David Pearson, Annemarie S. Palincsar, Gina Biancarosa, & Amy I. Berman (Eds.). 2020. Reaping the Rewards of the Reading for Understanding Initiative. Washington, DC: National Academy of Education.
This expert panel drew three broad conclusions from its review of over 200 scientific articles:
(1) background knowledge helps students become better readers, and reading helps students learn facts, concepts, and how to gain meaning from text;
(2) language drives every facet of comprehension—both foundational skills like letter knowledge and more sophisticated skills like how to draw conclusions from text; and
(3) reading is an inherently cultural activity, with every reading activity having a purpose, expectations, and social context; and with readers’ skills and frames of mind shaped by everything that influences who they are.
Nell K. Duke and Kelly B. Cartwright. 2021. “The Science of Reading Progresses: Communicating Advances Beyond the Simple View of Reading,” Reading Research Quarterly 56, no. S1: S25–44.
Carol M. Connor and Frederick J. Morrison. 2016. “Individualizing student instruction in reading: Implications for policy and practice,” Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3, no. 1: 54–61.
Carol M. Connor, Paul A. Alberto, Donald L. Compton, and Rollanda E. O’Connor. 2014. Improving Reading Outcomes for Students with or at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Synthesis of the Contributions from the Institute of Education Sciences Research Centers. Washington, DC: National Center for Special Education Research, Institute for Education Sciences.
Chan Lü. 2020. “Bilingualism and Biliteracy for All: Celebrating Our Linguistic Strengths,” American Educator, Summer 2020.
Many educators believe speaking a language other than English is a problem to be solved. However, there are benefits to bilingualism and biliteracy. Bilingual and biliterate children demonstrate metalinguistic awareness—knowledge about language—that helps them learn a second language, although the characteristics of the two languages make a difference in how that works.
Debra A. Giambo and Tunde Szecsi. 2015. “Promoting and Maintaining Bilingualism and Biliteracy: Cognitive and Biliteracy Benefits & Strategies for Monolingual Teachers,” The Open Communication Journal 9, no. 1: 56–60.
Bilingual children demonstrate cognitive advantages and have advantages in early literacy skills. Literacy skills in the native language help students learn English, as do oral language skills in English. Therefore, bilingual education is advantageous, but English-only teachers can also help students develop proficiency in their home languages.
Cristina Ríos and Catalina Castillón. 2018. “Bilingual Literacy Development: Trends and Critical Issues,” International Research and Review: Journal of Phi Beta Delta 7, no. 2: 85–96.
Claude Goldenberg. 2008. “Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does—and Does Not—Say,” American Educator, Summer 2008: 8–23, 42–43.
This article summarizes two major reviews of English learner education. The findings conclude that teaching English learners to read in their native language promotes higher reading achievement in English in the long run; students can apply their understanding of a concept taught in one language to other languages; and that effective instructional approaches for all students support English learners, but instruction must also be modified for English learners so that they can understand the lesson and build language skills.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.