attempt to increase the level of literacy in the first
place?
Here is one definition of literacy related to changing literacy demands.
Literacy for The 21st Century from The Centre for Literacy of Quebec
Literacy involves a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol
systems of a culture for personal and community development. The need and demand for
these abilities vary in different societies. In a technological society, the concept is expanding
to include the media and electronic text in addition to alphabets and numbers. Individuals
must be given life-long learning opportunities to move along a continuum that includes
reading, writing, and the critical understanding and decision-making abilities they need in
their communities. Retrieved at http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/def.htm
Does this definition match the responses to the preceding questions about literacy? Why or why
not?
There is great debate about standards these days due to the age of accountability. Lets consider
for a moment the history of standards and how we arrived at this point.
A Brief History of the Standards Movement in the United States (Kuhlman, 1999)
While other countries have had standards in place for some time and may have a national
curriculum, the U.S. has resisted such policies in favor of local control of school districts. The
standards movement, therefore, is really a recent phenomenon.
However, the increasing public discontent with the schools and students abilities led to the 1989
Education Summit. The participants of this summit agreed on several goals to be reached by 2000,
subsequently called Goals 2000. One mandate from the summit included a call for a set of national
standards of what every young person should know and be able to do. These standards were to
be written for every major subject area.
As a result of initial efforts, the standards movement spread through U.S. and has been linked to
the educational reform movement. The essential components of the standards-based reform
movement include: setting academic standards, measuring student progress against those
standards, and holding students and educators accountable for meeting them. In the last decade,
states have worked to formulate and put academic standards into place. As of 2000, 49 statesall
but Iowahave at least some academic standards. Forty-seven states have academic standards
in all core subjectsmathematics, English/language arts, science, and social studies.
What Are Standards?

Standards can be defined as benchmarks for accountability (OMalley & Valdez-Pierce, 1996). In
other words, the public expects some consistency in what is expected from students at each grade
level and for various content areas.
There are standards for the PK-12 student (classroom or P-12 student standards), and there are
also standards related to teachers (educator standards) in terms of their academic knowledge of
a teaching field and knowledge of teaching methods.
Classroom standards can be further divided into academic/content standards and performance
standards.
Academic/content standards describe what students should know and be able to do in the core
academic subjects at each grade level.
Performance standards include examples of student work that meet content standards and
describe what level of performance is good enough for students to be described as advanced,
proficient, below basic, or by some other performance level.
P-12 student standards have been established by most states as well as by the U.S. government
and professional organizations (NCTE/IRA, etc). Following are some links (with a short description)
to various standards listings or standards projects. Read through several of these to obtain a better
understanding of the types of academic content and performance levels that are being required of
P-12 students.
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Classroom Standards The
standards for pre-K-12 ESL students represent a starting point for developing effective and
equitable education for ESOL students. These standards were developed to complement the
discipline-specific standards created by other professional associations and groups. Developed
through a collaborative process involving hundreds of ESL teachers, researchers, administrators,
and language specialists, the standards will provide national coherence for students and the
educators who serve them.
Standards for the English Language Arts were collaboratively developed by the National
Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA) The
list of 12 standards offers guidance for the opportunities and resources students should have in
order to develop the language skills they need. The general nature of these standards has drawn
criticism. Do you think these standards are specific enough?
In Texas, our classroom standards are called TEKS or the Texas Essential Knowledge and
Skills. Check out the following Website for more information regarding the TEKS for your content
area or grade level. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/teks/
Educator standards began about same time as Goals 2000. At first, teacher standards focused
on basic skills tests in reading, writing, and math. More recently, the focus has been on academic
knowledge of a teaching field as well as knowledge of teaching methods.
Just as with classroom standards, educator standards vary from state to state.
In Texas, we have a set of Educator Standards that are directly linked to the test framework for
the TExES exam. You can visit the Website for the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)
at http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/standtest/testfram.asp to check out those standards

and to view practice test items for the TExES exam. Test items are linked directly to the Educator
Standards.
The Current Debate over Standards
There are several areas of debate surrounding the standards movement. The first point of
contention is the nature of the standards themselves and who will develop the standards.
Another huge area of concern is how to assess the standards which taps into the continuing
controversy over standardized tests.
The first conflict over standards revolves around the publics desire for a list of fairly specific and
rather traditional standards such as skills to be learned, vocabulary/spelling lists, lists of books that
everyone should read. On the other side of this debate, educators fear a set of rigid standards that
might restrict the creativity and flexibility that mark good teaching and learning. Educators also fear
that standards fail to take into account the individual nature of school districts and schools,
especially in culturally and linguistically diverse areas.
Reich (2001) in an Education Week article, Standards for What? criticizes the types of
knowledge emphasized in most standards projects. Paradoxically, we're embracing standardized
tests just when the new economy is eliminating standardized jobs. If there's one certainty about
what today's schoolchildren will be doing a decade or two from now, it's that they won't all be doing
the same things, and they certainly won't be drawing on the same body of knowledge.
Furthermore, Olson (2000) in an Education Week article, States Seen as Staying the Course on
Standards, notes that the original standards developed in many states and projects are already
being scrutinized. Many states are working to refine and improve their efforts surrounding
standards and assessments. For example, eight states reported that they were adding standards
or improving their existing set, and 15 states are designing or revamping their testing systems.
Closely related to the content of the standards is who develops the list of standards. Many national
panels on educational issues have failed to include educatorsthose directly involved with P-12
students. To ensure that the viewpoint of educators was heard, the National Council of Teachers of
English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA) joined with the Center for the
Study of Reading at the University of Illinois to write a set of standards for the English/language
arts. Standards for the English Language Arts was published in 1996; this document presented
12 broad statements describing the aims of the English/language arts. The broad nature of these
standards drew criticism from those who felt that more specificity was needed.
Across the states and professional organizations, the differences in the content of standards and
the assessment procedures have drawn criticism. Olson (2000) in Worries of a Standards
'Backlash' Grow notes that as "standards-based reform plays out around the country, its uneven
and sometimes careless implementation has led even some of its main proponents to worry about
the gap between theory and practice.
How to measure the standards that were developed has become the next source of controversy.
Aligning standards with assessment measures has been difficult. Most common means of
assessing are standardized tests.
There are numerous issues surrounding the use of standardized tests including the following:
Standards should assume that all students can reach the standard and test to that, but normreferenced tests result in those who do well and those who do not.

Finding a standardized test that focuses specifically on a states standards may be difficult.

Standardized/norm-referenced tests (which are more easily administered) are only a


thumbnail of what children learn while performance-based measures (which are a more timeconsuming assessment tool) are a collection/multiple measures of what children actually do.

We are seeing this debate over testing and standardized tests played out in the media. Olson
(2001) in an Education Week article, Education Alliance Calls for Corrections To StandardsBased Systems criticizes the overemphasis on testing. "In too many places, essentials for student
success are lacking. In too many places, the emphasis is on testing rather than on learning."
Finally, Hoff (2001) in New Standards Leaves Legacy Of Unmet Goals notes, while 49 states
have adopted academic standards and most have tests, they generally aren't of the quality that
New Standards aimed for. What's more, classroom teachers for the most part haven't gotten the
support they need to make anything other than superficial changes in their classroom practices.
And now, only Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense
schools use the New Standards exams.
The standards (or domains and competencies as is the case with the TExES) that guide your
M.Ed. program follow the content for Session 1.

the national Reading Specialist standards from the International Reading Association and at
the state level, the TExES Reading Specialist competencies (for those students seeking
Reading Specialist certification)
the national English as a Second Language standards from the Teachers of English to
Speakers of Other Languages and at the state level, the TExES ESL competencies, P-12
(for those seeking ESL certification)
the TEXMAT competencies for the Master Reading Teacher certificate (this is a Texas only
certificate and there are no national standards).

