Author Reading: Rene Saldana

By readingintheborderlands

Local author Rene Saldaña will be doing a reading from his latest novel A Good Long Way at the Peñitas Public Library on Tuesday, March 29 at 5:00pm. The library is at 1111 Main Street in Peñitas. Call (956) 583-5656 for more information about the reading.

A Good Long Way is a young adult novel set in the Rio Grande Valley. An excerpt from the School Library Journal describes it:  “Beto López is a high school senior who thinks that family rules no longer apply to him. Roelito, an A student, wants to be like his “cool” older brother, yet Beto’s bad habits of staying out late, skipping class, and making poor grades concern him. After a late-night confrontation with their father, Beto runs away from home. His first thought is to turn to Jessy, his best friend, for help and guidance. She wants out of her deplorable home life, too, but also wants to go to college and knows that being alone in the world and without plans is never the answer. This fast-paced novel will make readers think about their own lives and responsibilities.”

Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.

By Laura Garcia

 Early Childhood Research Quarterly is a scholarly journal sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).   Since 1986, it has influenced the field of early childhood education and development through its publication of research that “meets the highest standards of scholarly and practical significance.”  Published four times a year, ECRQ contains research on early childhood, mostly empirical research (quantitative or qualitative methods) on issues of interest to early childhood development, theory, and educational practice (Birth through 8 years of age).   The journal also occasionally publishes practitioner or policy perspectives, book reviews, and significant reviews of research. ECRQ is an applied journal, “interested in seeking work that has social, policy, and educational relevance and implications and work that strengthens links between research and practice.”  Scholars can submit their articles related, but not limited to the following topics:

• Children’s social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, language and motor development applied to early childhood settings.
• Childcare, program quality, and children’s transition to school
• The efficacy of early intervention and prevention programs
• Public policy, early childhood education, and child development
• Best classroom practices and effective early childhood curricula
• Professional development and training for early childhood practitioners
• Multicultural, international and inclusive early care and education


ECRQ is published by Elsevier, a leading international publisher and information provider.   The editor, Adam Winsler, is an associate professor of applied developmental psychology at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.  ECRQ is a peer-reviewed journal, therefore, professional scholars typically make submissions of their articles.  Upon receipt, the editor then determines whether to reject the submission or begin the process of peer-review by outside scholars of the editor’s choosing. The number of these peer reviewers vary but typically, no fewer than two, and usually at least three outside peers review the article.  The editor then uses the reviewers’ opinions to determine whether to publish the article or to reject it. This is a lengthy process, therefore, an accepted article will usually take months to appear in a publication. 

Because it is an academic journal, it is not an easy read.  Most articles published describe, in detail, quantitative or qualitative methods which can be wordy, lengthy, and a bit confusing.  The audience that would benefit most from reading this type of journal is one consisting of professional scholars.  However, because it is peer-reviewed, it is considered a reliable body of research and knowledge.  Educators can benefit from reading this type of journal to stay informed on the latest research.  It is a reliable source for anyone wanting to review literature on a particular topic pertaining to early childhood.

Reading Research Quarterly

Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.

By Ms. Garcia

The journal I collected information on is Reading Research Quarterly.  This journal has been published for more than forty years by the International Reading Association, Inc. It goes out four times a year: in January, April, July, and October, and its audiences include reading researchers, reading specialists, students wishing to pursue a degree in reading, and educators.

Each issue of RRQ includes reports of important studies, multidisciplinary research, various modes of investigation, and diverse viewpoints on literacy practices, teaching, and learning ( The focus of RRQ is reading.  It includes articles about classrooms from grades kinder through high school.  One of the articles I found included information on the effects vocabulary practices in prekindergarten and kindergarten have on the latter years of schooling.  It states that there are some practices that “appear associated with greater growth in vocabulary for children with higher initial vocabulary knowledge than for children with lower initial vocabulary knowledge”.  Another article discussed the validity of oral reading fluency and comprehension.  It mentioned how it is set up, and that it is subjective for the test administrator.  Both of these articles are useful to me as a teacher because the first one reiterated the importance of vocabulary development.  The second one solidified my belief that I need to provide a vast variety of reading assessment tools instead of relying on one.

