Reading Endorsement ~ New Developments

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					Reading Teacher Education ~ Reading Research
USG Reading Consortium Minigrant Program The Center for the University System of Georgia Reading Consortium provides opportunities for statewide collaboration among professionals engaged in improving the literacy performance of students P-12. Two functions of the Center for the USG Reading Consortium are (1) to facilitate and support collaborative research initiatives of consortium associates and (2) to provide a forum for the ongoing development of initiatives designed to help Georgia’s teachers meet the literacy needs of students in the 21st century. Towards that end, the minigrant program is designed to support Consortium member initiatives addressing the following Reading Consortium goals:      Monitor the effectiveness of the Consortium efforts at improving literacy in the state of Georgia. Provide a forum and network of member institutions to monitor the progress toward realizing the mission statement. Increase public awareness and understanding of effective approaches that can improve the reading abilities of all P-12 students of Georgia. Conduct and disseminate research on the effective teaching of reading. Promote dialogue and collaboration on the effective teaching of reading across consortium members from the institutions, the Board of Regents, the Professional Standards Commission, and the Department of Education.

Proposal Guidelines
Due Date: Proposal Review: Posted as an attachment to the READ List Serve prior to the February meeting, or bring 20 copies to the February meeting. Will be completed during Consortium’s February meeting.

Name(s): Jennifer W. Greene USG Reading Consortium – Member Institution(s):

Georgia State University

Title: Formulaic Language and Academic Vocabulary in Middle School Content Area Textbooks Summary of the research or the development project: (300 words) The identification of recurring lexical bundles (Biber & Conrad, 1999) and vocabulary (Coxhead, 2000) appearing in academic texts has shown important pedagogical implications in the areas of teaching, learning, curriculum development, and materials design. However, that research has been limited to academic texts used in higher-level education. The present study will use corpus-based methodologies to create a new corpus of the content area textbooks used by middle school students in public schools in the United States. Analysis of this corpus will identify formulaic language (Wray, 2002) in the form of recurring four-word sequences described as lexical bundles (Biber & Conrad, 1999) in the corpus. Subsequent analysis will describe the semantic and syntactic roles of these sequences. In addition, corpus analysis

methodologies will be used to identify the academic vocabulary in these textbooks beyond that of the first 2,000 frequently used words described by West (1953). Identification of the formulaic language and academic vocabulary will have important pedagogical implications for middle school students, and for future curriculum development and design of materials for these students. How does your project relate to the goals of the reading consortium? This research relates to the consortium’s goal to conduct and disseminate research on the effective teaching of reading. Research results will provide middle school literacy teachers, ESOL teachers, and literacy teacher educators with a roadmap for vocabulary instruction. Rather than being limited to arbitrary decisions regarding which words and phrases will be explicitly taught, there will be a comprehensive list of academic vocabulary students will need to know in order to read their text books. To what degree is this a collaborative project or a project that will contribute to the statewide work of the consortium? It is important that the Reading Consortium and the Reading Endorsement program continually reflect the research-based principles in the No Child Left Behind legislation, which includes a focus on vocabulary instruction. Members have published articles and made conference presentations on this topic in years past. This research will continue Consortium members’ efforts in understanding word-learning pedagogy and disseminating those results.

Budget (with rationale): Materials:

$5,000.00

Textbooks in the areas of Math, Science, Social Studies/History, Reading/Language Arts, and Health. All textbooks would come from the California and Texas textbook adoption lists.

Equipment: Text scanner and related software Timeline: Spring, 2007: Purchase textbooks, build electronic corpus of middle-school content area textbooks, Analyze corpus for academic vocabulary and formulaic language. Prepare written report of research results.

Summer, 2007:


				
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