As a requirement in many of your classes, you will need to understand and use these standards to
connect to your work and to demonstrate that you have mastered the state and national standards.
IRA 1.1 COGNITIVE, LINGUISTIC, MOTIVATIONAL, AND SOCIOCULTURAL FOUNDATIONS
OF READING AND WRITING DEVELOPMENT, PROCESSES, AND COMPONENTS.
Literacy is a complex process involving several interrelated dimensions: physiological,
psychological, sociological, and cultural. An overview of these dimensions of literacy follows.
Physiological Dimensions of Literacy Development
Some physiological dimensions of literacy are linked to the process of decoding such as the
following:

Visual discrimination of letters

Auditory discrimination of sounds

Phonemic awareness (awareness of sound-symbol relationships)

An established listening and speaking vocabulary

Psychological Dimension of Language Development


Psycholinguists are concerned with the psychological processing of language in the mind. They
consider some of the following areas that link to learning to read and process written material:

How language is produced and understood in the mind

How children learn to read and process textual material

How we think in words, how thought and language are intertwined

How language is a set of mental operations and the manner in which these mental
operations occur

Psycholinguists focus primarily on linguistic knowledge. For instance, if you know a language,
you have some knowledge of its sound system (phonology), word structure (morphology),
meanings of words (semantics), and syntax (word order) (Fromkin & Rodman, 1993).
Your knowledge of the sound system includes knowing what sounds are in that language and what
sounds are not and which sounds may start a word, end a word, and follow each other.
In terms of word knowledge, you know that certain words or sound sequences stand for certain
concepts or meanings, e.g. house/English, casa/Spanish, Haus/German
Beyond words, you have some level of creativity at your disposal. Your knowledge of language
permits you to select words into phrases and phrases into sentences and to form longer and longer
sentences by joining sentences and phrases together or adding modifiers to a noun. This ability
enables you to create (and eventually read) an infinite range of sentences.
To know a language means that you can judge if a string of words is a sentence or not. This is the
unconscious knowledge of language and its structure that you possess.
Once you have mastered this, however, you are still only part of the way to understanding and
using a language. Knowing a language and being able to use it can be two different things.
Sociological Dimensions of Literacy Development
There is a difference between what you know, or linguistic knowledge/ grammatical competence,
and how you use your knowledge in actual speech production and comprehension, which is
linguistic performance, sometimes called sociolinguistic competence. This is the art of
communication.
Sociolinguistics is concerned about the social and cultural aspects of language learning. They
consider some of the following areas that link to both oral and written uses of language.
Language is both social and cultural. One definition of sociolinguistics is the study of how one's
communicative competence is shaped through socialization processes. Our cultural background
(e.g., ethnicity, language) and our social background (e.g., economic level, parents occupation)
influence the types of family literacy activities we experience at home and the types of print
materials we have had exposure to.

The variety of language we use in speaking and writing gives away sociological information such
as age, occupation level, education background, etc. We have a great deal of research about
language attitudes. Individuals have very strong attitudes about the ways that people speak, and the
variety of language that children use impacts our expectations regarding their intellectual and social
potential. We must be careful not to judge children based solely on their dialect or accent.
Children develop a range of communication styles for different situations (Lindfors, 1987). Our social
networks of family, friends, and neighbors shape our language choices. It is crucial that we expand
the repertoire of language styles that children can use. The wider the repertoire, the wider the childs
world.
Not everyone uses language in the same ways that it is used in middle class homes (Lindfors, 1987).
Children from different social backgrounds interpret differently many of the events of the classroom.
Linguistic Dimensions of Literacy Development
Structure of the English Language
Language is composed of the following structural elements: phonetics and phonology or a sound
system, morphology, and syntax (Fromkin & Rodman, 1993; Delahunty and Garvey, 1994; Piper,
1998):

Phonology
Phonology can be defined as: 1) how sounds work in combination, and 2) how sounds are
combined (i.e., if three consonants are at the beginning of a word, the first must be s, the
second must be a voiceless stop (t, p, or k as in scream), and the third must be a liquid
semivowel (r, l, w, j)
When we refer to phonemic awareness, we are describing a persons understanding of
sound-symbol relationships or the fact that the symbols (letters) have an accompanying
sound associated with them.

Morphology
Words are made up of morphemes, the smallest units of meaning. . For instance, a word is
composed of a base morpheme and any of its affixes. There are two types of morphemes:
inflectional and derivational. Inflectional morphemes signal plural, past tense, third person
singular, possessive, comparative, and continuous. With inflected forms, an original
morpheme has been further refined through the addition of some meaning like a
possessive, etc. Derivational morphemes are usually expressed as suffixes added to a
base form and most often change the class to which a word belongs such as:

Noun to verb: moral/noun + ize = moralize/verb)

Noun to adjective: boy + ish = boyish

Verb to noun: sing + er = singer

Adjective to adverb: quiet + ly = quietly

A single word may be composed of one or more morphemes. For example: unkindnesses is
composed of:
Una prefix

Kinda base morpheme

Nessa suffix that makes the word into a noun

Esa plural marker

Syntax
Syntax involves a combination of words into phrasal groups and phrasal groups into
sentences. The sentence is the basic syntactic unit. Some key terms in relationship to syntax
include the following:

A phrase is grammatically equivalent to a single word since it has no subject or


predicate (e.g., the big book).

A clause is a group of words with its own subject and predicate included in a larger
sentence (e.g., because the big book had such good repetitive language).

A sentence is the largest unit of grammatical description (e.g., Because the big book
had such good repetitive language, the teacher chose that book for the read aloud
activity with her class of English language learners.).

The syntactic component of language tells us the speakers knowledge of relational


meaning. Much of the meaning of sentences is relational and the order of parts helps to
convey those relational meanings. We get clues to the relationships within sentences from
the order/arrangement of the words in sequence as well as from the particular forms of
some of the words. We signal sentence structure or the relations between constituents in
sentences in the following ways:

Word order

Function words (i.e., determiner)

Inflectional endings (i.e., ship sailed today)

Intonation (distinguish question/statement by pitch)

Childrens knowledge of the structure (syntax) of their home language is largely mastered by
the time they come to kindergarten. They basically know the rules of their language (intuitive
knowledge), but they cannot state the rules (conscious knowledge). We can see that children
know about the structure of language by the language that they useboth their successful
use and their errors.

Dimensions of Literacy Development


Alvermann and Phelps (1994, p. 119) refer to several interrelated factors which impact reading
comprehension. Some of these factors may overlap with the previously noted psychological and
sociological dimensions discussed earlier:

Interest: Interest and curiosity can motivate student reading and help students to persist
even with a more difficult text.

Motivation: Motivating students to read before an assignment is worth the time and effort
spent in terms of student involvement in the reading process.

Purpose: Since many students tend to read every assignment the same, setting purposes
for reading can help get the reader off to the right start.

Attention: The ability to focus and to deal with external and internal distractions effectively
helps comprehension.

Prior Knowledge: What students know about language, text, and the world around them
can have a definite influence on the reading process.

Strategy: The reader needs an effective plan for how to proceed with reading.

Research has pinpointed seven key factors that influence reading development regardless
of risk factors such as socioeconomic levels or physical impairment (Honig, Diamond, &
Gutlohn, 2000)
Development of phonemic awareness and of the alphabetic principle (how print maps to
speech)
Ability to decode words
Automaticity with enough words
Acquisition of vocabulary along with the application of reading comprehension strategies
Extensive reading of both narrative and expository texts
Maintaining the motivation to learn
Adequate teacher preparation and materials.

