Multilingual Education

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Dialogic meaning construction and emergent reading domains among four young English language learners in second-language reading

  • Deoksoon KimAffiliated withSecondary Education Department, Foreign Language Education and Second Language Acquisition/Instructional Technology (SLA/IT) Email author 


Rapid growth of English language learner populations has challenged teachers, particularly because English language learners' academic success and second-language literacy are closely linked. Using qualitative research methods and verbal protocols, this study pursued two goals, namely examining English language learners' meaning-making processes as they engage in reading activities and how they construct meaning within particular contexts. Results document that dialogic responsive reading offers English language learners the zone of meaning construction for apprehending and mastering within and about domains.

These English language learners adopted dialogic-responsive reading, relying on five domains: cultural, aesthetic, efferent, dialogic, and critical. These domains offer English language learners an evolving responsive reading strategy to develop second-language literacy. These five domains are interwoven with the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of diverse learners to render the learning process more meaningful and effective. English language learners position themselves centrally, retaining their cultures' values, experiences, and perspectives while embracing new content and knowledge in the reading process.


English language learner Dialogic meaning making Second-language literacy Cultural knowledge