Confessions from a Reading Program: Building Connections, Competence and Confidence
As students move from primary school into their high school years there is an expectation that they can read. Coupled with this expectation are the increasing complex demands that are placed on them as readers. The challenges facing these adolescent readers are many and varied. In this chapter I describe those challenges and report on one case study of an Indigenous reader from a regional school in Queensland who participated in a program designed to improve the reading outcomes of a group of Indigenous students, all of whom were assessed as being from 12 months to 4 years behind their peers in reading comprehension. In the research reported on here in addition to developing various strategies and skills to help these students improve their reading performance there was also work done to build relationships, re-connect these students with the practice of reading, build confidence and help them to understand what it looks like to effectively participate in the discourse of school reading experiences. Through a careful analysis of the discourse in a reading event with one student, I demonstrate the principles that underpin this work, why it requires careful thought and why it is paramount to improving the reading competence of these students.
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