The Earlier the BetterThe Matthew Effect (Stanovich, 1986, 1993)


Good readers get increasingly richer in reading ability, while nonproficient readers get
increasingly poorer.
Poor readers are often given texts too difficult for them to read.

When this happens, they are precluded from the benefits of reading: development of
language, vocabulary, background knowledge.
Students who struggle with reading are less likely to engage in reading and reading-related
activities and so reduce their exposure to text and practice with text.
Lack of exposure to text contributes to the gap between good and poor readers, and this
increases over time.
Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988) found a significant positive relationship between
measures of amount of reading (particularly book reading) and measures of reading
comprehension, vocabulary, and reading speed.

GOOD READERS

WEAK READERS

Read a lot more words

Read little

Read more on their own

Do not increase their


vocabularies

Continually build their vocabulary

Struggle as texts get more


complex

Keep getting better at reading

Can read increasingly complex


materials

Are exposed more often to new


vocabulary, literature, concepts,
and information

Roles of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Structural Analysis, Sight Words, and Context in
Decoding
Whether we are reading in English or Chinese or Spanish, researchers have generally concluded
that the processes are similar (Grabe, 1991; Carrell, Devine, & Eskey, 1988; Hudelson, 1981).
First, you examine the printed page noting the visual structure of printed words, and using your
knowledge about the system by which letters or characters represent the sounds of speech, you
are able to identify words. Fluent readers apply these word identification processes rapidly, but
they may hamper readers unfamiliar with a language, especially if that language uses a different
alphabet. At the same time the visual word forms are associated with meanings, the reader applies

other linguistic knowledge such as word order patterns, text structure, and larger meaning issues
semanticsleading to a mental construction of overall textual meaning. This construction of text
meaning, however, is subject to continual change and expansion as the reader progresses and
engages in a cycle of prediction and confirmation of meaning (Hadaway, Vardell, & Young, 2002).
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
Decoding is generally described as including the following processes:
Visual discrimination

Auditory discrimination

Phonemic awareness

Alphabetic awareness

Understanding of grapho-phonemic relationships

Knowledge of concepts of print

Linguistic analysis

Structural analysis

Automatic recognition of words

Use of context clues for word analysis

An established listening and speaking vocabulary

Knowledge of syntactic patterns

In an article, Phonemic Awareness What Does it Mean?


http://www.margaretkay.com/Phoneme%20Awareness.htm, Kerry Hempenstall (2001) highlights
the stages of phonemic awareness development:

Recognition that sentences are made up of words.

Recognition that words can rhyme - then production thereof

Recognition that words can begin with the same sound - then production thereof

Recognition that words can end with the same sound -then production thereof

Recognition that words can have the same medial sound(s) -then production thereof

Recognition that words can be broken down into syllables - then production thereof

Recognition that words can be broken down into onsets and rimes - then
production thereof

Recognition that words can be broken down into individual phonemes then production
thereof

Recognition that sounds can be deleted from words to make new words then production
thereof

Ability to blend sounds to make words

Ability to segment words into constituent sounds

Consider these options for emphasizing phonics and the sound-symbol relationship within a
balanced literacy environment (Hadaway, Vardell, & Young, 2002).

Use the Language Experience Approach to help students see speech-print connections
through their dictated writing. As they tell a story or describe an object or offer a caption for
a picture, you write it down. Read it over again as you point to each of their words.
Encourage children to read along with you and to quickly take over the writing themselves.

Maximize listening activities to build both auditory discrimination as well as listening


comprehension. For example, use sound guessing games, tapes at a listening center,
Simon Says, etc.

Incorporate oral language activities such as choral reading, jokes, riddles, rhymes, tongue
twisters, and songs to reinforce the strong sound qualities of language.

Music and art offer opportunities for sound-symbol connections as students draw/write and
create captions (using invented spellings which exercise their developing grapho-phonemic
awareness). They can sing/write familiar songs, jingles, or finger plays in print form which
offer strong semantic cues for gaining meaning with a still growing repertoire of decoding
skills.

Introduce children to the real world print around them as they gather pictures and objects
whose names begin with a designated letter/sound. Do not proceed alphabetically, A-B-C...,
but rather begin with regular consonants (e.g., f, m, s, l, n, r, v, z), interspersed with vowels,
etc. Show then how much of their environment they are already "reading" (e.g., stop signs,
McDonald's arches, etc.).

Word and letter/sound cards can be a versatile resource for practice and play. Games such
as concentration (matching initial sounds/letters and words/pictures), fishing (using magnets
and paper clips), and even flash card review (call out a word, hold up a card) can be
appropriate and motivating, especially in small groups or with a partner. Three-dimensional
blocks take the concept even further with initial consonants, blends, digraphs, etc.

Manipulatives add an extra dimension for review in matching word families with initial
consonants or blends, digraphs or clusters, including: word wheels (revolving consonant,
which matches a variety of word families), word/sentence slotters with moveable strips,
puzzles in which two pieces complete a whole, or dominoes in which long or short vowels
are matched. Create (and laminate) a generic or blank set of these teaching tools and have
children fill in the words/sounds they want to practice with a friend.

Of course, literature is your richest resource for outstanding models of effective language.

Phonics lessons should reflect the following guidelines (Hadaway, Vardell, & Young, 2002):

Build on auditory perception and alphabetic awareness

Begin in the context of familiar sight words (for example, students' names)

Incorporate word families or rimes

Proceed from simple to complex

Involve discovery such as the induction of patterns rather than direct instruction in rules

Move quickly to the context of whole words-sentences-passages-texts

Occur on a needs basis

Never be the only focus of remedial instruction

Be brief and enjoyable

Structural Analysis
Structural analysis is a simple technique that encourages students to use word parts to determine
meaning. Because the addition of affixes (e.g., prefixes and suffixes) is the most common means
of adding words to our language (Andrews, 1998), increased knowledge about these word parts
could become a powerful tool. For example, in Jim Arnoskys All About Alligators (1994), the
author describes alligators as semi-aquatic. Reading on we discover that semi-aquatic means
they spend nearly half their time in water (unnumbered page). Writing semi-aquatic on the board,
the teacher can draw students attention to the prefix semi and have them offer any other words
with the same prefix (e.g., semicircle or half circle). This strategy is one that leads to
independent word analysis and contributes positively to test taking skills as well.
Sight Words
A beginning awareness of sound-symbol correspondences allows English language learners at the
beginning proficiency level to recognize basic survival words and a limited number of sight words.
To further spur vocabulary growth, teachers can label items in the classroom, construct word walls
with examples drawn from sight word lists such as the Dolch List highlighting the 220 most
common words in English, and encourage students to create their own word banks or personal
dictionaries.
The Dolch words are the 220 most frequently found words in books that children read. The lists
are in order of frequency. These lists are studied in first and second grade; children who learn
these words have a good base for beginning reading. Many of these words cannot be sounded out
because they do not follow decoding rules. These words must be learned as sight
words. http://www.theschoolbell.com/Links/Dolch/Dolch.html

Context
Avoid lists of isolated words to be learned. Alphabetized word lists do not provide a framework of
relationships for students to use to remember the terms. Encountering words in context for
beginning readers is especially important. Have students highlight where the word occurred in their
reading. Then analyze whether there is enough surrounding context to serve as clues to decipher
the meaning. Teach context clues such as the following:

Word is used as a synonym for another word

Word is part of a comparison/contrast description

Word is part of a summary of examples

Word is related to students background experiences

Word is part of a definition or explanation

Word reflects a mood or situation

Punctuation gives clues as to the meaning of the word

Roles of Prior Knowledge, Inference Skills, Metacognition, and Text-Explicit Information in


Comprehension
Prior Knowledge
Readers bring their prior knowledge to the task of reading. Ruddell (1997) highlights at least two
types of prior knowledge.
The first is world knowledge or the total package of information a reader possesses based on their
life experiences. For the most part, the greater the readers world knowledge, the greater the
likelihood that he or she will construct meaning that is similar to what the author intended.
The second type of prior knowledge the reader brings to the page is text knowledge which is
information based on a readers experience with print. Text knowledge includes issues such as:
text structure/organization (e.g., cause/effect, problem/solution, etc.), type of text (e.g., narrative v.
expository), classifications within text type (e.g., school textbook, trade book, professional journal),
print conventions (e.g., boldface, italics, footnotes, marginal glosses), and text processing
strategies (e.g., fix up techniques to correct misunderstandings). Our knowledge about text
becomes more and more sophisticated given wider experience with written text; therefore, text
knowledge is intimately linked to our life experiences or world knowledge.
Inference Skills
Is the reader able to synthesize information, analyze the message, and detect bias in the authors
position, and draw conclusions from the printed page? Is the reader able to read between the
lines? All of these abilities are inferencing skills.

