Improving Content Area Reading Comprehension with 46th Grade Spanish ELLs Using Web-Based Structure Strategy Instruction
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Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Reading in the content areas of science, social studies, and current events is a difficult task that is even more elusive to Spanish-speaking English language learners. There is a huge increase in children transitioning from their L1 (e.g., Spanish) to L2 (e.g., English) in classrooms across the USA. These ELs face challenges due to a lack of fluency in decoding, vocabulary, and word, sentence, and discourse level complexities in English learning. Structure strategy instruction on the Web for English Language Learners (SWELL) is a web-based tutoring system that supports ELs in reading comprehension by teaching them about five text structures. In addition, SWELL provides two adaptations for ELs-Spanish Scaffolding (where students were presented materials in both Spanish and English) and English Hybrid (where students were given the option of seeking assistance in Spanish by hovering over words, clicking on sentences, or viewing a full page in Spanish). In this chapter, we report on the design and pilot studies conducted within five classrooms at grades 4, 5, and 6. Our results show improvements in reading comprehension measured by researcher designed measures.