During early reading intervention, does the teacher/coach relationship affect young English learners’ reading achievement?

During early reading intervention, does the teacher/coach relationship affect young English learners’ reading achievement?

First Author: Steve Amendum -- University of Delaware
Additional authors/chairs: 
Adrian Pasquarella
Keywords: Intervention, Professional Development, Latent Growth Curve Analysis, English Language Learners (ELL), Primary education
Abstract / Summary: 

This study examined the relationship between the teacher/coach relationship and English learners’ (ELs) English reading achievement during an early reading intervention and professional development (PD) program, the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI). In the TRI model, a TRI Coach, via videoconference, supports diagnostically-driven instruction by a classroom teacher in one-on-one instructional sessions. Instruction includes fluency, word work, and reading of connected text within each session. One overarching question drove this study: Does the teacher/coach relationship relate to young EL students' reading gains while participating in the TRI? The sample included 6 coaches, 67 teachers, and 171 kindergarten and grade 1 students from a larger efficacy study of the TRI with young ELs in the United States. The teacher-coach relationship was measured with an experimental questionnaire (TRI Coach-Teacher Relationship Scale; CTRS). Teachers and coaches each responded to items designed to assess aspects of perceived rapport, support, mentorship, self-efficacy, and teacher improvement. Student achievement was assessed at four time points in one academic year with the Measures of Academic Progress for Primary Grades (MAP-PG; Northwest Evaluation Association, 2018). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses produced interpretable 3-factor models for both teachers and coaches representing rapport, support, and teacher self-efficacy (total of 6 factors). A two-level Latent Growth Curve Mixture Model identified that teachers’ sense of self-efficacy (supported by the TRI coach) within the intervention explained gains in ELs’ reading skills (B = 1.029, S.E. = .119, p < .005). Furthermore, teacher and coach factors, especially for rapport (r = .51, p <.001), were interrelated. Implications are discussed related to the findings about the influence of interpersonal aspects of teacher/coach interactions on young ELs’ reading development within an intervention context.