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ERIC Number: ED535297
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 181
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Reading in the Disciplines: The Challenges of Adolescent Literacy. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy
Lee, Carol D.; Spratley, Anika
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Adolescents may struggle with text for a number of reasons, including problems with a) vocabulary knowledge, b) general knowledge of topics and text structures, c) knowing of what to do when comprehension breaks down, or d) proficiency in monitoring their own reading comprehension. Most recent literacy initiatives target younger readers and attempt to instill basic decoding and comprehension skills. But struggling adolescent readers in schools face more complex and pervasive challenges. Supporting these readers as they grapple with the highly specific demands of texts written for different content-areas will help prepare them for citizenship, encourage personal growth and life-satisfaction on many levels, and open up opportunities for future education and employment. In this paper, the authors focus on one foundational aspect of adolescent literacy that has been relatively ignored by recent reports on the problem. Their starting point is the fact that the major difference between reading in grades K-5 and reading in grades 6-12 is the transition from "learning to read to reading to learn." The latter skill brings into play numerous academic concepts and modes of reasoning, primarily through the act of reading. Adolescents often need more sophisticated and specific kinds of literacy support for reading in content-areas, or academic disciplines. The authors call this more advanced form of literacy required of adolescent readers "disciplinary literacy" because each academic discipline or content-area presupposes specific kinds of background knowledge about how to read texts in that area, and often also requires a particular type of reading. In this paper, the authors address the following: (1) define and illustrate what is entailed in comprehending texts within and across academic disciplines; (2) examine what the empirical research base says about reading comprehension generally and reading in the disciplines specifically; and (3) briefly discuss the implications of this research base for teaching and assessments. They conclude with some recommendations for improving policy and practice in the area of disciplinary literacy. (Contains 1 endnote and 10 boxes.) [For related reports, see "Adolescent Literacy Programs: Costs of Implementation. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535296); "Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Success. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535318); "Measure for Measure: A Critical Consumers' Guide to Reading Comprehension Assessments for Adolescents. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535299); "Adolescent Literacy and Textbooks: An Annotated Bibliography. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535323); and "Adolescent Literacy Development in Out-of-School Time: A Practitioner's Guide. Final Report from Carnegie Corporation of New York's Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy" (ED535304).]
Carnegie Corporation of New York. 437 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022. Tel: 212-371-3200; Fax: 212-754-4073; Web site: http://carnegie.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Corporation of New York