SCET Journal 2020/2021

Language Matters »

Debunking the Deficit Reading Model with a Bilingual Student Through RMA: A Case Study of a Latinx Bilingual and Biliterate Fifth-Grade Student Katherine Eliana Agudelo-Roberson

The United States is a unique nation, a hub for immigrants from all over the world, bringing a realm of cultures and languages to mainstream public educa- tion. Thus, the education of bilingual and multilingual students is a heated topic of debate, creating strong divisions and sometimes heated discourse based on race. In our present time, monolingual ideologies on education dominate over multilingual realities, creating what many scholars have called the “deficit view” of linguistic minorities by mainstream cultures (Flores, Cousin, & Diaz, 1991; MacSwan, 2000; Anzul et al., 2001; Cummins, 2003; Fránquiz, Salazar, & DeNicolo, 2011). Unfortunately, the deficit view has also permeated the perception of bilingual readers. For example, Ching (1965) stated, “Teachers who work with bilingual chil- dren are often confronted with pupils who have hand- icaps in relation to the language backgrounds neces- sary for successful reading… Before the child with a language handicap can begin to read successfully, he must command a meaningful English vocabulary” (p. 22). Nowadays, this parsimonious view on reading is sometimes evidenced in our elementary school class- rooms where bilingual readers are assumed to struggle with their English reading proficiency, without having enough evidence of such, or knowing about reading proficiency in a child’s mother tongue. This article aims to contribute to debunking the deficit model of bilingual students’ reading by using components such as miscue analysis, retrospective miscue analysis, and translanguaging. I first present the theoretical background and research question, then I discuss my methodology and findings, and con- clude with limitations, conclusion, and future research pathways. Literature Review The reading process can be seen through multiple disciplinary lenses, each lens contributing to an under- standing of reading from different theoretical and meth- odological perspectives. In framing this case study, I

draw upon the socio-psycholinguistic perspective of reading which positions it as a language process during which readers construct meaning as they read (Good- man, 1996). A tenet of psycholinguist reading theory is that reading is primarily a language process which relies on cuing systems (Goodman, 1965). Another perspective used to frame this study is the socio-con- structivist perspective which describes reading as an active search for meaning that requires studying the relationships between thought process, language, and socio-cultural settings in which both the reader and a text are exchanged during the process (Goodman, 1996). Through cross-disciplinary and methodological lenses on reading, we need to approach the reading process in and outside the classroom not only as a cognitive task of decoding texts, but as what connects us with what makes us unique in the world, our “hu- manness,” adopting what Weaver (1998) described as “a commonsense model of reading.” Miscue analysis was an emergent field in literacy education in the 1970’s, and its potential for L2 read- ing continues to be explored and reshaped. The main purpose of miscue analysis is to help teachers and re- searchers gain insight into a reader’s process as a so- cial, linguistic transactive model of reading. Goodman used the word “miscue” to eliminate pejorative conno- tations of words such as “error” and “mistake,” and to underscore the belief that reading is cued by a reader’s language and personal experience (Goodman, Watson, & Burke, 2005). From a psycholinguistic perspective, “The study of readers’ miscues provides insight into how they integrate the language cueing systems during the reading process in order to construct meaning. The meaning construction during the process of reading is often called ongoing comprehending” (Rhodes & Shanklin, 1993). Miscue analysis is a deliberate process; it involves planning and the use of set procedures for data collection and data analysis. Goodman, Watson, and Burke (2005) explain the three main miscue analysis procedures; however, for the purpose of this study, I




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