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Topics in Language Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/TLD.0b013e318245618e
Disciplinary Literacy

Building a House on Sand: Why Disciplinary Literacy Is Not Sufficient to Replace General Strategies for Adolescent Learners Who Struggle

Faggella-Luby, Michael N.; Graner, Patricia Sampson; Deshler, Donald D.; Drew, Sally Valentino

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There is growing interest in disciplinary literacy instruction as a primary means of improving adolescent literacy outcomes. At times, this disciplinary framework has been represented as a replacement for the more broadly known general strategy instruction. However, disciplinary literacy, a potentially powerful idea, cannot replace general strategy instruction for all adolescent learners because adolescents who struggle with reading and writing do not possess the foundational skills and strategies necessary to learn proficiently. To support this thesis, the authors differentiate between general and discipline-specific strategies, examine the learner characteristics and setting demands that must be addressed in secondary schools, identify trends in the research base for discipline-specific reading comprehension and composition strategies when students who struggle are included in the subject population, and highlight implications from the findings for practitioners related to service delivery that incorporates both disciplinary literacy and general strategy instruction in high schools.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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