Translating advances in reading comprehension research to educational practice

Main Article Content

Danielle S. McNamara Panayiota Kendeou

Abstract

The authors review five major findings in reading comprehension and their implications for
educational practice. First, research suggests that comprehension skills are separable from decoding
processes and important at early ages, suggesting that comprehension skills should be targeted early,
even before the child learns to read. Second, there is an important distinction between reading
processes and products, as well as their causal relationship: processes lead to certain products. Hence,
instructional approaches and strategies focusing on processes are needed to improve students’
reading performance (i.e., product). Third, inferences are a crucial component of skilled
comprehension. Hence, children need scaffolding and remediation to learn to generate inferences,
even when they know little about the text topic. Fourth, comprehension depends on a complex
interaction between the reader, the characteristics of the text, and the instructional task, highlighting
the need for careful selection of instructional materials for individual students and specific groups of
students. Finally, educators may benefit from heightened awareness of the limitations and
inadequacies of standardized reading comprehension assessments, as well as the multidimensionality
of comprehension to better understand their students’ particular strengths and weaknesses.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
MCNAMARA, Danielle S.; KENDEOU, Panayiota. Translating advances in reading comprehension research to educational practice. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 33-46, aug. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <https://www.iejee.com/index.php/IEJEE/article/view/212>. Date accessed: 14 nov. 2019.
Section
Articles

References

Adlof, S.M., Catts, H.W., & Little, T. (2006). Should the simple view of reading include a fluency
component? Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 19, 933-958.
Bereiter, C. & Bird, M. (1985). Use of thinking aloud in identification and teaching of reading
comprehension strategies. Cognition and Instruction, 2, 131-156.
Cain, K. & Oakhill, J.V. (1999). Inference making and its relation to comprehension failure. Reading and
Writing, 11, 489-503.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J., & Bryant, P.E. (2004). Children's reading comprehension ability:
Concurrent prediction by working memory, verbal ability, and component skills. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 96, 31-42.
Cain, K., Oakhill, J., & Lemmon, K., (2005). The relation between children's reading comprehension level
and their comprehension of idioms. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 90, 65-87.
Catts, H.W., Fey, M.E., Zhang, X., & Tomblin, J.B. (1999). Language basis of reading and reading
disabilities: Evidence from a longitudinal investigation. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3, 331-
361.
Chi, M.T.H., de Leeuw, N., Chiu, M.H., & LaVancher, C. (1994). Eliciting self- explanations improves
understanding. Cognitive Science, 18, 439-477.
Chiesi, H.L., Spilich, G.J., & Voss, J.F. (1979). Acquisition of domain-related information in relation to
high and low domain knowledge. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 18, 257-273.
Cook, A.E., Limber, J.E., & O'Brien, E.J. (2001). Situation-based context and the availability of predictive
inferences. Journal of Memory & Language, 44, 220-234.
Cornoldi, C. & Oakhill, J.V. (Eds.). (1996). Reading comprehension difficulties: Processes and
remediation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Inc.
Cutting, L.E. & Scarborough, H.S. (2006). Prediction of reading comprehension: Relative contributions
of word recognition, language proficiency, and other cognitive skills can depend on how
comprehension is measured. Scientific Studies of Reading, 10, 227-299.
Dewitz, P., Carr, E., & Patberg, J. (1987). Effects of interference training on comprehension and
comprehension monitoring. Reading Research Quarterly, 22, 99-121.
Dixon, P. & Bortolussi, M. (1996). Literary communication: Effects of reader-narrator cooperation.
Poetics, 23, 405-430.
Einstein, G.O., McDaniel, M.A., Owen, P.D., & Coté, N.C. (1990). Encoding and recall of texts: The
importance of material appropriate processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 29, 566-581.
Fletcher, J.M. (2006). Measuring reading comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading, 10, 323-330.
Fuchs, L.S., & Fuchs, D. (2007). Instruction on mathematical problem solving. In D. Berch & M.
Mazzacco (Eds.), Why is math so hard for some children? The nature and origins of mathematical
learning difficulties and disabilities (pp. 397-414). Baltimore, MD: Brookes.
Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Mathes, P. G., & Simmons, D. C. (1997). Peer-assisted learning strategies: Making
classrooms more responsive to diversity. American Educational Research Journal, 34, 174-206.
Garnham, A., Oakhill, J.V., & Johnson-Laird, P.N. (1982). Referential continuity and the coherence of
discourse. Cognition, 11, 29-46.
