Peer Mediation and Beginning Readers' Literacy Development in a Linguistically Diverse Classroom Setting: A Qualitative Study
Chapman, Valerie G
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Beginning readers are defined as such due to their limited knowledge of the graphophonic cueing system as well as their limited use of the graphophonic cueing system. More capable peers can mediate how learning occurs in homes with expectations in school settings. This study examined peer mediation among linguistically diverse first graders to see how they integrated cueing systems in their reading and writing. Vygotsky's sociocultural framework guided this study. The research questions were: (a) In what ways do more capable peers in a linguistically diverse classroom mediate developing literacy in English? (b) How do linguistically diverse, beginning readers develop strategies in the graphophonic cueing system? and (c) How do beginning readers in a linguistically diverse classroom demonstrate the integrated use of the graphophonic, syntactic, and semantic cueing systems to support their literacy development in English? The study site was a purposefully chosen first-grade classroom in a PreK-6 school. Data were collected through participant observation, interviews, and gathering documents. Data were analyzed through both emic and etic codes using the constant comparative method. Emic codes resulted from open coding, etic codes were grounded in the literature. Findings are that beginning readers from linguistically diverse backgrounds developed physical and verbal mediation strategies as they assisted peers' literacy development. Beginning readers from linguistically diverse backgrounds also developed independent problem solving strategies in graphophonic, syntactic, and semantic cueing systems as they read texts. Conclusions are that these beginning readers modified and transferred instruction that was modeled in shared reading and interactive writing to peer reading and writing assistance and independent work.
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