Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

James Kirylo

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact a close reading approach had on the reading comprehension levels of twelve English I students. Studies in literacy theory have suggested that students’ reading comprehension levels improve with the use of reading strategies. As part of a larger body of research concerning reading instruction for secondary students, there is a need for older readers to learn comprehension strategies specific to reading content subject matter (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2015; Duke & Martin, 2015; Ness, 2007). Using a mixed-methods approach, the data collection consisted of pretest/posttest instruments, field observations, existing records, surveys, and exit interviews. The results of the study show that the participants’ comprehension levels were positively influenced when the participants received instruction in the use of a close reading approach, thus confirming the researcher’s hypothesis that the close reading approach would improve the participants’ comprehension. Additional findings revealed that students who have a negative perception of reading and who read less are more likely to struggle with comprehension. However, it appears that the close reading approach improved the participants’ metacognitive awareness, which may account for their overall improved reading achievement from pretest to posttest results. This study confirmed that content area teachers can influence reading outcomes when explicit instruction in a close reading approach is implemented in content area classrooms.

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