Metacognition
Many of the strategies that skillful readers use while reading indicate metacognition or thinking
about ones thinking. Skilled readers are thinking about their own processing techniques while
reading. They intuitively understand the reading process and the skills involved, and further, they
know how to fix up miscues that may occur during reading. Depending on the purpose for
reading, a readers strategies should change. Many students, however, think that all material
should be read the same no matter how their understanding will be assessed.
The role of the teacher is to assist students by demonstrating and modeling strategies for
processing text for diverse purposes. When the reader comes to a part where he/she doesnt
understand, what types of strategies can he/she employ to derive meaning and go on reading
(e.g., consulting a dictionary, rereading the section in question, continuing to read to the end of a
paragraph or section to see if the point becomes more clear, looking at visual cues such as
graphs, charts, maps)?
Metacognitive strategies include knowing how to: focus on details, relate the reading to ones
previous experience, adjust ones rate for the purpose of reading, read for the gist, interpret the
graphics, formulate questions, review the reading material, concentrate on the text, and remember
what has been read (Platt, 1987).
Text-Explicit Information
Beyond prior knowledge, teachers must consider text-explicit informationwhat is in the textbook
(Ruddell, 1997). Many textbooks are not reader friendly. They contain an overwhelming number of
new concepts and unfamiliar content presented in a fast paced, global overview. In addition, the
language of textbooks is not naturally engaging to K-12 students. New concepts are often woven
into the reading amid very formal language and complex syntactical patterns.
To assist students with text-explicit issues of comprehension, teachers can consider looking to
another source that is more easily comprehended, searching for explanations further on in the text,
skimming material for major ideas, reading chapter summaries to become familiar with material, or
coordinating class notes and the text.

Narrative Text and Expository Text


Narrative and expository text differ in terms of their purpose and internal structure. The first chart
provides some key examples of those differences and helps to explain why expository text is often
more difficult and less engaging for readers (Cooter & Flynt, 1996; Hadaway, Vardell, & Young,
2002). In the second chart, we see how nonfiction literature has elements of both narrative text and
textbook style writing.
Narrative Text
Tells a story, has characters, plot,
theme, and setting
Offers entertainment
Conveys meaning through words
Calls for character identification

Expository Text
Widely uses graphic aids (pictures,
graphs, charts, tables, maps)
Presents material to expand
knowledge and solve problems
Provides information
Calls for interaction with subject
matter

Often contains concepts based on


readers experiences

Has unfamiliar abstract concepts


that are concisely presented and
developed in hierarchical
arrangement
Supports attention by form of
presentation and organization
Repeats specialized and technical
vocabulary infrequently
Has terse writing style

Holds attention by plot or description


Gives general description; repeats
vocabulary frequently
Has elaborate writing style
Allows fairly rapid reading

Requires slower, more flexible


reading rate
Uses supplementary materials,
references sources
Has high readability level in terms of
intended grade level
Explicit language, unambiguous

Uses single story or book


Has varying readability level
Uses metaphors, multiple meanings of
words
Readers must do their own thinking
about an experience in order to learn

Readers must try to understand


writer's thinking

Chronological linkage of events

Logical linkage of points presenting


superordinate ideas
(generalizations) explained by
subordinate ideas (concepts) and
elaborated by subordinate details
(facts)
No time frame in terms of material
presented

Series of events accomplished within a


time frame, related by cause or theme

Text Feature Differences and Similarities for Narrative Fiction, Nonfiction Literature, and
Expository Textbooks
Book Features
Tells a story, has
characters, plot, theme,
and setting
Offers entertainment
Calls for character
identification

Narrative
Fiction
Yes

Yes
Yes

Holds attention by plot


or description

Yes

Supports attention by
form of presentation

No

Nonfiction
Literature
Some nonfiction is
narrative (e.g.,
biography)
Yes
Some nonfiction is
narrative (e.g.,
biography)

Expository
Textbooks
No

Some nonfiction is
narrative (e.g.,
biography)
Yes/No

No

No
No

Yes

and organization
Reading rate

Can be
rapid

Can skim and scan


many nonfiction
texts

Generally
requires a
slower, study
reading rate

Series of events
accomplished within a
time frame, related by
cause or theme
Widely uses graphic
aids (pictures, graphs,
charts, tables, maps)
Has unfamiliar abstract
concepts that are
concisely presented and
developed in
hierarchical
arrangement
Uses specialized and
technical vocabulary

Yes

No

No

Only for narrative


nonfiction (e.g., real
life adventure
stories)
Yes/No

No

Yes/No

Yes

No

Yes

Has brief, concise


writing style

No

Uses supplementary
materials, references
sources

No

Possible, but in a
more reader friendly
fashion
Possible, but in a
more reader friendly
fashion
Yes/No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dimensions of the Reading ProcessPrereading


Alverman & Phelps (1994, p. 122) note, what teachers do before reading to prepare students can
be more effective in promoting comprehension than what is done after reading.
In this phase of the reading process, the teacher needs to activate students prior knowledge in
order to determine whether students have enough background to proceed and to decide whether
the knowledge that students possess is accurate (Alvermann & Phelps, 1994).
Questions that the teacher should ask at this stage of the process include:
1) Is the text closely related to the students background?
2) Is there a gap between the text and students background?
3) Do students have misconceptions that could interfere with their comprehension of a text?
As a classroom teacher, you can utilize the knowledge you have about your students and their
prior knowledge in order to make a prereading plan. If you determine that students lack the
appropriate prior knowledge to forge ahead with instruction and reading tasks, you must carefully
consider how to begin. You will need to tailor your prereading plans specifically to your students

and the assignment at hand.


Dimensions of the Reading ProcessDuring Reading
At this stage of the reading process, teachers must decide how much and what type of guidance to
provide during reading.
Questions which the teacher should ask at this stage of the process include the following: 1)
Should you allow students to complete the entire reading assignment without intervention? 2) Does
the reading assignment need to be divided into chunks that are more manageable and then
intersperse the reading with discussion of these chunks of text? 3) Do students need a reading or
study guide to help them focus on the text and recognize the major relationships? 4) What type of
reading/study guide would be most effective for this selection?
Teachers will need to structure during reading plans specifically to their students and the
assignment at hand. For instance, assignments that are closely linked to students background and
interests may necessitate less active intervention on your part. However, more difficult content
selections with densely packed concepts will require teachers to plan techniques to support
students while reading.
Dimensions of the Reading ProcessPostreading
Traditionally, postreading has been the phase where the most emphasis was placed, but the
techniques for following up on reading were less than innovative. Students were asked to answer
the questions at the end of the chapter, or teachers simply asked a series of questions. Frequently,
the questions asked of students after reading focused on low level or literal concerns of the text.
To extend student comprehension of a reading assignment, teachers will want students to retain
information from one assignment and link it to future reading and learning (transfer). Additionally,
teachers will want students to have deeper understandings of the materialmaking inferences,
detecting flawed logic, noting biases, etc. Simply giving back the literal information from the
reading is not adequate.
1.2 READING RESEARCH AND HISTORIES OF READING.

