The ESTRELLAS Project:
Electronic Supported Text Research for English Language Learner Academic Success
In early 2009, the National Center for Supported Electronic Text (NCSeT) at the University of Oregon was funded for a new three-year project called The ESTRELLAS Project, by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Research, U.S. Department of Education.
The purpose of the ESTRELLAS Project is to develop and test an Electronic Reading System designed to improve reading competence and content-area learning of Spanish speaking adolescent English Language Learners (ELL) through supported versions of electronic reading materials. The ESTRELLAS Electronic Reading System for Expository Text will provide ELL readers with a customizable selection of three types of eText supports: Structural Supports, Content-Specific Supports, and Strategic Supports. Each are being tested to determine the best ways to provide that type of support to here students reading the text materials assigned as part of the curriculum. Although providing electronically enhanced versions of text materials has been documented as an effective intervention for other struggling readers, research investigating the value of electronic text, or the impact of specific eText supports, on the reading competence of ELL students is a relatively new field of inquiry.
The National Center for Supported Electronic Text (NCSeT) at the University of Oregon proposed a three-year design-based research project to develop and test three types of eText supports for improving text comprehension and content learning of ELL adolescents struggling to read traditional content-area texts in Science and Social Studies. In Year 1, the project is developing and testing Structural Supports: eText supports designed to facilitate movement through the text and foster motivation for reading. Two specific Structural Supports have been identified for initial development and testing: Alternative Paginations and Text-to-Speech. In Year 1, the project is also focusing on one or more Content-Specific Supports: eText supports designed to scaffold the learning of key concepts within the text by focusing on vocabulary. Three Content-Specific Supports have been identified as potentially useful for this onlineslotsmob.com population: English Definitions, Spanish Translations, and Enhanced Illustrations. Year 2, the project will continue to work on Content-Specific Supports and also test two types of Strategic Supports: Self-Questioning and Digital Notetaking. In Year 3, the project will explore combinations of these resources for ELL students with different levels of Spanish and English literacy, reading different types of expository texts, with the goal of developing recommendations for customizing the ESTRELLAS Reading System for Expository Text. Training materials for teachers and students will also be developed and tested.
Students participating in the ESTRELLAS Project are Spanish-speaking middle school students (Grades 6-8) who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELLs). In Years 1 and 2, participants will be students in the classrooms of collaborating ELL teachers in five Oregon school districts. In Year 3, an additional three collaborating teachers will be recruited from NCSeT collaborating districts in rural and urban areas in other states where there are high percentages of Spanish speaking ELL students. The intervention is “supported eText”: electronic versions of content-area texts that have been enhanced in ways that are designed to improve reading competence in English. Key outcome measures include: indicators of software usability based on screen capture and computer log files; teacher and student descriptions of factors that facilitated/inhibited use of the materials in the classroom; student performance on tests of vocabulary, comprehension, and content knowledge; surveys of teacher and student satisfaction, and observations of student engagement with the materials.
For more information on the ESTRELLAS Project, please contact Dr. Lynne Anderson-Inman, Project Director.