Areas of Expertise


Adolescent Literacy

Bibliography of Adolescent Literacy Publications

Alvermann, D. E. (2002). Effective literacy instruction for adolescents. Journal of Literacy Research, 34(2), 189-208.

In this article, Alvermann focuses on the importance of keeping adolescents' interests and needs foremost in mind when designing literacy instruction at the middle and high school levels.

Alvermann, D. E., Hinchman, K. A., Moore, D. W., Phelps, S. F., & Waff, D. R. (Eds.) (1998). Reconceptualizing the literacies in adolescents' lives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

The authors within this edited book provide insights into the lives and experiences of adolescents both in and out of school. They show how adolescents' literacies are multilayered as they engage in school practices and make sense of the literacies in their lives.

Alvermann, D. E., & Phelps, S. F. (Eds.) (2001). Content reading and literacy: Succeeding in today's diverse classrooms (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

The authors offer an insightful book about content-area literacy, how reading and writing practices can be implemented in middle and high school classrooms.

Baumann, J. F., Seifert-Kessell, N., & Jones, L. A. (1992). Effect of think-aloud instruction on elementary students' comprehension monitoring abilities. Journal of Reading Behavior, 24(2), 143-172.

This publication offers readers the opportunity to take a closer look at the benefits of think-alouds and the processes in which they occur.

Buehl, D. (2001). Classroom strategies for interactive learning (2nd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

The author offers 45 literacy skill-building strategies for middle school and high school educators. These include discussion webs, KWL, mind maps, Questioning the Author and more.

Fielding, L. G., & Pearson, P. D. (1994). Reading comprehension: What works. Educational Leadership, 51(5), 62-68.

The article discusses the process of reading comprehension and methods to assist students in the understanding of reading materials. The authors emphasize the need for teachers to set adequate time frames for text reading.

International Reading Association. (1999). Summary of adolescent literacy, a position statement for the Commission on Adolescent Literacy of the International Reading Association. Newark, DE: Author.

This paper summarizes the different needs of adolescent readers as they are facing the challenges of high-density information in this time of history. The authors laid out seven principles covering instructional materials, assessment methodology, and teacher expertise for supporting adolescents' literacy growth.

Jetton, T. L., & Alexander, P. A. (2004). Domains, teaching, and literacy. In T. L. Jetton and J. A. Dole (Eds.), Adolescent literacy research and practice (pp. 15-36). New York: Guilford Press.

The authors discuss how knowledge, interest, and motivation are crucial elements of learning as adolescents engage with text.

Jetton, T. L., & Dole, J. A. (Eds.) (2004). Adolescent literacy research and practice. New York: Guilford Press.

The editors asked the prominent authors in the field of literacy to provide information about the seminal issues relating to adolescent literacy. The content of the book includes how literacy is part of the content domains or subject areas, how to teach adolescents with literacy difficulties, critical issues in adolescent literacy that include motivation, literacy and secondary English language learners, literacy and technology, the assessment of adolescent reading, and teacher education.

Jetton T. L., & Dole, J. A. (2004). Improving literacy through professional development: Success and sustainability in a middle school. In D. S. Strickland & D. E. Alvermann (Eds.), Bridging the literacy achievement gap: Grades 4–12 (pp.164-182). New York: Teachers College Press.

The authors of this edited book provide information about how to change instruction for adolescents in ways that produce genuine, widespread improvements in literacy and comprehension and close the achievement gap between those adolescents who struggle and those who thrive with literacy.

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). (2004). Adolescent literacy. Retrieved April 4, 2005, from

NASSP states that students are reading below expected levels, and this leads to lower achievement in the content areas. The organization provides a school improvement plan for literacy instruction, highlighting important aspects such as highly skilled teachers who have opportunities for professional development, effective intervention, leadership, assessment, and literacy workshops. Samples of comprehension strategies are also provided.

Pearson, P. D., & Gallagher, M. C. (1983). The instruction of reading comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8(3), 317-344.

This article characterizes, summarizes, and evaluates research on the basic processes and instructional practices of reading comprehension. Comprehension instruction studies are divided into four main categories: existential descriptions, existential proofs, pedagogical experiments, and program evaluations. A model of instruction is presented that has stages of modeling, guided practice, and independent practice or application.

Robb, L. (2000). Teaching reading in middle school: A strategic approach to teaching reading that improves comprehension and thinking. New York: Scholastic.

Through her book, Robb focuses on providing effective instruction to middle school students. She focuses on strategic reading, comprehension, and creating a workshop atmosphere in the classroom that will benefit middle school readers and writers.

Shanahan, T. (2004). Improving reading achievement in secondary schools: Structures and reforms. In D. S. Strickland & D. E. Alvermann (Eds.), Bridging the literacy achievement gap: Grades 4–12 (pp. 43-55). New York: Teachers College Press.

Shanahan highlights in his article that leadership, amount of reading and writing instruction, and teachers' professional development are key variables in improving reading achievement in secondary schools.

Short, K. G., Harste, J. C., & Burke, C. (1995). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The text outlines the whole language approach and its implementation in the classroom through various writing and reading teaching techniques with an emphasis on classroom environment and inquiry groups. It includes instructions for projects and resource guides.

Strickland, D. S., & Alvermann, D. E. (2004). Learning and teaching literacy in grades 4–12: Issues and challenges. In D. S. Strickland & D. E. Alvermann (Eds.), Bridging the literacy achievement gap: Grades 4–12 (pp. 1-12). New York: Teachers College Press.

Strickland, Alvermann, and other contributors discuss key issues such as the roles of learners and context in improving young people's literacy learning and of successful practices in addressing the literacy achievement gap.

Tierney, R. J., & Readence, J. E. (2005). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tierney offers a wide range of strategies and practices that can be directly implemented in the classroom. The text is written as an ongoing reference for literacy educators.

Tovani, C. (2000). I read it, but I don't get it: Comprehension strategies for adolescent readers. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

The book shows teachers how to help adolescents develop reading comprehension skills. It focuses on strategic reading and access tools with plentiful classroom examples and scenarios.

Vacca, R. T., & Vacca, J. L. (2001). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

The authors emphasize the transaction that takes place between readers and texts rather than the transmission of knowledge from text to readers, and they highlight the contributions students themselves make to their own learning. The book covers teaching content-area reading with a variety of texts including electronic texts and trade books.


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