The impact of computer-based interventions with and without primary language support on reading skills of English language learners
Catherine M. Draper Rodriguez, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States
University of Nevada, Las Vegas . Awarded
Reading is the most important skill that English Language (EL) learners acquire in school (Slavin & Cheung, 2005). Success in reading has been shown to impact many areas of student social and economic opportunities (Peregoy & Boyle, 2005). Students who come to school with limited English proficiency have greater difficulty learning to read in English (Freeman & Freeman, 2004). With the rise in the number of EL learning students in schools, school districts are compelled to find ways to teach English literacy skills to students with primary languages other than English.
This study had two purposes. The first purpose was to determine the impact of the Lexia Primary Reading Program (Lexia, 2004), a computer-based reading program, on the English reading skills of first grade students whose primary language is Spanish. The second purpose was to determine how the language of instruction (i.e., Spanish or English) provided by the Lexia Primary Reading Program impacts the English reading skills of EL learners.
Forty-one first-grade EL students whose primary language is Spanish participated in this study. Of the 41 first-grade students, 16 were male and 25 were female. Students were assigned to three groups. Students in the experimental groups received computer-based instruction from Lexia Primary Reading Program (Lexia, 2004). One of the experimental groups received English oral language instructions while the other experimental group received Spanish oral language instructions. Students in the comparison group received an equal amount of computer time with non-literacy based instruction.
Lexia Primary Reading Program (Lexia, 2004) was effective at increasing literacy skills in some of the areas measured (i.e., oral language, picture vocabulary, letter-word identification, and passage comprehension). Passage comprehension was the only area that showed a difference relative to the language of instruction provided. This study answered several important questions regarding literacy skills of EL learners.
Draper Rodriguez, C.M. The impact of computer-based interventions with and without primary language support on reading skills of English language learners. Ph.D. thesis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
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