Examining the Feasibility of an Instructional Approach Focused on Building Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Strategy Knowledge While Reading Adolescent Literature

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0001-7854-5471
Richmond, Cassidi, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Solari, Emily, ED-CISE, University of Virginia

This three-manuscript dissertation explored cognitive and instructional aspects of reading comprehension for adolescents (i.e., children ages 10 through 19). The overall guiding framework for this work was the RAND Reading Study Group’s Heuristic for Reading Comprehension, which emphasizes reading comprehension as including three interrelating elements of the reader, text, and activity that all exist within a larger sociocultural context (Snow, 2002). Additionally, the Simple View of Reading (Gough & Tunmer, 1986), which posits that comprehension is the product of both text-based and language-based skills, is utilized further to expand the element of the reader within the framework. Manuscript One employed latent profile analysis to identify unique patterns of adolescent literacy performance in word-level and comprehension skills among a large sample of students (N = 23,800) in the Fall of Grade 6. Separate analyses were conducted and compared for typically developing students and those with Specific Learning Disabilities. This study also investigated the stability of those profiles across the middle school years (i.e., Grades 7 and 8) and examined the predictability of performance on a broad measure of reading comprehension. Manuscript Two synthesized the existing literature on comprehension instruction while reading adolescent literature for students with or at risk of reading difficulties in grades 4 through 12. Manuscript Three evaluated the feasibility of implementing a systematic instructional approach to building vocabulary and comprehension strategies while reading an adolescent literature text in fifth and sixth-grade Language Arts classrooms. This convergent mixed-methods study evaluated the feasibility of implementation through constructs of utility, appropriateness, and acceptability.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
adolescent literacy profiles, reading difficulties and disabilities, adolescent literature, adolescent reading comprehension instruction, feasibility research
Sponsoring Agency:
U.S. Department of Education Grant H325D190048University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development IDEA GrantEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants P50HD052120 and R01HD095193

Manuscript 1 is published with the following citation:
Richmond, C. L., Daucourt, M. C., Hart, S. A., & Solari, E. J. (2023). Examining the word-level skill and reading comprehension profiles of adolescents with and without specific learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07319487231182133

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