Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction


The purpose of this research was to uncover what counts as reading to second grade ELLs (English Language Learners) in a non-graded, afterschool reading program. I used an interactional ethnographic epistemological research approach. I video-and audio-taped twentyfour afterschool reading lessons, took fieldnotes, conducted semi-structured interviews, and collected artifacts. The thirteen participants were ELLs, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and of Mexican-American descent. First, I identified children’s opportunities on an event map. Next, I analyzed moment-by-moment discourse analysis of read alouds from the beginning and end of the program. Finally, I made visible what counted as reading from participants’ discourse through domain analyses and taxonomy. Findings of the study demonstrate three key signals of what counts as reading to the children: sharing knowledge, responding to texts, and recognizing norms and expectations of the classroom. To students, reading is done collectively, texts are used to do something, and reading is for making personal meaning beyond literal interpretations. Students use classroom’s reading contexts as opportunities for student agency, for constructing and reconstructing cultural and reading norms and expectations, and for understanding and doing reading creatively in ways that extend beyond those beyond predetermined by the teacher or influenced by policies and contexts outside the classroom. Informed by the research findings, curriculum administrators, teachers, and students are encouraged to plan, implement, and take up opportunities to promote opportunities for socially constructing reading.

Granting Institution

University of Texas Brownsville



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