Comprehension

Comprehension is the goal of reading. Success in comprehension requires success in a range of related skills, as well as teaching metacognitive strategies which help children think about the text they are reading - while they read.

Training in developing students' comprehension skills

 

Comprehension

Teaching Content is Teaching Reading (Willingham D 2009) YouTube
Daniel Willingham argues that comprehension relies on prior knowledge as well as vocabulary and other reading strategies. Prior knowledge is usually necessary to understand a text and this knowledge needs to be built in to lessons so that students learn about the world throughout their schooling.

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The Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies (Willingham D 2006)
Daniel Willingham surveys the research literature on the effectiveness of teaching reading comprehension strategies. While such strategies are often useful, Willingham cautions against over-generalisation. The level of detail with which he summarises research is excellent.

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Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension (2002) Duke, N. K. & Pearson, P.D. Chapter 10 of What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction (Third Edition): International Reading Association.

This summary of effective approaches also has suggestions for teaching comprehension strategies explicitly while gradually moving towards more independent, implicit application. It is a valuable resource for reflective practitioners. 

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Research for Teachers: #14 Promoting Curriculum Access in Children and Youth with Reading Disabilities (Martinussen, R, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto undated): Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario

This article argues for the needs of older students to have access to age-appropriate and evidence-based interventions to improve their reading comprehension skills. 

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Vocabulary / Oral Language / Comprehension: some research findings (Hempenstall K 2014) Retrieved from nifdi.org

An exhaustive summary of the research in each of these fields. This is essential reading for those who wish to grasp the depth and complexity of effective reading instruction.

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Literacy assessment based upon the National Reading Panel’s Big Five components (Hempenstall, K 2013): Association for Direct Instruction

This exhaustive article by Kerry Hempenstall examines the practical issues around thorough assessment in each of the NRP “pillars” of reading. Comprehension is seen as a complex interaction linked to vocabulary, knowledge of how texts work, and wider knowledge, facilitated by accurate decoding with fluency. 

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Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A practice brief (Boardman, A. G., Roberts, G., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Murray, C. S., & Kosanovich, M 2008)

Concisely outlines the main problems that older struggling readers have with comprehension, and identifies important strategies for assisting them (see p.21 ff). An invaluable resource for the classroom teacher.

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Research on Teaching Reading Comprehension excerpt from: Essentials of Teaching Children to Read (2005) Reutzel, D. R. & Cooter, R.B: Pearson

Clear, highly relevant summaries of research findings on a range of issues including how reading comprehension can be taught explicitly. This web page has a useful excerpt from p 96, with a link to purchase the book.

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Training in developing students' comprehension skills