Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Psychological Studies in Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Beth Doll. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2011

Copyright 2011 Courtney M. LeClair


The purpose of this study was to examine whether the reading progress of Spanish-speaking English Language Learner students differed depending on their acculturation orientation. Participants included 85 students in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade in two school districts in the rural Midwest. All participants were Latino and qualified as “English Language Learner” students. Measures included the Brief Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican-Americans II (B-ARSMA-II), the easyCBM Passage Reading Fluency (PRF) scale, and an author-created Parent Demographic Form. In addition, the participants’ teacher’s adherence to the core reading program (Reading Mastery) was monitored by staff from the National Institute for Direct Instruction or Educational Resources, Incorporated. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the impact of acculturation orientation on reading performance across 12 weeks. Results indicated that there was a significant three-way effect, in that the relationship between reading performance and orientation to new culture was affected by orientation to culture of origin, just as the relationship between reading performance and orientation to culture of origin was affected by orientation to new culture. In addition, findings suggest that young children may not be reliable reporters of their ethnicity, and that participants’ acculturation orientation did not change significantly over time.

Advisor: Beth Doll