This journal is packed with research, data, opinions, and studies from all aspects of literacy, and I found it was easy to read. The articles are academically dense, but it was informational nonetheless. In order to have full access to the RRQ, you need to subscribe to it.  It comes out to about ten dollars per quarter.  Information about the journal is found at the website  However, it was difficult for me to navigate this website.  I found if helpful only for those that would like to subscribe to the article.  It was easier for me to look up articles through the WilsonWeb Journal Directory in which I typed in RRQ followed by a topic.  A list of articles quickly followed.  I was also able to find articles through other search engines such as and  I would recommend for my colleagues to read this journal if they are interested in reading and what is being talked about, tried, and implemented in schools in response to literacy, especially reading.  The articles can reinforce practices in the classroom, or they can help educators change their way of thinking.  If a teacher is adamant about a certain practice or way of doing things that contrasts what administration wants to see, they can look up articles that support their beliefs and backs them up with research studies.  The information provided in the articles may be useful for teachers in instances when reluctant administrators might question a teacher’s theoretical framework.  As a future reading coach, the research and studies will be a useful tool that I can provide for my colleagues that may require support in their classroom.

English Education

Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.

By Rosie

 The website for the journal is at . The official name is English Education. The publisher is the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The audience for this journal is teachers. The focus is on secondary schools. The academic area is English Language Arts.  The journal publication is quarterly (four times per year). It is published on January, April, July, and October. The content is articles.

The article I read is Multiliteracies Meet Methods: The Case for Digital Writing in English Education. It talks about technology and literacies. Grabill & Hicks wrote about a virtual world called MOO (Multi User Dungeon) to help students read Brave New World engaging students with the text. The article also gives ideas to use e-mails. Example: a ninth grader e-mailing a student in a university.

One purpose I see in the article is to promote the way educators look at technology. Technology is not just a tool but should be used for social communications in more than one way. It is true that technology has modernized the writing process making publication and distribution easier. Even better, the writer can receive feedback from people. Students would write for the teacher to read but now the audience is vast.

Writers using technology may use someone else ideas and add sound, pictures, video and text but need to be careful about plagiarism by giving credit for intellectual property.  Technology is also changing the way we see classrooms because networks are also considered classrooms like when we use Blackboard.

Michigan State University has two types of courses for teachers that are required. One course is basic and consists of composing an e-mail. The Professional course consists of a thoughtful and a new way to use the e-mail in an instructional plan. This seems like lowering standards to Grabill and Hicks.

The article was very informative and the language was pretty dense. I had to reread various passages several times to understand it. What I have learned through reading this article is that I need a lot more vocabulary related to multiple literacies because the vocabulary was somewhat high for me.   I think that the audience for this journal is not just teachers but college professors as well. I think this article could be used in a workshop to explain about all the different literacies, in middle school for teachers to read, and college.


Grabill, J. T. & Hicks. T. (2005). Multiliteracies Meet Methods: The Case for Digital Writing in English Education. National Council of Teachers of English. Vol. 37, No. 4 (Jul., 2005),  pp.  301-31.

The Journal of Literacy and Technology

Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.

By S. Schelstrate

The Journal of Literacy and Technology: an International Online Academic Journal is published by Florida Atlantic University mainly for use among teachers and academics.  The focus is not only on students, but teachers and adults as learners, technology and its use in and for education.  It began its distribution in 2000 with one publication a year, but has since expanded to three (usually in April, June, and November).  Peer reviewed articles and research are highlighted with a focus on twenty-first century teaching tools.  A nice change from the $90-$110 subscription fee of other academic journals, this journal can be found online for free.  Its website states that, “The Journal of Literacy and Technology provides a free, accessible scholarly forum for all interested parties to explore and debate issues pertinent to novel literacies and digital culture. Part of the mission of The Journal of Literacy and Technology is to open new spheres of academic conversation, with the goal of making ideologies and assumptions apparent and considering possibilities and alternatives.”  With the rapid development of new technology and literacies this journal is at the forefront of collecting the newest research in this area.

