The Impact of Story Reading and Retelling on the Oral Development of English Language Learners
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Due to the increasing population of English language learners in the United States and the academic gap between their English-speaking counterparts, the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the structured instruction composed of story reading, retelling, higher-order thinking skills and ESL strategies on the oral language development of English language learners. The data utilized in this study was retrieved from the archived data from a five-year longitudinal research project targeting Spanish-speaking students with limited English language proficiency at elementary level. All the participants in the treatment groups received the structured language instruction from the entry of kindergarten to the end of third grade with multiple instructional components. In order to compare the oral proficiency of students in two different treatment conditions, 64 third grade students were randomly selected from the transitional bilingual education program. Among the 64 participants, 32 received enhanced English instruction and the other 32 received only typical ESL instruction. The enhanced instruction the participants received in the year of third grade included story reading, retelling, content area integration, direct vocabulary instruction, higher-order thinking skills and ESL strategies. All the participants in treatment and control groups received curriculum-based vocabulary measure and standardized assessment. The first research question focused on the oral fluency based on the curriculum-based vocabulary knowledge. The findings suggested significant impact of time and treatment, and also a significant interaction effect between these two variables, indicating that the intervention had a significant effect on the students’ oral proficiency based on the curriculum-based measurement and the effect was more evident in the posttest. The second and third research question focused on students’ vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension on the measure of standardized assessment after receiving repeated story reading and explicit vocabulary instruction. The results showed the treatment group outperformed the control group in the aspects of vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension. The findings suggested that the students who received structured instruction of story reading and retelling incorporating higher-order thinking skills and ESL strategies showed better performance in oral fluency, vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension.
Yang, Pei-Lin (2015). The Impact of Story Reading and Retelling on the Oral Development of English Language Learners. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from