Givón, T. (1995). Coherence in text vs. coherence in mind. In M.A. Gernsbacher & T.
Givón (Eds.), Coherence in spontaneous text (pp. 59–115). Amsterdam: John Benjamin.
Gough, P.B., Hoover, W.A., & Peterson, C.L. (1996). Some observations on a simple view of reading. In C.
Cornoldi & J. Oakhill (Eds.), Reading comprehension difficulties (pp. 1-13). Mahwah, NJ:
Erlbaum.
Gough, P.B. & Tunmer, W.E. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disabilities. Remedial and Special
Education, 7, 6-10.
Graesser, A.C., McNamara, D.S., & Louwerse, M.M. (2003). What do readers need to learn in order to
process coherence relations in narrative and expository text. In A.P. Sweet & C.E. Snow (Eds.),
Rethinking reading comprehension (pp. 82-98). New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
Graesser, A.C., Singer, M., & Trabasso, T. (1994). Constructing inferences during narrative text
comprehension. Psychological Review, 101, 371-395.
Guthrie, J.T. & Alao, S. (1997). Designing contexts to increase motivations for reading. Educational
Psychologist, 32, 95-105.
Haenggi, D. & Perfetti, C.A. (1994). Processing components of college level reading comprehension.
Discourse Processes, 17, 83-104.
Hansen, J. & Pearson, P.D. (1983). An instructional study: Improving the inferential comprehension of
fourth grade good and poor readers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 821-829.
Keenan, J. M. (in press). Measure for measure: Challenges in assessing reading comprehension. In J.
Sabatini & E. Albro (Eds.), Assessing reading in the 21st century: Aligning and applying advances
in the reading and measurement sciences.
Keenan, J.M. & Betjemann, R.S. (2006). Comprehending the Gray Oral Reading Test without reading it:
Why comprehension tests should not include passage-independent items. Scientific Studies of
Reading, 10, 363-380.
Keenan, J.M., Betjemann, R.S., & Olson, R.K. (2008). Reading comprehension tests vary in the skills they
assess: Differential dependence on decoding and oral comprehension. Scientific Studies of
Reading, 12, 281-300.
Kendeou, P., Lynch, J.S., van den Broek, P., Espin, C., White, M., & Kremer, K.E. (2005). Developing
successful readers: Building early narrative comprehension skills through television viewing
and listening. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33, 91-98.
Kendeou, P. & Papadopoulos, T.C. (2008, November). Cognitive profiles of struggling readers: A theorybased
approach to reading disabilities. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.
Kendeou, P. & Papadopoulos, T.C. (in press). The use of CBM-Maze in Greek: A closer look at what it
measures. In C. Espin, K. McMaster, & S. Rose (Eds.), The progress monitoring paradigm:
Research, policy, and practice.
Kendeou, P., Savage, R., & van den Broek, P. (2009). Revisiting the simple view of reading. British Journal
of Educational Psychology, 79, 353-370.
Kendeou, P., van den Broek, P., White, M.J., & Lynch, J.S. (2007). Preschool and early elementary
comprehension: Skill development and strategy interventions. In D.S. McNamara (Ed.),
Reading comprehension strategies: Theories, interventions, and technologies, (pp. 27-45).
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Kendeou, P., van den Broek, P., White, M.J., & Lynch, J.S. (2009). Predicting reading comprehension in
early elementary school: The independent contributions of oral language and decoding skills.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 765-778.
King, A. (2007). Beyond literal comprehension: A strategy to promote deep understanding of text. In
D.S. McNamara (Ed.), Reading comprehension strategies: Theories, interventions, and
technologies (pp. 267-290). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Kintsch, W. (1988). The role of knowledge in discourse comprehension: A construction- integration
model. Psychological Review, 95, 163-182.
Kintsch, W. (1998). Comprehension: A paradigm for cognition. New York, NY: Cambridge University
Press.
Kintsch, W. & van dijk, T.A. (1978). Toward a model of text comprehension and production.
Psychological Review, 85, 363-394.
Kucan, L. & Beck, I.L. (1997). “Thinking aloud and reading comprehension research: Inquiry, instruction,
and social Interaction. Review of Educational Research, 67, 271-299.
Long, D.L., Oppy, B.J., & Seely, M.R. (1994). Individual differences in the time course of inferential
processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 1456-
1470.
Lonigan, C.J., Burgess, S.R., & Anthony, J.L. (2000). Development of emergent literacy and early reading
skills in preschool children: Evidence from a latent variable longitudinal study. Developmental
Psychology, 36, 596-613.
