- Text comprehension can be improved by instruction that helps readers use specific comprehension strategies.
- Six strategies that appear to have a firm scientific basis for improving text comprehension are: monitoring comprehension, using graphic and semantic organizers, answering questions, generating questions, recognizing story structure, and summarizing.
- Two additional strategies that have received some support from research are (1) making use of prior knowledge, and (2) using mental imagery.
- Individual strategies that can be used in content are instruction appear to have strong scientific support for thei effectiveness and for their inclusion in classroom programs on comprehension instruction; however, teachers and students must keep in mind that not all comprehension strategies work for all types of text.
- Effective comprehension strategy instruction is explicit; explicit instruction typically includes
- direct explanation of why the strategy helps comprehension and when to apply the strategy.
- teacher modeling of how to apply he strategy usually by "thinking aloud" while reading the text,
- guided practice in which the teacher guides and assists as students learn how and when to apply the strategy, and
- application in which the teacher helps students practice the strategy until they can apply it independently.
- Effective comprehension strategy instruction promotes flexible use of multiple comprehension strategies in combination.
- Effective strategy instruction can be accomplished through cooperative learning in which students work together as partners or in small groups on clearly defined tasks.
- Comprehension instruction appears to be most effective in grades three through six; however, teachers in the primary grades can begin to build the foundation for reading comprehension.
Adapted from the NRP Report of the Subgroups, Chapter 4, Part 2, "Text Comprehension," pp 5-10.
© ______ 2004, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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