Date of Award

4-24-2018

Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study

Program

Connecticut Literacy Specialist

Advisor

Dr. Karen C. Waters

Abstract

Researchers have consistently found a link between quality classroom discourse and the increase in student reading comprehension. Classroom discussions help students make sense of fiction and nonfiction texts while deepening their understanding. Incorporating the principles of Vygotsky’s social constructivism as the theoretical framework, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the use of accountable talk sentence stems and the quality of discussion using the fishbowl discussion strategy as a means of increasing student comprehension of a text. Observation of the effects of student discourse of 18 students over the duration of six weeks yielded measurable differences in the quality and the quantity of discussion. Students were arranged in two circles: an inner circle that conducted conversation and an outer circle that observed and commented on the behavior of the inner circle. Pre and post assessment results were tallied and scored using a rubric. The evaluation criteria included the number of student comments, use of textual evidence, elaboration upon another student’s response, and the use of sentence stems. The results indicated that using sentence stems and engaging in discourse that required students to respond, question, clarify, and further develop what others said in a discussion increased student comprehension of a text and the use of textual evidence to support their comments. Specifically, the use of accountable talk stems encouraged students to take ownership of the conversations by thinking and reasoning together, building on one another’s ideas, and holding one another accountable for the comments being made in a discussion. Therefore, accountable talk was an effective strategy to increase classroom conversation and comprehension, and should be considered to be a viable strategy for supporting students in achieving literacy goals.

Comments

Prepared for EDR 692 Applied Reading and Language Arts Research. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the coursework required for the post-masters' Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Literacy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.