Teacher Education


Transactional literature circles and the reading comprehension of at-risk English learners in the mainstream classroom

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc. on behalf of United Kingdom Literacy Association


This study examines a problem that many mainstream teachers face today: how to successfully improve reading comprehension for English language learners (ELLs) in an English-only environment. The researcher examines both the academic and psychosocial effects of the Transactional Literature Circles (TLC) programme on a treatment group of 75 fourth to sixth grade, at-risk, ELLs to a comparable control group who did not participate in the study. The results of this study report that TLC positively affected the reading comprehension of the programme participants. The students in the TLC programme outperformed the students in the control group on standardised reading tests, and in 7 months increased one grade level in reading. Teacher interviews and student surveys reported an increase in student reading engagement and motivation that positively affected reading self-efficacy, confidence and a willingness to participate in class discussions.