The debate over the most effective method for teaching reading has raged for almost 100 years.
For an overview on various aspects and positions about this debate, check out the following
resources.
http://www.middleweb.com/Reading.html
http://www.middleweb.com/Reading.html#anchor5517892
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/Reading_Wars.html
An interesting overview of the last 50 years of reading instruction is offered by Turbill (2002).
Consider the points, she raises.
Turbill describes the four ages of reading instruction from 1950s to the present.
1. The age of reading as decoding

2. The age of reading as meaning making


3. The age of reading-writing connections
4. The age of reading for social purpose

Questions & Answers about Reading in the


Age of Decoding, 1950 into the early 70s, Turbill (2002)
What is reading? Reading is decoding print.
What reading skills need to be taught? Phonics, word recognition, word attack,
comprehension.
How is reading best learned? Through sound-symbol relationships, word recognition,
rote memorization, and drill and practice.

Questions & Answers about Reading in the


Age of Meaning Making, early to mid-1970s, Turbill (2002)
What is reading? Reading is understanding the printed word.
What reading skills need to be taught? Sound-symbol relationships; sampling,
predicting, and confirming strategies; reading ahead, rereading, and using the visual
context to predict meaning.
How is reading best learned? Through sound-symbol relationships, gaining
background knowledge to bring to the reading, reading for meaning, being read to,
and by reading, reading, reading.

Questions & Answers about Reading in the


Age of Reading-Writing Connections, beginning in the early 1980s, Turbill
(2002)
What is reading? Reading is parallel to writing. Writing is composing meaning into
written text; reading is composing meaning from text.
What reading skills need to be taught? Sound-symbol relationships; sampling,
predicting, and confirming strategies; reading ahead, rereading, and using the
visual context to predict meaning; spelling and grammar; writing for meaning;
understanding the writing process; understanding that readers learn from writing
and writers learn from reading.
How is reading best learned? By learning sound-symbol relationships, having
background knowledge to bring to the reading, reading for meaning, being read to,
and reading, reading, reading; by examining written models, understanding the
writing process, and writing, writing, writing.

The Age of Reading for Social Purpose, Turbill (2002)

Began in the early 1990s with a focus on the impact of culture and context on a reader as well
as the roles that the reader must take on in order to be effective.
Considers home, school, community, media and their influence on the meaning making
process.

A Possible Fifth AgeThe Age of Multiliteracies or New Literacies

Meaning making now involves being able to read not only print text but also color, sound,
movement, and visual representations; reading environmental print such as signs, etc.
The digital world is a literacy-dependent world; readers and writers need to have skills and
access to multiple strategies beyond print texts (Turbill 2001).

Models of Reading
Much attention has on how the reader goes about making meaning from the printed page.
Theorists have proposed several models for the reading process: bottom-up, top-down, and
interactive (Alvermann & Phelps, 1994).
In the bottom-up model, we assume the meaning of the passage resides primarily in the text itself
and that the reader takes the letters and words piece by piece, pulling in each individual part to
make meaning.
A second model, the top-down, suggests that what the reader knows already determines in large
part what is understood. The meaning resides primarily with the reader and not in the text.
Finally, the interactive model integrates both the previous models noting that the text and the
reader intersect to impact comprehension. For instance, readers take what they know about
language, decoding, and vocabulary and connect that knowledge to their background experiences
in order to make meaning.
Approaches to Reading Instruction
In her article, There's Reading...and Then There's Reading: Process, Models, and Instruction,
Victoria Purcell-Gates (1997) quotes Harste (1984) on the importance of understanding our beliefs
about literacy and literacy instruction. Our assumptions do matter. If we are to guide and direct our
students, we need to know where we are going, which paths are the most likely to get us there,
and which paths are most likely to be dead ends. This means that, as teachers of reading, we must
be cognizant of our underlying beliefs or theories of literacy development: how one begins to learn
to read and how one develops from that point into an increasingly effective reader with a
broadening range of texts. She goes on to delineate various theoretical models of reading as
follows:
Letter and Word Recognition Is Key
The following theories or models contend that letter and word recognition is the essential
ingredient in the reading process.
Gough (1972) worked from an information-processing model to describe the flow of
information during the reading process.

LaBerge and Samuels (1974) dealt with the concept of automaticity in word recognition.
Word recognition is seen as primary and needed for the later work of comprehension.

Phonemic Awareness
Adams (1990) highlights the importance of letter-to-sound decoding, claiming that skilled readers
do process words letter-by-letter, and that these letters must be translated into sound units to be
pronounced and thus understood.
Comprehension Is Primary
Frank Smith (1978) and Kenneth Goodman (1994) claim that skilled readers do not decode every
single letter during reading. Rather, readers process words as wholes and may even skip words,
parts of words, or whole sections of text without losing meaning.
Theorists in the comprehension camp believe that readers bring all of their experiences and
background knowledge to the reading task. They expect meaning from print, and so they
coordinate various language cue systems (pragmatic, syntactic, semantic, and graphophonic) to
get at that meaning. Kenneth Goodman's model (1994) is labeled the Transactional SocioPsycholinguistic Model of Reading capturing the recent theories of transaction and the influence on
language use of social settings and pragmatics (rules for language use that differs according to
different social contexts).
Balanced Theories
Balanced literacy is a relatively new term. This probably rests on a theory of reading that is close to
Rumelhart's (1994) Interactive Model of Reading. Rumelhart acknowledges the reciprocal
influence of different levels of knowledge held by a readerknowledge of the features of letters to
semantic knowledge. According to this theoretical model, readers focus on comprehension and on
letter features roughly at the same time, granting that the reading event begins with graphic input.
Implications for Instruction
Whichever theoretical model you subscribe to influences your instructional approach. For instance,
teachers who focus on phonemic awareness and letter/word recognition tend to emphasize the
skills and abilities needed to accurately and automatically recognize letters and words. On the
other hand, teachers who feel that meaning, or comprehension, is the driving force of the reading
process, tend to use whole texts that are read for authentic purposes.
Finally, teachers who embrace balanced literacy instruction appear all along the reading process
continuum. While they all view comprehension as the only purpose for reading and stress
meaning-making in their instructional activities, more skills-oriented teachers may teach isolated
skills as well as using authentic, whole texts. The more holistic-oriented teachers will integrate
skills instruction in the context of authentic reading and writing activities.
Here is a graphic that attempts to visually describe the various theoretical models of reading and
reading instruction.

Reading as Decoding

Reading as Skills
You can take individual skills
out of the whole reading
process

sounds
syntax
meaning

Smaller piece of language

phonics
contextual analysis
grammar
syntax
sight words
comprehension skills

Reading as Comprehension
If you take out a slice, you still
have the whole reading
process

meaning
syntax
grapho-phonemics (phonics)

Largest chunk of language

Which model do you believe makes the most sense in terms of how you approach the reading
process? How do you think readers go about making meaning from the printed page?
Current Trends in Reading Research & Instruction
Moving forward, we are in a time of great literacy debates. Areas of current debate (and these are
just a few) surround the following issues:

Standards for Literacy Programs: What should be the standards for our literacy programs
in grades, P-12? What should students be able to do in terms of reading, writing, speaking,
and listening at each grade level?

