English language learners and expository text: A cross-case analysis of reading behaviors using retrospective miscue analysis
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This cross-case analysis of reading behaviors focuses on ELLs and expository text. The objective of this study was to examine fourth grade ELL reading processes of expository text. The theoretical framework will be based on Goodman's sociopsycholiguistic theory (1984) in that reading utilizes thought and language as a process to construct meaning. Therefore, reading is a constructive process in which the reader interacts with the text to create meaning. Cummins (1979) suggests that underlying proficiencies are important in building strong L1 to transfer to L2, and Krashen (1992) suggests that the Natural Approach hypothesis provides the means for comprehensible input. These theoretical frameworks on second language acquisition support the idea that an ELL's background knowledge gained through social experiences provides comprehensible input to create meaning while reading in any language. The two guiding questions for the study were 1) How do 4th grade ELLs process expository text? And 2) How do 4th grade ELLs describe reading processes after reading expository text? The findings suggest that ELLs were challenged by content words as 92% of the miscues on content words caused meaning change. In addition, the findings of this study suggest that ELL readers seem to be familiar with graphophoneme aspects of content words, but still make syntactic or semantic miscues without self-correction. And, the ELL readers in this study appear to use grapho-phonics in their reading processes. The ELL readers also seem to require conversational support with some code-switching for comprehension of questions being asked as well as with the organization of the expository text used in this study.