Current standards push for elementary students to have text-based and text-centric discussions of what they read. This study explored what bilingual third-grade students talked about during small-group text-based discussions of informational texts. The author conducted a qualitative analysis of 10 video-recorded discussions, five of books matched to students’ reading levels and five of complex texts one year ahead of students’ reading levels. Two groups of three students participated. All students needed additional support to read successfully at grade level. Findings show that only a quarter of student talk clearly connected to printed text. Their talk oriented toward ideas, images, and texts. Ideas and images provided an accessible entry point into the discussion for all students and in some cases facilitated interactions with text. When students did talk about text, it did not always further develop the discussion topic. For the students needing the most support to read at grade level, more talk about text and ideas occurred with difficult books, whereas matched books led to more conversations oriented toward images. Implications include the need for teachers and researchers to value responses beyond overtly text-oriented ones in discussions.
Kelly, L. (2020). Bilingual Children's Talk about Informational Text: Focus on Ideas, Images, and Print. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 59 (2). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol59/iss2/3