Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Janice F. Almasi

Second Advisor

Dr. Kristen H. Perry


The purpose of this research study was to understand Transplanted Appalachians’ perspectives of culturally relevant topics/texts and how these topics/texts aid in their reading comprehension. This culturally relevant study was framed using Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory, Barton and Hamilton’s (1998) literacy as a social practice, and Rosenblatt’s (1994) transactional theory. Research participants included five transplanted Appalachian adults from the Central Appalachian Region. The research methods included one introductory interview, four think-alouds, four post think-aloud interviews, and four Cultural Relevance Rubrics. Results from the data sources revealed the participants strongly related to six cultural themes including: community, authentic Appalachian experiences (e.g., settings, characters, and experiences), disliking vulgar language (i.e., cussing), disliking alcohol (i.e., drinking alcohol), dignity of work/dedication to work, and personal independence. Interview data and Cultural Relevance Rubrics revealed participants viewed the cultural relevance of texts on a spectrum of less to more culturally relevant rather than a binary categorization of culturally relevant or non-culturally relevant. In addition, think-aloud data revealed research participants utilized more instances of strategic processing and monitored their comprehension more often when reading the non-culturally relevant texts than the culturally relevant texts. This may suggest that the participants were unfamiliar with the non-culturally relevant texts perhaps resulting in the increase of strategic processing and comprehension monitoring. Thus, the educational implications of this research recommend for practitioners of transplanted Appalachians that they implement the six cultural themes into their daily instruction as a method of contextualizing instruction. Further, practitioners may want to use topics/texts with these six cultural themes as these may assist in meaning making for transplanted Appalachians and should provide a relevant framework for teaching comprehension strategies. Additional research could examine how well transplanted Appalachians comprehend more culturally relevant topics/texts compared to less culturally relevant texts.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)