In this action research project, I set out to investigate the reading habits of Hispanic and current- or former English Language Learners in high school. Research questions included: Do Hispanic and ELL students read for pleasure, and if so, how much? What are they reading? Are they reading in English or Spanish, or both? How important is it to these readers that they have characters and authors that look like them? What are their obstacles to reading? And what would encourage them to read more? To answer these questions, I conducted a survey in one northeast Salem school. Nine students participated, and two were interviewed. Results indicated that Hispanic and former ELL students read with the same range of frequency, amount, and complexity as their peers, following national trends. Seventy-five percent of former ELL students continue to read in their first languages. Surprisingly, students showed little to no interest in reading books by authors of color, while they preferred modern books with “relatable” characters. I speculate on these results and discuss implications for teaching.

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (initial licensure)

Committee Chair

Melanie Landon-Hays

Committee Member

Joshua Schulze


Reading, ELL, Hispanic, secondary, adolescent, literacy



Type (DCMI Terms)

Text; Image; StillImage

Subject Categories

Secondary Education

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