Magliano, J.P. & Millis, K.K. (2003). Assessing reading skill with a think-aloud procedure. Cognition and
Instruction, 21, 251-283.Magliano, J.P., Millis, K.K.,
Magliano, J.P., Wiemer-Hastings, K., Millis, K.K., Muñoz, B.D., & McNamara, D.S. (2002). Using latent
semantic analysis to assess reader strategies. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, &
Computers, 34, 181-188.
Mannes, S.M. & Kintsch, W. (1987). Knowledge organization and text organization. Cognition and
Instruction, 4, 91-115.
Mayer, R.E. (2001). Multimedia Learning. New York, NY: Cambridge.
McKoon, G. & Ratcliff, R. (1992). Inferences during reading. Psychological Review, 99, 440-466.
McNamara, D.S. (2001). Reading both high-coherence and low-coherence texts: Effects of text
sequence and prior knowledge. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55, 51-62.
McNamara, D.S. (2004). SERT: Self-explanation reading training. Discourse Processes, 38, 1-30.
McNamara, D.S. (2007). IIS: A marriage of computational linguistics, psychology, and educational
technologies. In D. Wilson & G. Sutcliffe (Eds.), Proceedings of the twentieth International Florida
Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (pp. 15-20). Menlo Park, California: The AAAI
Press.
McNamara, D.S., Boonthum, C., Levinstein, I.B., & Millis, K. (2007). Evaluating self-explanations in
iSTART: Comparing word-based and LSA algorithms. In T. Landauer, D.S. McNamara, S.
Dennis, & W. Kintsch (Eds.), Handbook of Latent Semantic Analysis (pp. 227-241). Mahwah, NJ:
Erlbaum.
McNamara, D.S., Kintsch, E., Songer, N.B., & Kintsch, W. (1996). Are good texts always better?
Interactions of text coherence, background knowledge, and levels of understanding in
learning from text. Cognition and Instruction, 14, 1-43.
McNamara, D.S. & Magliano, J.P. (2009). Towards a comprehensive model of comprehension. In B. Ross
(Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (pp. 297-384). New York, NY: Academic Press.
Muter, V., Hulme, C., Snowling, M.J., & Stevenson, J. (2004). Phonemes, rimes, vocabulary and
grammatical skills as foundations of early reading development: evidence from a longitudinal
study. Developmental Psychology, 40, 665-681.
Nation, K. (2005). Children’s reading comprehension difficulties. In M.J. Snowling & C. Hulme (Eds.), The
science of reading: A handbook (pp 248-265). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.
Oakhill, J. (1984). Inferential and memory skills in children’s comprehension of stories. British Journal of
Educational Psychology, 54, 31–39.
Oakhill, J., Cain, K., & Bryant, P.E. (2003). The dissociation of word reading and text comprehension:
evidence from component skills. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18, 443-468.
Oahill, J. & Yuill, N. (1996). Higher order factors in comprehension disability: Processes and
remediation. In C. Cornaldi & J. Oakhill (Eds.), Reading comprehension difficulties: Processes and
intervention. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Oakhill, J., Yuill, N. & Donaldson, M. (1990). Understanding of "because" in skilled and less-skilled text
comprehenders. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8, 401-410.
O’Brien, E.J. & Myers, J.L. (1985). When comprehension difficulty improves memory for text. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 11, 12-21.
O'Brien, E.J. & Myers, J.L. (1999). Text comprehension: A view from the bottom up. In S.R. Goldman,
A.C. Graesser, & P. van den Broek (Eds.), Narrative comprehension, causality, and coherence:
Essays in honor of Tom Trabasso (pp. 35-54). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
O’Reilly, T. & McNamara, D.S. (2002). What’s a science student to do? In W.D. Gray & C.D. Schunn (Eds.),
Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 726–
731). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
O’Reilly, T., Best, R., & McNamara, D. S. (2004). Self-explanation reading training: Effect for lowknowledge
readers. In K. Forbus, D. Gentner, & T. Regier (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty Sixth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1053–1058). Mahwah, NJ:
Erlbaum.
O'Reilly, T., & McNamara, D. S. (2007a). Reversing the reverse cohesion effect: Good texts can be better
for strategic, high-knowledge readers. Discourse Processes, 43, 121-152.
O'Reilly, T. & McNamara, D.S. (2007b). The impact of science knowledge, reading skill, and reading
strategy knowledge on more traditional “High-Stakes” measures of high school students’
science achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 44, 161-196.
