Building Reading Proficiency at the Secondary Level: A Guide to Resources
How to Use the Guide
This guide is organized into three parts.
- Part I: Perspectives
- Part II: Resources
- Part III: Procedures for Compiling the Guide
Part I: Perspectives
Part I provides background information on building reading proficiency at the secondary level.
- Struggling Secondary Readers: A Closer Look describes the scope of the problem and the consequences of being a struggling secondary reader.
- Informal Assessment provides an overview of common reading behaviors of struggling secondary readers, with specific suggestions for informal assessment that teachers can use.
- Building Reading Proficiency at the Secondary Level is a synthesis of the theory and research on secondary reading around four major factors for building reading proficiency.
- Principles of Effective Reading Instruction characterizes effective instructional practices for developing the reading of struggling secondary readers.
- Principles of Effective Professional Development outlines four tenets of effective professional development for teachers who are implementing new strategies.
Part II: Resources
Part II provides detailed descriptions of some of the resources available for teachers to use with struggling secondary readers. The instructional resources for struggling secondary readers were broadly categorized as programs and strategies.
- Programs are instructional packages of multiple components prepared by an entity, often commercial. They provide materials, instructional routines, and support for the professional development of teachers. Two types of programs were defined:
- Campus programs require an administrative commitment at the district, campus, or department level for implementation across classrooms.
- Classroom programs are designed to be selected and implemented by individual classroom teachers.
- Strategies are consistent plans, consciously adapted and monitored by readers for improving performance in reading. Two types of strategies were defined:
- Teacher strategies are implemented by teachers to develop student reading ability. They are instructional interventions for the whole class, small groups, or the individual student.
- Student strategies are internal procedures used by students in the process of reading. Students assume responsibility for using strategies as they become independent readers.
Organization of Entries
Each entry begins with a table that allows a quick review of essential information about the resource. The body of the entry is organized to address the following five questions. The factors and principles we found in our research overview are listed in brackets.
- What is it? How does it work?
- What professional development is required? What is provided?
Four principles of effective professional development: continuous and sustained, locally based initiatives, adaptation rather than adoption, teacher as researcher.
Click here for the discussion of principles.
- How does it develop reading proficiency?
Four major factors: motivation, decoding skill (including fluency), language comprehension (including linguistic knowledge, background knowledge, making inferences, self-regulated comprehending), and transaction with text.
Click here for the discussion of factors.
- How does it support effective reading instruction?
Eight principles of effective reading instruction: recognition and honor of cultural and linguistic diversity; assessment during teaching; scaffolds (strategies such as questioning, discussion, and writing) before, during, and after reading; repertoires of strategies; explicit instruction of strategies; reading practice; student choice and authentic tasks; scaffolding across the classroom curriculum.
Click here for the discussion of principles.
- How effective is it?
Type of documentation, recency of documentation, effectiveness with the target population, extent of implementation.
Click here for the discussion of criteria.
Definitions of Terms
The Definitions of Terms page includes a definition for each term used in the resource descriptions. This section is organized by the five questions used to organize the resource entries.
Part III: Procedures for Compiling the Guide
Part III of the Guide explains the procedures used for reviewing the research on secondary reading, for developing the selection criteria, and for locating and describing resources.
The bibliography includes the sources consulted for the preparation of the guide. It also includes recent publications of practical value to educators, marked with an asterisk(*). Sources consulted to document each of the programs and strategies are listed separately, in reference lists at the end of each resource description.