Date of Award


Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study


Connecticut Literacy Secialist


Dr. Karen C. Waters


As literacy standards across the country grow more rigorous, literacy practices need to follow suit. With the implementation of the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards in 2010, classroom instruction in the facilitation of student discourse has become not only beneficial, but required. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an instructional framework for student discourse called Statement Stem Discourse/Accountable Talk (SSD/AT). This instructional frame included discussion stems, teacher prompts, and guidelines for student responses. This study observed the impacts of discourse on 19 students over the course of six weeks. With a focus on questions stems, we scaffolded expectations to extend students’ oral participation, critical thinking, reading comprehension, and text interpretation. The findings concluded that discourse around literature led to increased comprehension, effective strategies for teacher facilitation of discourse, and beneficial discourse strategies to use in the classroom. Overall, the study revealed that implementing discourse into daily literacy instruction had a significant impact on literacy achievement.


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.



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