Middle School Students’ Reading Responses
A Linguistic Perspective
Keywords:language arts pedagogy, written response, functional linguistics
Reading response holds a prominent place in the English language arts curriculum. Despite its importance, few studies have explored students’ performance on the task from a linguistic perspective. This article examines a random sample of reading responses generated by students enrolled in a middle school online language arts course using a genre-specific tool that addresses content, logic, stance, and engagement. Results from the linguistic analysis show that the adolescents’ responses typically focused on personal feelings, story retelling, and character analysis, with little evidence of thematic interpretation. This finding is discussed in light of the current literature on response writing and language arts pedagogy.
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