A collaborative approach to English language learners' literacy and language development

Milagros Torres, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to identify the role of the collaborative approach to language and literacy development (CALLD) of the reading comprehension and language development of third- and fourth-grade English language learners (ELLs). The Second purpose was to describe the roles of two mainstream teachers and one ESL teacher in facilitating instruction to meet the academic and language demands of these English language learners. The participants were from an intact sample consisted of 8 English Language Learners (ELLs). They were part of a third and fourth grade mainstream class in which all the instruction was conducted in English. Three elementary school teachers participated in this study. Two of the three teachers were mainstream classroom teachers and one was an ESL specialist. The study was conducted in an elementary school in Rockland County, New York during a six-week period. Data was collected through, the Qualitative Reading Inventory-II (QRI-II), the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT), open-ended questionnaires, teacher interviews, teachers and students' reflections, observations and audio/video recordings. The study sought to identify: (a) English reading comprehension and oral language development, (b) the types of strategies that occurred during interactions between ELLs and English proficient students while they worked in collaborative reading groups and the role they played in collaborative groups, (c) the ELLs' perceptions of the benefits of using the CALLD strategy, (d) the roles of the two mainstream teachers and one ESL teacher using the CALLD strategy model, and (e) the main characteristic of the CALLD strategy. The analysis of the findings of this study indicated that: (a) participating ELL students made progress in reading comprehension and oral language, (b) demonstrated frequent use of effective reading comprehension and language strategies, (c) participating ELLs made improvement in listening and speaking and in cognitive and analytical proficiencies, (d) participants gained confidence in the completion of collaborative reading activities, (e) group discussions increased participating ELLs' reading comprehension and (f) participating teachers had multiple opportunities to mediate and scaffold student learning. The findings suggest that CALLD was effective in the development and improvement of 8 ELLs' reading comprehension.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Linguistics|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Torres, Milagros, "A collaborative approach to English language learners' literacy and language development" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3265578.