Testing/Evaluation: How do we best measure the effectiveness of our instructional


efforts? Do we use standardized measures? Norm-referenced? Criterion-referenced?
Performance? How do we link the standards for literacy programs to some accountability
measures?

Emergent literacy: What is the most effective way to teach initial reading? What materials
or programs should be used to teach initial reading?

Bilingual Education: What is the role of the home language in early literacy instruction?
How effective is bilingual education? Check out the position statement from NCTE at from
the NCTE Committee on Issues in ESL and Bilingual Education.

Materials for Literacy Instruction: Should we use basals, anthologies or authentic


materials (whole literature selections/trade books) for literacy instruction? What about
packaged programs for literacy instruction? What research supports the use of packaged
programs? Basals/anthologies? Trade books/literature?

Technology: How can we best use technology in literacy instruction?

Grammar Instruction: What is the role of grammar in PK-12? How do we best teach
grammar in a meaningful way? How do we integrate grammar instruction into the teaching
of writing?

Language Variation: What is the place of the students home language or dialect?

Literature Instruction: What works should be used for literature instruction? Do we


continue to use the accepted works of the pastthe classics, the canon? Do we
reexamine the canon and consider using more contemporary works including young adult
literature, multicultural literature, etc?

Considering these issues and many others, you can tap into the information base from countless
professional organizations, research groups, etc. However, you must carefully consider each
information source and evaluate its research agenda, its research findings, and its research
recommendations. Each agency/organization is pushing a specific agenda, findings, and
recommendations from professional organizations and research groups to publishers who are
marketing their materials and literacy programs. For instance, a publisher might present a
comprehensive research review that supports their materials but they have a specific agenda in
mind. They want your school district to endorse their materials and to purchase them. You have to
wonder if the research review that they have conducted is totally unbiased and complete.
Therefore, we must carefully consider all sides of the issues, choose wisely our sources of
information and weigh each perspective. This is one reason that it is even more important to have
a firm understanding of the theoretical models of reading and which position you subscribe to.
1.3 THE ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT AND PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE FOR
IMPROVING ALL STUDENTS READING DEVELOPMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT.
To help you develop your professional knowledge base so that you can hone your professional
judgment and practical knowledge, you will be reading textbook assignments and professor
authored reading notes. In addition, you will be putting this knowledge to use. As a part of your
Literacy Practicum I, you will be observing in your own classroom and your school, interacting with
peers, your mentor and your mentee, and recording your observations and analysis of literacy
activities. The week report format helps you address both what happened and your reflections
about the weeks activities.
For instance, you will observe and reflect on the following.
Teaching responsibilities related to literacy:
Possible examples:

Guided reading groups

Working with content teachers on literacy techniques

Non-teaching responsibilities related to literacy:


Possible examples:

Examine a sample of students permanent record (CONFIDENTIAL) and report the types of
information available related to reading/literacy issues;

Review textbook and supplementary materials related to English Language Arts/Reading;

Obtain and review a copy of the curriculum guide related to English Language Arts/Reading.

Observations in other literacy related classrooms beyond your own classroom or assigned
classroom:

Observing in mentors or mentees classrooms

Observing in peers classrooms

Meetings, conferences, interviews with literacy-related school personnel


Possible examples:

Tour school library and interview librarian. Report the types of assistance that the librarian
provides to teachers in terms of ordering books for special purposes, collecting class sets,
text sets, etc.;

Meet with the department chair for English/Language Arts/Reading and/or team leader for
the grade level you are assigned.

Conduct brief interview about literacy focus/initiatives at school.

Report the district/school structure related to literacy

You will also keep a log of the different literacy instructional techniques you or your mentor or
mentee used and reflect on their success. And, finally, you will keep a log of the different literacy
assessments you used and then report and analyze student data and your reflections on
student performance.
Conclusion
In this first content session, we have considered foundational knowledge, or the foundations of
reading and writing processes and instruction, that literacy professionals need to be successful in
todays schools and classrooms.

References
Standards-Based Education
Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The right to learn: A blueprint for creating schools that work.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hershberg, T. (1997, December 10). Explaining standards: A 12-point talking paper
[Commentary]. Education Week, pp. 33-35.
Hoff, D. J. (2001). 'New standards' leaves legacy of unmet goals. Education Week, August.
Kuhlman, N. (1999). The standards reform movement in the United States. TESOL Matters,
October/November, 5.
National Education Goals Panel. 1991). The National Educational Goals Report: Building a
nation of learners. Washington, DC: Author.
Olson, L. (2000). States seen as staying the course on standards. Education Week, April.
Olson, L. (2000). Worries of a standards 'backlash' grow. Education Week, April.

Olson, L. (2001). Education alliance calls for corrections to standards-based systems.


Education Week, January.
Reich, R. B. (2001). Standards for what? Education Week, June.
Stack, L., Buchanan, K., Dwyer, E., Harper, C., Huertas-Macias, A., Huffman, C., Kuhlman, N., &
Witt, B. (2001). TESOL P-12 ESL teacher standards. TESOL Matters,
September/October/November, 9.
Standards. (2001). Education Week, August.
Standards for the English Language Arts. National Council of Teachers of
English/International Reading Association.
http://www.ncte.org/about/over/standards
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Classroom Standards
http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/sec_document.asp?TrackID=&SID=1&DID=322&CID=30&VID=
2&RTID=0&CIDQS=&Taxonomy=False&specialSearch=False
Technology Applications for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/ch126toc.html
TESOL. (1997). ESL standards for pre-K-12 students. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Texas Educator Standards. State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).
http://www.sbec.state.tx.us
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). http://www.tea.state.tx.us/teks/
General Assessment Issues
Farr, R., & Tone, B. (1994). Portfolio and performance assessment. Ft. Worth, TX: Harcourt
Brace.
Herman, J. L., Aschbacher, P. R., & Winters, L. (1992). A practical guide to alternative
assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Hill, B. C., & Ruptic, C. (1994). Practical aspects of authentic assessment: Putting the pieces
together. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.
OMalley, M., & Valdez-Pierce, L. (1996). Authentic assessment for English language learners:
Practical approaches for teachers. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Perrone, V. (Ed.). (1991). Expanding student assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Resnick, L. B., & Resnick, D. P. (1992). Assessing the thinking curriculum: New tools for
educational reform. In B. R. Gifford & M. C. OConnor (Eds.), Changing assessments:
Alternative views of aptitude, achievement, and instruction (pp. 37-75). Boston:
Kluwer.

Rhodes, L. K. (Ed.). (1993). Literacy assessment: A handbook of instruments. Portsmouth,


NH: Heinemann.
Schurr, S. (1992). The ABCs of evaluation: 27 alternative ways to assess student progress.
Columbus, OH: National Middle School Association.
Valencia, S. W., Hiebert, E. H., & Afflerbach, P. P. (1994). Authentic reading assessment:
Practices and possibilities. Newark: DE: International Reading Association