This journal seems cover all academic areas with articles such as: “Article: Incorporating Technology within Classroom Literacy Experiences,” “The Role of Collaborative Chat Invention in First-Year Writing: Re-Investigating the Transferability of Preliminary Ideas From Chat to Print,” and “An Analysis of Online Discourse and Its Application to Literacy Learning.”  There is even an article entitled “:“Lecture” with Interaction in an Adult Science Methods Course-Session: Designing Interactive Whiteboard and Response System Experiences” about the use of whiteboards in Science.  In the first article, the researcher investigated the use of communication devices in education while the second article discusses the use of online chatting as a pre-writing activity.  The third research paper is a professor’s analysis of how her students used online communication to understand literacy.  These types of articles could be of interest to any educator wanting to learn more about how students use technology and the benefits/drawbacks of it as well.  They would also be of appeal to researchers as stepping stones to more advanced research.

I found the journal to be easy to read without too many content specific or technical terms.  Words used in the articles mentioned above include: Interactive whiteboard, transferability, and information appliances which are easily understood within context.  As a teacher, I found the article “An Analysis of Online Discourse and Its Application to Literacy Learning” to be quite fascinating and motivating.  It gave me ideas of ways I could integrate new technology into my lesson plans and enabled me to view literacy in a much broader sense.  It seems to be a relatively new journal, but expanding more and more every year probably because of the giant leaps we are making as new technology is developed.  I would recommend this journal to anyone who is interested in how technology and literacy relate and can be used to enhance learning and to anyone who is fascinated with researching different methods of integrating them.

Research in the Teaching of English

Literacy teachers need to stay informed about teaching practices and research. This semester students in READ 6325 are exploring scholarly journals that are in some way related to literacy. Each student was required to write a blog post about one such journal. I will be publishing one or two of their posts each week.

By Raquel Salinas

Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) is a journal started in 1967 and published by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).  It is peer-reviewed and geared towards professionals in the field of education. RTE is published four times a year – August, November, February, and May.

 The journal’s focus is on the teaching and learning of English language literacies from preschool through adult.  It not only covers research and case studies in the classroom but other forms of literacy such as what is found on the television and how it affects families.  The “At Last” section of the journal also includes essays by scholars in the field who explain their perspective or reflection on theory, methods, practices, and policies.

 Although some of the articles are easier to read than others, RTE seems to be written for professionals in the education field.  The average person may not bother reading it since one may find it boring or even confusing.  However, if one needs to look for specifics in the area of English language literacies, one may have to simply concentrate a little more for comprehension.  We “education professionals” do this too when we are required to read assigned journals, articles, books, manuals, etc.  This journal is definitely not meant to be a magazine for easy leisurely reading, although some professionals may read to keep up with current research and see what leading scholars have to say about certain policies or theories that have recently come into the spotlight.  The articles are probably best used for more serious in depth research.  I would not expect this journal to be on the coffee table at the local doctor’s office.

 I noticed that several of the articles had research based on race, nationality, and culture.  They discussed the positive and negative effects of English literacy methodologies on students and families.   These articles would help students and professionals who are researching learning differences in various cultures.  I personally found this very interesting because contrary to popular belief, different cultures do require different forms of pedagogy and methodologies, if for no other reason that to hold on to their native culture.  I do not mean a completely different set of rules but somethings need to be adjusted in order for everyone “to be on an even playing field”.

 Something interesting that I found out about RTE is that it changes editors every five years.  On the NCTE website, where the journal can be found, there is a link that gives  information about becoming an editor.  It explains the procedure and that editors change every 5 years.

Overall, I found this journal to be quite informative, interesting, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about English language literacy.

Application Season!

By readingintheborderlands

It’s application season! If you are thinking about applying to the graduate reading programs at UTPA, now is the time. If you want to start in the summer, the deadline is April 15.

If you have questions about either the Master Reading Teacher certification program or the Reading Specialist Master’s degree please contact me at You can begin the application process through the online application system.