SCET Journal 2020/2021

« Language Matters

last session together, I reviewed Elisa’s Burke interview answers and confirmed that “When collected over time, the knowledge we gather from the BRI reflects ongoing changes in students’ attitudes about reading and read- ing strategies and helps teachers adjust their reading programs to make most of readers’ strengths and to ad- dress their needs” (Goodman, Watson, & Burke, 2005, p. 185). When asked again, who is a good reader? she replied: Researcher: Who’s a good reader, Elisa? Remember, you told me I asked you at the beginning who is good reader? Em: A good reader is a person that knows what their meaning and can correct himself and be sure of what he is reading. Elisa’s perception of what a good reader is changed from her initial response of a good reader being some- one who reads fast and does not stop to look up unknown words, to someone who focuses on meaning. Her answer also shows by participating in this case study, she now understands that self-correction is a positive trait for good readers, influencing her self-per- ception as she self-corrects while reading in English and Spanish. Self-correction has a theoretical foundation, as Wilde (2000, p. 26) states: “as readers, we do this kind of regression and self-correction all the time, in both oral and silent reading.” Developing this kind of awareness is essential, as it also allows students to build confidence in their own self-correcting skills. Conclusion Just as in Wang and Guilles’ study (2017) case study, this case study with a bilingual student at the elementa- ry school level, also highlights the necessity of encour- aging students to use elements of miscue analysis to reflect on their biliteracy development, by finding their strengths and their opportunities for growth in both languages. Beginning this process at the elementary school level allows readers to develop a background on metacognitive strategies and metalanguage that leads towards the development of healthy ecological bilitera- cies that will hopefully prevail through their lives. In my theoretical framework I observed that bilingual- ism is sometimes mistakenly perceived as an impair- ment. In a predominant monolingual school setting, speaking a second language is not often perceived as a positive trait, but this type of perception can affect bilingual readers’ identities, perception, and self-confi-

dence, as proficiency in the hegemonic language could be a gatekeeper to school success. A whole language approach to biliteracy can bridge the social justice gap, especially for English language learners and heritage speakers who are taking their first steps into learning English in the classroom or are fully bilingual in both languages. Retrospective miscue analysis in the child’s native language, or the support in the use of translan- guaging can help administrators, teachers, and parents better understand the child’s needs, wants, and oppor- tunities for growth in their reading journey. Implications Elisa was referred to this case study as a student who may have deficiencies in reading. Through miscue analysis and RMA, Elisa and I discovered that she is a strong reader in English and Spanish, although her bilingualism led her to mistakenly be labeled under the deficit model. Her bilingualism is one of her strengths as a reader, and she feels proud, reading Esperanza Rising and not having to stop to look up words. Teachers, whether bilingual or not, need to free themselves from harmful epistemological misconceptions about bilin- gual readers, embracing the notion of biliteracy from an asset-based perspective, and reaching out to parents to support biliteracy at home. Using miscue analysis and RMA empowers educa- tors to develop a framework for collecting, using, and developing teaching practices to enable readers to succeed. Developing “miscue ears” (Goodman, Wat- son, & Burke, 2005) takes time and practice; there are different factors for successful miscue analysis at the elementary school level like professional development on miscue analysis, availability of time and resources, and parent involvement on reading promotion. These factors along with our perception of the reading process determines the lens under which we will view and pro- mote literacy practices in our society. Viewing reading from a socio-constructivist lens encourages us to invest in students’ literacy, enacting and embodying culturally responsible pedagogies that set up students for suc- cess in life and not only in school. I encourage teachers/researchers interested in translanguaging and discourse analysis to develop and participate in case studies such as this one, to broad- en our understanding of reading, providing a kaleido- scopic view about bilingual students’ biliteracy and translanguaging.

South Carolina English Teacher



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