Vikar Qureshi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Shelley Taylor

Second Advisor

Dr. Farahnaz Faez


Given the multicultural, multilingual nature of classrooms in Ontario, English language learners (ELLs) experience challenges while studying English-medium literacy material in mainstream English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to observe the reading comprehension performances of ELLs, given the objectives of English elementary curriculum (EEC) (Ministry of Education, Ontario/ MEO, 2006). Students from grades 5 and 6 in a public school in southwestern Ontario participated in the study. The researcher investigated the challenges three ELLs experienced when faced with English medium literacy material and the reasons for these challenges. Also, the application of different learning strategies in mainstream ELA classrooms was investigated.

Questionnaires, observations, and interviews were used to collect data. A combination of two approaches, case study descriptions and cross-case analysis, Was used to analyze the data. The findings suggest that ELLs face some challenges in comprehending some topics and ideas presented in English-literacy material. The negative approach of ELLs towards learning activities and unfamiliar cultural backgrounds of English-literacy material are among the major challenges. Thus, their parents and teachers need to help ELLs learn to use suitable learning strategies to overcome these challenges. Finally, this research suggests that it is useful to examine the experiences of ELA teachers and ELLs in order to identify and improve these students’ English reading comprehension achievements.



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