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Evaluation:AA Children and its relation to Early Reading Achievement - Case Study Example

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Familiarity With School English in African American Children and Its Relation to Early Reading Achievement. The quest to research into the relationship between familiarization with school English in African American children and early reading achievement is important is helping find general interventions to curb any reading difficulties associated with African Americans at the early levels of education…
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Study Evaluation:AA Children and its relation to Early Reading Achievement
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Familiarity With School English in African American Children and Its Relation to Early Reading Achievement. The quest to research into the relationship between familiarization with school English in African American children and early reading achievement is important is helping find general interventions to curb any reading difficulties associated with African Americans at the early levels of education. This is because such a research exposes common causes of reading difficulty. With reference to the research in question which was carried out on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development, there are critical areas of analysis as far as experimental methods used and results found are concerned. There are also important implications and interpretations of the results found. As far as research methodology is concerned, the population of the research was African American students in kindergarten through second grade who were attending historically low performing communities in Cleveland, Ohio; New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington, D.C. Though the idea behind choosing students from these three districts was based on the fact that those districts were sites for school reform initiatives, the decision to select students from schools with historically low-performance and serving low-income communities were likely to affect results, not giving the true picture of situation in the larger African American community. The population should have included schools from high-performance schools to ensure balance. Sampling was done by the use of random sampling. This was a good idea in getting students of mixed-ability and sex and avoiding bias in the selection process. The decision to select students from kindergarten to second grade was in the right direction because it represented the aim of the research to assess reading competence at the early stages of education. The research used examiners from different backgrounds including 8 African Americans and 3 Whites. This was necessary in ensuring variety and balance in satisfying student need especially as all students were African Americans. The assessment area was also in the right contest. The research used Woodcock Reading Mastery Test – Revised. Trough this, students were assessed in the areas of word identification, phonology and comprehension. These are areas that can give true reflection of students’ reading ability and comprehension skills. The mode of assessing students could have been better. The research resorted to students, imitating what examiners read. Considering the academic level of students who were barely three years into formal education, there could be several instances of students forgetting what examiners read and this situation was captured in the report. Using picture book alone was also not enough. Students should have been made to read written materials along with imitating what examiners read throughout the assessment period. The idea to exclude the kindergarten class from comprehension test was however in the right direction. This is because students at the kindergarten level are too young to produce comprehensive meanings of passages read. Generally, the method adapted was suitable though it could be better. I the story recall for instance, prompts were given by examiners. This was good for students’ academic level. Content of test items were also within the ability level of students. As far as results are concerned, results gathered goes a long way to confirm general hypothesis of the research was that “dialect differences could lead to interference and confusion as children attempt to discover and learn regular spelling-sound correspondences” (Anne H. C., Hollis S.S. & Darion M. G., 2004, p. 11). However, the researchers decision to interpret results according to districts of students and their socio-economic background defeats the argument of empirical proof in research findings. This is to say that results obtained should have bee n classified as a whole without any relation to where students attended school. This would have given a better view of the prevalence of the problem among larger population of African American students. This the way findings were handled, one is made to believe that the problem exists at specific places among African Americans and not a problem with African Americans in general. To increase students’ ability to learn School English more easily, they should be made to have enough language models at home. These models could be parents or other adults who have very good command over School English. This is an important aspect of helping African American children to learn reading at the learn stages of their education as the research proofed that their home environment has a lot of effect on their reading acquisition skills. Students who may not have models at home can be made to benefit from schools’ initiatives that will give them tape recordings of reading sections that teach all aspects of reading such as pronunciation, stress, syllabic and phonology. If such initiatives are not taken, students’ environment will continue to dominate their formal reading acquisition skills. REFERENCE LIST Anne H. C., Hollis S.S. & Darion M. G. (2004) Familiarity With School English in African American Children and Its Relation to Early Reading Achievement. Society for Research in Child Development. Accessed February 22 2011 from http://www.academia-research.com/filecache/instr/a/a/504757_aa_children_and_its_relation_to_early_reading.pdf Read More
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