Dolch Lists.
http://www.theschoolbell.com/Links/Dolch/Dolch.html
Gunn, B. K., Simmons, D. C., & Kameenui, E. J. Emergent Literacy: Synthesis of the Research.
National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators, U.S. Office of Special Education
Programs. http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/tech19.html
Hempenstall, K. (2001). Phonemic awareness what does it mean?
http://www.margaretkay.com/Phoneme%20Awareness.htm
Language Acquisition Resource Center, San Diego State University,
http://larcnet.sdsu.edu/
Research References for Emergent Literacy/Beginning Reading
http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/res/literacy/em_litr.html
Professional Resources
Alvermann, D. E., & Phelps, S. E. (1994). Content reading and literacy: Succeeding in todays
diverse classrooms. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Berko-Gleason, J. (1982). Insights from child acquisition for second language loss. In R. D.
Lambert & B. F. Freed (Eds.), The loss of language skills. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Brown, 1994
Cummins, J. E. (1980). The construct of language proficiency in bilingual education. In J. E.
Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown University roundtable on language and linguistics (pp. 76-93).
Washington, DC: University Press.
Delahunty, G. P., & Garvey, J. J. (1994). Language, grammar and communication: A course
for teachers of English. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Fromkin, V., & Rodman, R. (1993). An introduction to language (5th ed.). Ft. Worth, TX:
Harcourt Brace.
Hadaway, N. L., Vardell, S. M., & Young, T. A. (2002). Literature-based instruction with English
language-learners, K-12. Boston: Allyn & Bacon Longman.
Honig, B., Diamond, L., & Gutlohn, L. (2000). Teaching reading: Sourcebook for kindergarten
through eighth grade. Novato, CA: Arena Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford:
Pergamon.
Krashen, S. D., & Terrell, T. D. (1983). The Natural Approach. San Francisco: Alemany Press.
Lindfors, J. W. (1987). Childrens language and learning (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NY:
Prentice-Hall.
McNeil, D. (1966). Developmental psycholinguistics. In F. Smith & G. A. Miller (Eds.), The genesis
of language: A psycholinguistic approach. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.
Ovando, C. J., & Collier, V. P. (1998). Bilingual and ESL classrooms: Teaching in multicultural
contexts. Boston: McGraw Hill.
Peregoy, S. F., & Boyle, O. (2001). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL: A resource book for
K-12 teachers. New York: Longman.
Piper, T. (1993). Language for all our children. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Platt, J. (1987). The metacognitive performance of college students in reading: Implications for
instruction (pp. 56-58). Changing conceptions of reading/literacy learning instruction:
Seventh Yearbook of the American Reading Forum.
Ruddell, M. R. (1997). Teaching content reading and writing. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn &
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Thomas, W., & Collier, V. (1995). Language minority student achievement and program
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Turbill, J. (2002, February). The four ages of reading philosophy and pedagogy: A framework for
examining theory and practice. Reading Online, 5 (6). Available:
http://www.readingonline.org/international/inter_index.asp?HREF=turbill4/index.html

Cross Reference 2010 IRA/NCATE Reading Specialist Standards


Matched to
TExES Reading Specialist Competencies
2010 IRA/NCATE Program
Standards for Reading Specialist
IRA Standard 1
Foundational Knowledge
Candidates understand the
theoretical and evidence-based
foundations of reading and writing
processes and instruction.

TExES Reading Specialist Competencies


TExES Competency 001 (Oral Language) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of oral language development, relationships between
oral language development and the development of
reading skills, and instructional methods that promote
students' oral language development at the levels of
early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 002 (Phonological and
Phonemic Awareness) The reading specialist

understands and applies knowledge of phonological


and phonemic awareness, relationships between
phonological and phonemic awareness and the
development of reading competence, and instructional
methods that promote students' phonological and
phonemic awareness at the levels of early childhood
through grade 12.
TExES Competency 003 (Concepts of Print and the
Alphabetic Principle) The reading specialist
understands concepts of print and the alphabetic
principle and applies knowledge of instructional
methods that promote students' reading acquisition at
the levels of early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 004 (Word Identification) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of word identification skills and strategies and
instructional methods that promote students' reading
competence at the levels of early childhood through
grade 12.
TExES Competency 005 (Fluency) The reading
specialist understands and applies knowledge of
reading fluency and instructional methods that promote
students' reading competence at grades 1 through 12.
TExES Competency 006 (Comprehension) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of reading comprehension and instructional methods
that promote students' reading comprehension at the
levels of early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 007 (Vocabulary Development)
The reading specialist understands and applies
knowledge of vocabulary development and instructional
methods that promote students' oral and written
vocabulary knowledge at the levels of early childhood
through grade 12.
TExES Competency 008 (Written Language) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of written language and instructional methods to
reinforce reading and writing at the levels of early
childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 013 (Theoretical Foundations
and Research-Based Curriculum) The reading
specialist understands and applies knowledge of the
theoretical foundations of literacy and of researchbased reading/literacy curriculum.

IRA Standard 2
Curriculum & Instruction
Candidates use instructional
approaches, materials, and an
integrated, comprehensive,
balanced curriculum to support
student learning in reading and
writing.
IRA Standard 3
Assessment & Evaluation
Candidates use a variety of
assessment tools and practices to
plan and evaluate effective reading
and writing instruction.
IRA Standard 4 Diversity
Candidates create and engage their
students in literacy practices that
develop awareness, understanding,
respect, and a valuing of
differences in our society.

TExES Competency 010 (Instructional Methods and


Resources) The reading specialist understands and
applies knowledge of methods and resources for
providing effective literacy instruction that addresses
the varied learning needs of all students at the levels of
early childhood through grade 12.

TExES Competency 009 (Assessment) The reading


specialist understands and applies knowledge of
assessment instruments and procedures used to
monitor and evaluate student progress in reading and
to guide instructional decision making at the levels of
early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 011 (Instruction for English
Language Learners) The reading specialist
understands and applies knowledge of effective literacy
instruction for English Language Learners at the levels
of early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 012 (Instruction for Students
with Reading Difficulties, Dyslexia, and Reading
Disabilities) The reading specialist understands and
applies knowledge of effective literacy instruction for
students with reading difficulties, dyslexia, and reading
disabilities at the levels of early childhood through
grade 12.

IRA Standard 5 Literate


Environment
Candidates create a literate
environment that fosters reading
and writing by integrating
foundational knowledge, use of
instructional practices, approaches
and methods, curriculum materials,
and the appropriate use of
assessments.

TExES Competency 001 (Oral Language) The


reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of oral language development, relationships between
oral language development and the development of
reading skills, and instructional methods that promote
students' oral language development at the levels of
early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 002 (Phonological and
Phonemic Awareness) The reading specialist
understands and applies knowledge of phonological
and phonemic awareness, relationships between
phonological and phonemic awareness and the
development of reading competence, and instructional
methods that promote students' phonological and
phonemic awareness at the levels of early childhood
through grade 12.
TExES Competency 003 (Concepts of Print and the

Alphabetic Principle) The reading specialist


understands concepts of print and the alphabetic
principle and applies knowledge of instructional
methods that promote students' reading acquisition at
the levels of early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 004 (Word Identification) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of word identification skills and strategies and
instructional methods that promote students' reading
competence at the levels of early childhood through
grade 12.
TExES Competency 005 (Fluency) The reading
specialist understands and applies knowledge of
reading fluency and instructional methods that promote
students' reading competence at grades 1 through 12.
TExES Competency 006 (Comprehension) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of reading comprehension and instructional methods
that promote students' reading comprehension at the
levels of early childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 007 (Vocabulary Development)
The reading specialist understands and applies
knowledge of vocabulary development and instructional
methods that promote students' oral and written
vocabulary knowledge at the levels of early childhood
through grade 12.
TExES Competency 008 (Written Language) The
reading specialist understands and applies knowledge
of written language and instructional methods to
reinforce reading and writing at the levels of early
childhood through grade 12.
TExES Competency 009 (Assessment) The reading
specialist understands and applies knowledge of
assessment instruments and procedures used to
monitor and evaluate student progress in reading and
to guide instructional decision making at the levels of
early childhood through grade 12.
IRA Standard 6 Professional
Learning & Leadership
Candidates view professional
development as a career-long effort
and responsibility.

TExES Competency 014 (Collaboration,


Communication, and Professional Development)
The reading specialist understands and applies
procedures for collaborating and communicating with
educational stakeholders and for designing,
implementing, evaluating, and participating in
professional development.

