Publications & Resources

Accountable Talk in Reading Comprehension Instruction

Jan 2006

Mikyung Kim Wolf, Amy C. Crosson, and Lauren B. Resnick

This study examined the relationship between the quality of classroom talk and academic rigor in reading comprehension lessons. In addition, the study aimed to characterize effective questions to support rigorous reading comprehension lessons. The data were collected as a part of the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA) pilot. The IQA is a tool-kit being developed to evaluate the quality of instruction. As for the indicators of instructional quality, IQA included a set of rubrics to measure the extent to which the classroom talk is accountable (Accountable Talk rubrics), the lesson is rigorous (Academic Rigor rubrics), and the teacher’s expectations are communicated to the students (Clear Expectations rubrics). Specifically, Accountable Talk rubrics consist of seven dimensions in classroom talk: (1) participation, (2) teacher’s linking ideas, (3) students’ linking ideas, (4) asking for knowledge, (5) providing knowledge, (6) asking for rigorous thinking, (7) providing rigorous thinking. Quantitative analyses showed that the ratings on students’ providing knowledge and providing thinking rubrics had strong, positive relationships with the rating of academic rigor. These results suggest that students’ participation in classroom talk allows for a rigorous lesson. Qualitatively, the lesson transcripts were closely examined to find characteristics of teachers’ questions that engage students in high-level thinking. This study also discussed implications for effective questioning in classroom and effective indicators for instructional quality.

Wolf, M. K., Crosson, A. C., & Resnick, L. B. (2006). Accountable talk in reading comprehension instruction (CSE Report 670). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).