Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



Buddy reading a text is a collaborative act that typically generates discourse that provides researchers with a glimpse of the comprehending taking place. However, in recent years, the infusion of technology in classrooms has resulted in many traditional texts being replaced by digital versions. Thus, this qualitative case study examined the spoken and written discourse of 12 kindergartners (6 dyads) as they buddy read a traditional and digital text.

Drawing upon two distinct lenses—sociocultural and comprehension signifier—video recordings, transcriptions, and written retellings were analyzed. Specifically, process coding and in vivo coding were used to construct categories and uncover sociocultural patterns in the discourse. Provisional coding was used to identify explicit (character, setting, initiating event, problem, outcome resolution), implicit (feelings, causal inference, dialogue, prediction), and reading strategy (repeats, questions, connects, dramatizes) comprehension signifiers.

Findings indicate a mismatch between the kind of discourse that transpired and how it translated into the written retellings. When children engaged in conversation as they read the traditional storybook, the discussion exemplified high-frequency use of explicit and implicit comprehension signifiers. However, few of the written retellings utilized implicit comprehension signifiers. The discourse surrounding the digital texts consisted mostly of implicit comprehension signifiers and reading strategy signifiers. Conversely, the writing reflected a more extensive comprehension signifier use with many of the children’s retellings containing examples from two or more different subcategories.

Committee Chair

Casbergue, Renee M