Effects of an experimental program for reluctant learners on reading ability, writing ability, and self-concept
The purpose of this study was to describe a tenth grade English program for reluctant learners and to determine the benefits of the program in achieving improvement in reading, writing, and self-concept. In addition, a general perception of the possible success of the program as ascertained by students and administrators was sought. The population consisted of 43 reluctant learners identified by low achievement scores, poor report cards, teacher recommendation, counselor recommendation, and personal interview.A pretest/posttest comparison of scores on six standardized tests for vocabulary, reading comprehension, spelling, language mechanics, language expression, and self-concept was utilized to determine improvement. Researcher-created surveys were used to determine perceptions of students and administrators regarding the success of the program.1. Seventy-eight percent of the students improved in vocabulary.2. Sixty-nine percent of the students improved in reading comprehension.3. Sixty-three percent of the students improved inspelling.4. Seventy-eight percent of the students improved in language mechanics.5. Ninety-two percent of the students improved in language expression.6. Fifty-eight percent of the students improved in self-concept.7. Both students and administrators considered the program a success.Conclusions1. Grouping reluctant learners for part of the school day is beneficial to improving reading,' writing, and self-concept in tenth grade English classes.2. A personalizing and individualizing approach to teaching reluctant tenth graders is essential.3. A reluctant learner program is considered valuable by students and administrators in the Menasha Public School System.4. Test scores indicate improvement in reading, writing, and self-concept for students included in the program for reluctant learners.5. Understanding the personal lives of reluctant learners enhances communication, cooperation, and the ability to create individualized instruction.6. Communicating and working with counselors, parents, and administrators is effective in meeting the needs of reluctant learners at the tenth grade level.7. Seeking assistance from special education per nurses, and work experience personnel is necessary in meeting the needs of reluctant learners at the tenth grade level.