Student Engagement in Reading
This paper explores student engagement and interactional patterns in young learners in a reading programme for low-track students on the basis of 19 h of video data collected from five schools. I show evidence of student engagement on the basis of bidding, eye contact, student talk and behaviour displaying excitement. The data show moderate student engagement across all five schools with few instances of high engagement and fewer instances of low student engagement. There is lack of variety in interactional patterns in episodes with low student engagement. The interactional patterns in episodes of high student engagement are Reading and Whole Class Elicitation, Whole Class Elicitation, Whole Class Role Play, Whole Class Activity and Individual Activity. In 40% of the episodes with high student engagement, teachers masterfully use Whole Class Elicitation. In episodes that show behaviour displaying excitement, the teachers engage students in role play, writing activities or other types of kinaesthetic learning. On the basis of these findings, I suggest implications for pedagogy in reading classrooms for young learners.
KeywordsInteractional Pattern Student Engagement Reading Programme Speech Event High Engagement
The data are from a project funded by Singapore’s National Institute of Education, Office of Educational Research. The project, titled “Building English Competencies in Bilingual Underachievers: A Baseline Study of Singapore’s Learning Support Program”, was conducted from January 2009 till December 2011 (OER 28/08VV). I am grateful to AJ and MR for data collection and to ST for generating the figures.
- Hymes, D. (1972). Models of the interaction of language and social life. In J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions in Sociolinguistics: The ethnography of communication (pp. 107–123). New York: Holt.Google Scholar
- Loughead, I. (2006). The grasshopper and the ant. Toronto: Scholastic.Google Scholar
- Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. (1990). Student engagement: When recitation becomes conversation (Research Report No. G-008690007). Madison: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools. Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED323581.pdf
- Pressley, M., Wharton-McDonald, R., Allington, R., Block, C. C., & Morrow, L. (1998). The nature of effective first-grade literacy instruction (CELA Research Report No. 11007). Retrieved from: http://cela.albany.edu/1stgradelit/index.html1998
- Pressley, M., Wharton-McDonald, R., Allington, R., Block, C. C., Morrow, L., Tracey, D., Baker, K., Brooks, G., Cronin, J., Nelson, E., & Woo, D. (2001). A study of effective first-grade literacy instruction. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 35–58. doi: 10.1207/S1532799XSSR0501_2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wigfield, A., Gutherie, J. T., Preencevich, K. C., Taboada, A., Klauda, S. L., McRae, A., & Barbosa, P. (2008). Role of reading engagement in mediating the effects of reading comprehension instruction on reading outcomes. Psychology in Schools, 45, 432–445. doi: 10.1002/pit520307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Yang, T. P. C. (2004). Effectiveness of the learning support program in a primary school. Unpublished Master’s thesis, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.Google Scholar