Experiencing Readers Theater in a first-grade bilingual classroom
This qualitative case study explored the use of Readers Theater through the experiences of emergent bilingual students in a first-grade bilingual classroom. Readers Theater is a strategy that has produced great results in helping the development of literacy in reading fluency, motivation, and comprehension. The research regarding the use of Readers Theater with students in the lower elementary grades enrolled in bilingual education classrooms is very limited. Emergent bilinguals could benefit from using teaching strategies that integrate the practice of all language domains, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to allow them access to academic content. I collected qualitative data from observations, conferences, and student artifacts from emergent bilingual students who were in my one-way dual language classroom in a North Texas school district. The analysis of the data pointed to the following findings: the students perceived Readers Theater as an engaging and enjoyable experience, engaged in metacognitive activities such as, self-evaluations, helping and evaluating their peers, and being aware of the processes involved, and engaged in complex literacy processes, where they demonstrated understanding of character feelings, retelling and summarizing the story, and using new vocabulary.