Academic journal article Reading Improvement

Adapting Self-Selected Reading Practices for College-Level Developmental Reading Courses

Academic journal article Reading Improvement

Adapting Self-Selected Reading Practices for College-Level Developmental Reading Courses

Article excerpt

Reading comprehension and fluency issues are the most significant challenges facing adult, developmental reading students in community colleges. While a great deal of focus has been on improving developmental reading instruction, there is a lack of attention, and research, on how to best improve students' actual reading. Self-selected reading practices are methods which allow adult, developmental learners to practice the skills they learn in class, while improving their motivation and confidence to read. Self-selected reading practices have been used extensively within the K-12 educational system for decades. Self-selected reading allows for increased attention to the practice of reading within a supportive and educational setting. The need for increased reading practice within developmental reading courses is evident. This article presents a proposal and justification for the implementation of self-selected reading practices within adult, developmental reading programs.

Introduction

Self-selected reading, which has been used extensively within K-12 education, has the potential to positively affect adult, developmental reading students in a college setting. Adult students enrolled in college developmental reading programs struggle with reading comprehension and fluency. While direct reading-skills instruction has dominated developmental reading courses as the primary form of instruction, there is ample room for evidence-based curricular adjustments. Silent reading has proven effective with younger readers. Many of the adult developmental reading students demonstrate reading deficiencies similar to their younger, student counterparts. Increasing the availability of actual reading practice into reading-skills instruction courses may prove beneficial with adult readers as it has with younger readers. The purpose of this article is to present the need for, and implementation of, a silent reading program within adult developmental reading programs in a college setting.

An increasing number of students are enrolling within community colleges, bringing with them deficiencies in reading comprehension and fluency (Ari, 2015). These students are at risk for academic failure due to these deficiencies, and thus their lack of college preparedness (Rodesiler & McGuire, 2015). Reading comprehension and fluency issues pose significant challenges to both faculty and students (Ari, 2015; Atkinson, Zhang, Zeiler, & Phillips, 2014). With the increase in underprepared students on campus, there is the challenge of meeting the needs of students who require various forms of support (Atkinson et al., 2014). Difficulties in reading are the most serious proficiency issue among developmental students (Paulson, 2014). Students lacking college-level reading skills are placed into developmental reading courses, which are designed to increase students' reading proficiency and comprehension skills to meet college-level reading requirements (Ari, 2015; Engstrom, 2005; Hodara & Jaggars, 2014; Paulson, 2014).

Community colleges, and developmental reading programs, offer a variety of instructional and institutional support for developmental students (Paulson, 2014). Developmental reading programs, as well as various support systems, use a multitude of approaches when it comes to preparing developmental readers (Atkinson et al., 2014; Paulson, 2014). Despite the variety of teaching philosophies and methodologies currently in use, there is no consensus regarding a universal method for effectively preparing developmental readers (Atkinson et al., 2014; Paulson, 2006). There are debates regarding the instructional approaches that are used for developmental readers (Paulson & Armstrong, 2010). However, despite such disagreements, there is often a consensus within the field that further developments are needed when it comes to developmental reading programs. There is a need to improve students' reading comprehension skills as well as their developmental reading course completion rates. …

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