All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Kay Emfinger

Grace Jepkemboi

Lynn Kirkland

Kathleen Martin

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


DESCRIBING PRIMARY GRADE TEACHERS' PRACTICE OF SHARED READING AS A STRATEGY TO BUILD VOCABULARY AND COMPREHENSION DURING LITERACY INSTRUCTION IN A SOUTHEASTERN URBAN SCHOOL SYSTEM DAISY LEE CHANDLER EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ABSTRACT The National Reading Panel (NRP, 2000) reported the need for explicit and systematic instruction in vocabulary and comprehension in primary grades. Students have to know the meaning of words in order to develop comprehension. Therefore, vocabulary is essential to reading. In regards to shared reading NRP (2000) noted a lack of attention to comprehension. However, several researchers illustrated the value of shared reading and its link between vocabulary and comprehension (Doyle & Bramwell, 2006; Fisher, Frey, & Lapp, 2008; Kessler, 2010). The purpose of this qualitative case study was to describe primary grade teachers' practice of shared reading as a strategy to build vocabulary and comprehension during literacy instruction. This qualitative case study included seven primary grade teachers in a southeastern urban school system. All of the female participants taught grades K through 3, and had eight-40 years of teaching experience. Data for this study were collected from interviews, classroom observations and accompanying lesson plans. The data analysis followed procedures outlined by qualitative researchers (Denzin, 1989; Krippendorff, 1980; Lichtman, 2013). Interviews were transcribed verbatim by the researcher to provide a useable data set for analysis. Seven themes emerged with supporting statements dealing with primary grade teachers' description of shared reading as a strategy to build vocabulary during literacy instruction. The main findings were that (a) teachers interviewed and observed were enthusiastic in their belief that implementing shared reading was important for primary aged students; (b) teachers were aware of and were active in supporting comprehension during shared reading by using modeling and other forms of support; and (c) although teachers (as a group) were aware of the need to use questioning, book introductions, and vocabulary instruction during shared reading they were not always able to implement the best practices for these aspects of inspiration. These findings will help school, local, and state administrators understand teachers' practice of shared reading to build vocabulary and comprehension and to help them make informed instructional decisions during literacy instruction in primary grades.

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