Effects of explicit reading comprehension strategy instruction on students’ reading comprehension and written summaries

Sarah A. Schindler

Abstract

The purpose of this action research study was to answer the question, “Does explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies and summary writing improve eighth grade ELLs’ nonfiction reading comprehension?” The participants were a group of 19 eighth grade English language learners in a language arts classroom in an urban charter school. The intervention took place over an eight-week period. During the first four weeks, students read nonfiction text without receiving explicit instruction in comprehension strategies. For the next four weeks, students were taught to use specific strategies to read and understand nonfiction text about World War II. The results were students showed improvement in their ability to understand nonfiction independently. The greatest improvement was their ability to write accurate summaries, further demonstrating the importance of connecting reading and writing activities in the classroom.