Jessica Scott, Ed.M.'08, Ed.D.'15, has been selected to receive the Jeanne S. Chall Doctoral Student Research Award. The award will be formally announced during the eleventh annual Jeanne S. Chall Endowment Lecture on Thursday, October 8, 2015.
Scott's doctoral dissertation, Beyond the Fourth Grade Glass Ceiling: Understanding Reading Comprehension Among Bilingual/Bimodal Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, examined the factors influencing reading comprehension scores of deaf and hard of hearing students at the middle and high school levels. The results showed a statistically significant interaction between academic English proficiency and silent reading fluency, which predicted reading comprehension scores, as well as a strong relationship between American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency and reading comprehension. While academic English appeared to play a role in the reading comprehension scores of this population, ASL proficiency predicted these scores above and beyond the contribution of academic English and silent reading fluency. These findings may have implications for instruction and language use for deaf and hard of hearing students at the middle and high school levels.
The Doctoral Student Research Award honors the late Jeanne S. Chall, who served as a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her seminal work on reading research and instruction influenced scholarship on the teaching of reading in schools and universities throughout the country. This award is given to a graduating HGSE student whose dissertation has been noted for particular excellence in the fields of beginning reading, readability and reading difficulty, with special emphasis given to projects supporting adult literacy; reading assessment; early reading; grapho/phonoemic processes; and stages of reading, writing, and vocabulary development.
This year's Jeanne S. Chall Endowment Lecture will be presented by P. David Pearson, professor in the Language and Literacy and Human Development Department at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California – Berkeley. Additionally, the recipient of the Jeanne S. Chall Research Grant will be announced at this time. This event is free and open to the general public.