A Web-based community of language practice: a winning way to support teachers in their reading comprehension practices
Beginning in Cycle 2, students encounter a variety of reading comprehension (RC) challenges that call on their receptive language skills. To that end, teachers have the essential role of turning their students into strategic readers who understand what they are reading. This role is even more important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds at a high risk of having language difficulties. However, teachers do not feel that they are well equipped to foster the development of RC among these students.
Teachers do not feel well equipped to foster the development of reading comprehension.
The ÉCRIT community of practice (CoP) was developed and implemented on the École en Réseau (ÉER) Web platform to help elementary school teachers working with disadvantaged students to understand and apply various notions on language and its role in RC, in terms of knowledge and teaching strategies and behaviours. The project led to raised awareness, pedagogical initiatives and the integration of new pedagogical practices in the classroom.
According to participating teachers, modifying practices to include more explicit support for language skills has had positive repercussions on students’ academic success, motivation and participation.
Thus, the establishment of a CoP focusing on language skills and RC has proven to be a powerful lever for better equipping teachers to work with students, thereby supporting the development of evidence-based best pedagogical practices. As part of a Response to Intervention approach, as recommended by the MEES, this method contributes to the continuous improvement of teaching quality in the classroom (Level 1).
Marie-Catherine St-Pierre, Université Laval
Deposit of the research report: August 2017