The development of reading skills in language minority (LM) learners, particularly during the middle school years, remains unclear despite the increasing need for educators to serve this rapidly growing population. In this study, the English reading comprehension growth of middle school LM learners was investigated using a longitudinal design and the simple view of reading as a theoretical framework. Students were assessed at four time points between fifth and seventh grades on standardized measures of listening comprehension, word reading, and reading comprehension. Individual growth modeling revealed that both listening comprehension and word reading assessed in fifth grade predicted the elevation of students’ developmental trajectories in reading comprehension. However, neither skill predicted students’ growth in reading comprehension, and there was no significant variation across children in growth rates, indicating that students in seventh grade remained on a trajectory established in fifth grade. The implications of the slowing rate of reading comprehension development during the middle school years are discussed.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 25, 2009
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