Hege Rangnes: Teachers’ understanding and facilitation for second language learners’ access to expository texts

The purpose of the study is to investigate how teachers understand and facilitate for second language learners’ (SLLs) learning from expository texts in social studies in grades 5.–7.

Results from international and national reading test show that SLLs as a group face difficulties in comprehending texts. Even though we know that the academic language in texts is a challenge to many SLLs’ text comprehension, we know less about how teachers work with expository texts during teaching. The purpose of this study is therefore to investigate how teachers understand and facilitated for SLLs’ learning when working with expository texts.

Data was gathered through interviews and observations in classrooms. As part of the study, the teachers conducted a vocabulary test in their classes. The test measures the students’ knowledge of academic vocabulary. Further, this study investigates SLLs’ conversations about expository texts in peer groups.

While earlier research has conducted observation studies in classrooms, this project contributes with knowledge of teachers’ own voices about the use of test results for instructional purposes, and the challenges they experience during teaching when facilitating for SLLs’ learning from expository texts. In addition, the project will illuminate SLLs’ text comprehension in peer groups. The results will have implications for teacher education and teacher development courses.

Project period: 2017-2019

Ph.D.-student: Hege Rangnes

Supervisor: Per Henning Uppstad

Co-supervisors: Aslaug Fodstad Gourvennec and Åse Kari Hansen Wagner

Hege Rangnes