Cross Reference TESOL/NCATE English as a Second Language Standards


Matched to
TExES English as a Second Language Competencies
TESOL/NCATE Standards
Domain 1: Language

TExES English as a Second Language


Standards (EC-12)
Domain I. Language Concepts and Language
Acquisition/Competencies 001002

Candidates know, understand and use the


major theories and research related to the
structure and acquisition of language to help
English language learners (ELLs) develop
language and literacy and achieve in the
content areas .
1a. Language as a System. Candidates
demonstrate understanding of language as
a system, including phonology, morphology,
syntax, pragmatics and semantics, and
support ELLs as they acquire English
language and literacy in order to achieve in
the content areas.

Competency 001
The ESL teacher understands fundamental
language concepts and knows the structure
and conventions of the English language.

1b. Language Acquisition and


Development. Candidates understand and
apply theories and research in language
acquisition and development to support their
ELLs English language and literacy learning
and contentarea achievement.

Competency 002
The ESL teacher understands the processes
of first-language (L1) and second-language
(L2) acquisition and the interrelatedness of L1
and L2 development.

Domain 2: Culture

Domain III. Foundations of ESL Education,


Cultural Awareness, and
Family and Community Involvement/
Competencies
008010

Candidates know, understand, and use


major concepts, principles, theories, and
research related to the nature and role of
culture and cultural groups to construct
supportive learning environments for ELLs.
2. Culture as It Affects Student Learning.
Candidates know, understand, and use
major theories and research related to the
nature and role of culture in their instruction.
They demonstrate understanding of how
cultural groups and individual cultural
identities affect language learning and
school achievement.

Competency 009
The ESL teacher understands factors that
affect ESL students' learning and implements
strategies for creating an effective multicultural
and multilingual learning environment.

Domain 3: Planning, Implementing, and


Managing Instruction

Domain II. ESL Instruction and


Assessment/Competencies 003007

Candidates know, understand, and use


evidencebased practices and strategies
related to planning, implementing, and
managing standardsbased ESL and content
instruction. Candidates are knowledgeable
about program models and skilled in
teaching strategies for developing and
integrating language skills. They integrate
technology as well as choose and adapt
classroom resources appropriate for their
ELLs.
3a. Planning for Standards-Based ESL
and Content Instruction. Candidates
know, understand, and apply concepts,
research, and best practices to plan
classroom instruction in a supportive
learning environment for ELLs. They plan for
multilevel classrooms with learners from
diverse backgrounds using standardsbased
ESL and content curriculum.

Competency 003
The ESL teacher understands ESL teaching
methods and uses this knowledge to plan and
implement effective, developmentally
appropriate instruction.

3b. Managing and Implementing


Standards-Based ESL and Content
Instruction. Candidates know, manage,
and implement a variety of standardsbased
teaching strategies and techniques for
developing and integrating English listening,
speaking, reading, and writing. Candidates
support ELLs access to the core curriculum
by teaching language through academic
content.

Competency 004
The ESL teacher understands how to promote
students' communicative language
development in English.

3c. Using Resources and Technology


Effectively in ESL and Content
Instruction. Candidates are familiar with a
wide range of standardsbased materials,
resources, and technologies, and choose,
adapt, and use them in effective ESL and
content teaching.

Competency 006
The ESL teacher understands how to promote
students' content-area learning, academiclanguage development, and achievement
across the curriculum.

Competency 005
The ESL teacher understands how to promote
students' literacy development in English.

Domain 4: Assessment

Domain II. ESL Instruction and


Assessment/Competencies 003007

Domain 4 Assessment. Candidates


demonstrate understanding of issues and
concepts of assessment and use
standardsbased procedures with ELLs.
4a. Issues of Assessment for English
Language Learners. Candidates
demonstrate understanding of various
assessment issues as they affect ELLs,
such as accountability, bias, special
education testing, language proficiency, and
accommodations in formal testing situations.

Competency 007
The ESL teacher understands formal and
informal assessment procedures and
instruments used in ESL programs and uses
assessment results to plan and adapt
instruction.

4b. Language Proficiency Assessment.


Candidates know and can use a variety of
standardsbased language proficiency
instruments to show language growth and to
inform their instruction. They demonstrate
understanding of their uses for identification,
placement, and reclassification of ELLs.

Competency 007
The ESL teacher understands formal and
informal assessment procedures and
instruments used in ESL programs and uses
assessment results to plan and adapt
instruction.

4c. Classroom-Based Assessment for


ESL. Candidates know and can use a
variety of performancebased assessment
tools and techniques to inform instruction for
in the classroom.

Competency 003
The ESL teacher understands ESL teaching
methods and uses this knowledge to plan and
implement effective, developmentally
appropriate instruction.
Competency 007
The ESL teacher understands formal and
informal assessment procedures and
instruments used in ESL programs and uses
assessment results to plan and adapt
instruction.

Domain 5: Professionalism
Candidates keep current with new
instructional techniques, research results,
advances in the ESL field, and education
policy issues and demonstrate knowledge of
the history of ESL teaching. They use such
information to reflect on and improve their
instruction and assessment practices.
Candidates work collaboratively with school
staff and the community to improve the
learning environment, provide support, and
advocate for ELLs and their families.

Domain III. Foundations of ESL Education,


Cultural Awareness, and
Family and Community Involvement/
Competencies
008010

5a. ESL Research and History.


Candidates demonstrate knowledge of
history, research, educational public policy,
and current practice in the field of ESL
teaching and apply this knowledge to inform
teaching and learning.

Competency 008
The ESL teacher understands the foundations
of ESL education and types of ESL programs.

5b. Professional Development ,


Partnerships, and Advocacy. Candidates
take advantage of professional growth
opportunities and demonstrate the ability to
build partnerships with colleagues and
students families, serve as community
resources, and advocate for ELLs.

Competency 010
The ESL teacher knows how to serve as an
advocate for ESL students and facilitate family
and community involvement in their education.

TEXMAT Master Reading Teacher Competencies


(This is a Texas only certificate and as such, has no national counterpart.)
Domain I: Foundations of Reading Knowledge & Instruction, Part I
Competency 001: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of oral language skills and
development to teach reading.
Competency 002: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of phonological and
phonemic awareness skills and development to teach reading.
Competency 003: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of the alphabetic principle
to teach reading.
Competency 004: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of word analysis skills and
development to teach reading.
Domain II: Foundations of Reading Knowledge & Instruction, Part II

Competency 005: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of reading fluency at the
word and text level to teach reading.
Competency 006: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of vocabulary
development and reading comprehension to teach reading.
Competency 007: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of written language and
concepts of print to facilitate and promote student literacy.
Domain III: Principles of Instructional Design, Delivery, & Assessment in Reading
Competency 008: The Master Reading Teacher knows how to design and implement reading
instruction that reflects state content and performance standards, addresses the varied
learning needs of all students, and is based on converging evidence from research.
Competency 009: The Master Reading Teacher knows how to select and administer
appropriate assessments on an ongoing basis and uses the results to design, inform, and
adjust reading instruction.
Domain IV: Reading Instruction for Students with Diverse Backgrounds and Needs
Competency 010: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of primary and second
language acquisition, including the relationship between the development of these languages,
to facilitate and promote literacy.
Competency 011: The Master Reading Teacher applies knowledge of reading difficulties,
dyslexia, and reading disabilities to teach reading.
Domain V: Roles of the Master Reading Teacher
Competency 012
The Master Reading Teacher knows how to communicate and collaborate with educational
stakeholders to facilitate implementation of appropriate, research-based reading instruction.
Competency 013
The Master Reading Teacher knows how to provide professional development through
mentoring, coaching, and consultation with colleagues to facilitate implementation of
appropriate, research-based reading instruction.