Reading Comprehension: Independent Skills In The Classroom

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Reading comprehension is one of the areas of educational research that has been around the longest. It continues to be an area of weakness for students and therefore an area of study for current examination. Several independent skills are required before students are able to successfully complete the complex process of reading comprehension. Skills listed in the research include decoding skills and word recognition, auditory processing, prior knowledge and vocabulary development (McClintock, Pesco & Martin-Chang, 2014). Norris & Ortlieb, (2012) add oral language ability, semantic and syntactic knowledge as well as deduction and integration of information. All skills listed contribute to the ability to comprehend what one reads. There …show more content…
After establishing a purpose to the lesson, the think-aloud process accompanies modeling the task or skill to be learned. It allows the teacher to model, through verbalizations, the appropriate pattern of thinking in order to give students an example or strategy of a cognitive process to emulate. These verbalizations provide a narrative for the learner to copy or follow. During a reading lesson, Fisher and Frey (2014) recommend projecting a short passage as a visual for all to see as well as providing each student with a copy of the passage so each person has access to the text. The teacher reads aloud and pauses to interject their thinking process using the “first person to describe how to make decisions, implement skills, activate problem-solving approaches and evaluate whether success has been achieved” (Fisher & Frey, 2014, pp. 29-30). In order for a think-aloud to be effective, the teacher must incorporate the following key elements into the procedure (a) keep it brief and to the point, (b) recall and incorporate how you thought when first learning the task, (c) use “I” statements in your think-aloud, (d) model your expert thinking, and (e) label the processes used in your think-aloud as well as how you regulate your learning. This last element, metacognition, will aid in reducing misconceptions and erroneous strategies and guide students to be aware of their own …show more content…
The first study by McClintock et al. (2014) compared two groups of fourth grade students under two different conditions, one group identified as having specific language impairment (SLI) and the other group had typical language development (TLD). The two conditions included the uninterrupted reading of the text and the second used the think-aloud procedure. During both conditions, participants read the story while listening to a recording. After reading the passages, the researcher gave students three types of comprehension questions (literal, inferential and causal) to answer orally. The researcher recorded the answers and awarded zero to two points based on the accuracy of the response, and then analyzed the scores by group, condition and type of question. During the uninterrupted reading condition, the examiner gave the students the stories to listen to and read, then asked the students to answer the comprehension questions. The think-aloud condition began with the examiner giving a scripted demonstration of the procedure. After the demonstration, the researcher presented the students with a story and then queued the student to think-aloud after each sentence. Students then answered the comprehension questions. The researcher recorded students’ think-aloud comments and compared them to comprehension question

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