and enable readers to verify their understanding of the text (Block 2004; Duke and Pearson 2002). They usually verify their predictions by monitoring meaning and occasionally employing fix-up strategies, such as reading back or reading on when their predictions of events within the text fail to materialise (Kintsch 1982; Zinar 2000).Teachers may support this verification process by asking questions, such as ‘What clues helped you make this prediction?’ After the story is finished readers may be asked, ‘What part of your predictions came true?’ These types of questions can become a framework to model the questioning process so that readers can eventually internalise self-questioning and self-monitoring strategies. The evidence is that self-questioning strategies help students develop metacognitive skills by monitoring their own responses (Block 2004; Pressley 2002a). Metacognitive processes are enhanced when readers are encouraged to take ownership of their reading strategies (Palincsar and Brown 1984).The reader’s conceptual understanding of the text also develops and changes over time as the reader progresses through the text (Pearson and Johnson 1978). For example, the reader’s understanding of a zoo-based scenario, as described in a text passage is dependent on the reader’s experience of zoos and the new information provided by the text (Kintsch 1993; Schank and Ableson 1977). New meanings are processed using the reader’s prior experiences, imagination, and ability to absorb new information with the least amount of attention effort (Goodman 1996; Pressley 1998; Smith 1978). Successful readers lessen the amount of attention effort by constantly using what they already know to make inferences and to predict what they don’t yet know (Collins et al. 1980; Goodman 1996).Comprehension is, therefore, more effective when readers use what they already know about the text theme to conceptualise the gist of the present text (Goodman 1996; Smith 1978). This process allows the reader to construct a more appropriate situational model of the text. For example, what would it be like in the C. S. Lewis story, ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ when Digory and Polly visited an attic in an old English home. Teachers may use questions to facilitate the development of this construct, such as, “Have you ever been in an old attic? What do they look like? Have you seen an old store room that you think may be like an attic but with a sloping roof and with exposed rafters covered in cob webs?” Thus, the reader’s construction of an imaginal situational model of the text is thought to be crucial for comprehension (Yuill and OakHill 1991; Kintsch 1998; McKoon and Ratcliff 1992).
202 Reading Comprehension2.5 Comprehension DifficultiesThere may be a multiplicity of factors that contribute to reading difficulties for many students with special needs and the underlying causes of their reading problems may be largely unknown (Lewis and Doorlag 1999). It has been found that the prevalence of children with reading difficulties is often linked with the economic and social circumstances of the home. For example, many children identified as
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- Spring '14
- Educational Psychology, Dyslexia, Learning disability