Comprehension Overview

We know that teaching students specific reading strategies, such as finding the main idea, summarizing, and analyzing text structure—and when to use them—helps students become successful readers. Metacognitive strategies concern the reader’s planning, monitoring, and evaluation of the tasks at hand.

What is comprehension?

There are several types of comprehension. This section focuses on langauge comprehension and reading comprehension. Langauge comprehension refers to the ability to understand, retain, and act on information that you take in by listening. Reading comprehension involves taking in written communication from non-fiction or fiction sources.

When understanding text, the words and phrases are indexed to embodied (that is, perception, action, and emotion) experiences to create a simulation of the content of the text. Because this simulation is in a format intimately related to the body, it can be used to guide action.

Why does comprehension matter?

[Reading comprehension strategies can be broken into] 12 categories, all of which can involve self questioning: Comprehension Monitoring, Graphic Organizers, Listening Actively. Mental Imagery, Mnemonic Instruction, Prior Knowledge Activation, Question Answering, Question Generation, Text Structure, Summarization, Multiple Strategy Instruction with and without Reciprocal Teaching

How can I tell if comprehension is an issue?

You can have strong language comprehension, but weak reading comprehension or vice versa. You can have strong comprehension of fiction, but weak with reading non-fiction. All of these skills can be developed but require careful consideration as to what is contributing to the difficulty. For instance, someone who has a hard time reading due to weak phonemic awareness, may have a hard time understanding what they read because of the effort it takes to read. Others may struggle with language comprehension because of unidentified hearing issues. Or someone may appear to have comprehension issues because they have a hard time explaining themselves clearly and would benefit more from developing their oral langauge skills.


How does reading comprehension issues impact learning disabilty instruction?

People with dyslexia may have strong language and reading comprehension (when they are reading without effort. Stealth dyslexia is the ability to read inaccurately and great effort butwith strong reading comprehension. ADHD, down sydnrome, and autism are diagnosis that usually have some element of langauge and/or reading comprehension issues.