Oral reading: practices and purposes in secondary classrooms
Brooks, Maneka Deanna
Frankel, Katherine K.
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Citation (published version)Maneka Deanna Brooks, Katherine K Frankel. 2018. "Oral reading: practices and purposes in secondary classrooms." ENGLISH TEACHING-PRACTICE AND CRITIQUE, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp. 328 - 341. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-01-2018-0010
PURPOSE This paper aims to investigate teacher-initiated whole-group oral reading practices in two ninth-grade reading intervention classrooms and how teachers understood the purposes of those practices. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH In this qualitative cross-case analysis, a literacy-as-social-practice perspective is used to collaboratively analyze ethnographic data (fieldnotes, audio recordings, interviews, artifacts) across two classrooms. FINDINGS Oral reading was a routine instructional reading event in both classrooms. However, the literacy practices that characterized oral reading and teachers’ purposes for using oral reading varied depending on teachers’ pedagogical philosophies, instructional goals and contextual constraints. During oral reading, students’ opportunities to engage in independent meaning making with texts were either absent or secondary to other purposes or goals. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS Findings emphasize the significance of understanding both how and why oral reading happens in secondary classrooms. Specifically, they point to the importance of collaborating with teachers to (a) examine their own ideas about the power of oral reading and the institutional factors that shape their existing oral reading practices; (b) investigate the intended and actual outcomes of oral reading for their students and (c) develop other instructional approaches to support students to individually and collaboratively make meaning from texts. ORIGINALITY/VALUE This study falls at the intersection of three under-researched areas of study: the nature of everyday instruction in secondary literacy intervention settings, the persistence of oral reading in secondary school and teachers’ purposes for using oral reading in their instruction. Consequently, it contributes new knowledge that can support educators in creating more equitable instructional environments.