Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Reading (MAE)

First Committee Member

Dr. Kathryn M. Plank


Dr. Kristin Bourdage Reninger

Second Committee Member

Dr. K. Daniel Cho


Reading, Comprehension, Strategy lessons, Higher level thinking, Chinese speaking, College academic support

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Higher Education


The purpose of the case study was to explore some effective literacy strategies that prompt higher-level thinking abilities to help one Chinese English as Foreign Language (EFL) student who struggles with academic reading in college classes at a small, liberal arts college. Only one participant named Cathy was involved in the study. Cathy is a Chinese student who studied at college as a regular undergraduate student and had poor performance in her college level literacy class, as indicated by her professors and Cathy herself. Cathy was expected to improve reading comprehension by receiving an intensive one-month reading development intervention, which included seven interventions related to comprehension and higher-level thinking about text. The research employed both qualitative and quantitative measures for data collection and analysis. Data sources included: A qualitative reading inventory, pre- and post-tests, field notes, recordings of class sessions, and informal interview questions. The data were analyzed using coding of the qualitative data and by triangulation all the data sources to determine whether higher-level thinking abilities were gained during the reading intervention. The learning and gains formula was adopted to measure the improvement from pre-to post-test. The results revealed that high-level thinking abilities happened during the strategy lessons that comprised the seven interventions. The results also showed there was a significant improvement in reading comprehension at the end of the one-month period.



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