Adolescent English Learners

Charlotte Miller

Adolescent English Learners: Executing Reading Interventions

Reading intervention is significant for persons with reading challenges and impairments to achieve long-term success and independence. Early interventions (as early as preschool) might, in an ideal system, have assisted these individuals in keeping up with their peers to some extent, but no system is impeccable. Not all learners receive these interventions, whether due to a lack of funds or youngsters falling between the gaps. Interventions for teenage learners become even more critical in light of this. I consider myself to be an expert when it comes to edtech.

What Is Reading Intervention and How Does It Work?

The University of Florida’s Martha Hougen collaborated with the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to develop a handbook for evidence-based reading teaching for adolescents in grades 6-12. It is hard to look for higher education jobs. Her study outlines a variety of tactics and approaches that aid adolescent learners and give the necessary support. Her efforts were focused on four key elements:

  • Word Recognition and Word Study (the ability to decipher words accurately and efficiently).
  • Fluency (reading with adequate precision at an appropriate tempo and with proper prosody, resulting in an accurate and deep understanding and drive to read).
  • Vocabulary (understanding of word meanings).
  • Text comprehension (entails interpreting and deriving meaning from texts).

These strategies are reasonably easy to execute and need just a deliberate effort on the part of instructors. Something as easy as going over new or challenging terminology in a text with highlighters to better grasp not only that word but how it fits into the remainder of the sentence/passage covers all four of the components mentioned above.

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Recognizing the significance

Dr. Hougen’s research is backed up by over 30 years of research on the topic, which shows that this technique and concentration enhances reading outcomes for these types of adolescent learners. It is vital to emphasize that clear instruction and a more systematic and direct approach are critical in teaching the components mentioned above. This is essential because these students are older and better equipped to grasp focused instruction on specific topics.

The Mounting Concerns 

The number of English Second Language (ESL) students in the United States grows as the country becomes more diverse. Whether they are natural speakers of another language or their home/community life revolves around their heritage and English is not spoken, a rising number of students may struggle with their English reading abilities.

Intervention services and tactics, such as those stated above, should constantly be maintained in educators’ back pockets so that they can more easily support struggling students. Approximately 21% of students in K-12 public schools communicate in a language other than English as their first language.


Educators may be hesitant to introduce novel reading methods at first, but they, like many other tactics, integrate smoothly into the already established curriculum and lesson plans. A simple understanding of these challenges is required to make a small effort that will result in significant gains for the achievement of these adolescent learners.

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