Ozuru, Y., Dempsey, K., & McNamara, D.S. (2009). Prior knowledge, reading skill, and text cohesion in
the comprehension of science texts. Learning and Instruction, 19, 228-242.
Ozuru, Y., & McNamara, D.S. (2007). A multidimensional framework to evaluate reading assessment
tools. In D.S. McNamara (Ed.), Reading comprehension strategies: Theories, interventions, and
technologies (pp. 107-136). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Ozuru, Y., Rowe, M., O'Reilly, T., & McNamara, D.S. (2008). Where's the difficulty in standardized reading
tests: The passage or the question? Behavior Research Methods, 40, 1001-1015.
Palincsar, A.S. & Brown, A.L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and
comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1, 117-175.
Paris, S.G. (2007). Assessment of reading comprehension. Encyclopedia of language an literacy
development (pp. 1-8). London, ON: Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network.
Paris, S.G., Cross, D.R., & Lipson, M.Y. (1984). Informed strategies for learning: A program to improve
children’s reading awareness and comprehension. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 76, 1239-1252.
Paris, S.G., Lindauer, B.K., & Cox, G.L. (1977). The development of inferential comprehension. Child
Development, 47, 1728-1733.
Perfetti, C. A. (1985). Reading ability. New York: Oxford University Press.
Pressley, M. (1998). Reading instruction that works: The case for balanced teaching. New York, NY:
Guilford.
Pressley, M. (2000). What should comprehension instruction be the instruction of? In M.L. Kamil, P.B.
Mosenthal, P.D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research: Volume III (pp. 545-
561). Mahwah NJ: Erlbaum.
RAND Reading Study Group. (2002). Reading for understanding: Toward a research and development
program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Rapp, D.N., van den Broek, P., McMaster, K.L., Kendeou, P., & Espin, C.A. (2007). Higher-order
comprehension processes in struggling readers: A perspective for research and intervention.
Scientific Studies of Reading, 11, 289-312.
Rauenbusch, F. & Bereiter, C. (1991). Making reading more difficult: A degraded text microworld for
teaching reading comprehension strategies. Cognition and Instruction, 8, 181-206.
Savage, R. (2006). Reading comprehension is not always the product of nonsense word decoding and
linguistic comprehension: Evidence from teenagers who are extremely poor readers. Scientific
Studies of Reading, 10, 143-164.
Shanahan, R., Kamil, M.L., & Tobin, A.W. (1982). Cloze as a measure of intersentential comprehension.
Reading Research Quarterly, 2, 229-55.
Singer, M. & Ritchot, K.F.M. (1996). The role of working memory capacity and knowledge access in text
inference processing. Memory & Cognition, 24, 733-743.
Spooner, A., Baddeley, A.D., & Gathercole, S.E. (2004). Can reading accuracy and comprehension be
separated in the Neale Analysis of reading ability? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74,
187-204.
Snowling, M.J. & Hulme, C. (2005) Learning to read with a language impairment. In M.J. Snowling & C.
Hulme (Eds.), The science of reading: A handbook (pp. 397-412). Oxford, UK: Blackwell
Publishing.
Stanovich, K.E. & Cunningham, A.E. (1993). Where does knowledge come from? Specific associations
between print exposure and information acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85,
211-229.
Storch, S.A. & Whitehurst, G.J. (2002). Oral language and code-related precursors to reading: Evidence
from a longitudinal structural model. Developmental Psychology, 38, 934-947.
Stothard, S.E. & Hulme, C. (1992). Reading comprehension difficulties in children: The role of language
comprehension and working memory skills. Reading and Writing, 4, 245-256.
Trabasso, T. & Suh, S. (1993). Understanding text: Achieving explanatory coherence through online
inferences and mental operations in working memory. Discourse Processes, 16, 3-34.
van den Broek, P. (1990). The causal inference maker: Towards a process model of inference
generation in text comprehension. In D.A. Balota, G.B. Flores d’ Arcais, & K. Rayner (Eds.),
Comprehension processes in reading (pp. 423-445). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
van den Broek, P. & Kremer, K.E. (1999). The mind in action: What it means to comprehend during
reading. In B. Taylor, M. Graves, & P. van den Broek (Eds.), Reading for meaning (pp. 1-31). New
York: Teacher's College Press.
van den Broek, P., Rapp, D.N., & Kendeou, P. (2005). Integrating memory-based and constructionist
processes in accounts of reading comprehension. Discourse Processes, 39, 299-316.
van den Broek, P., Kendeou, P., & White, M. J. (2009). Cognitive processes during reading: Implications
for the use of multimedia to foster reading comprehension. In A. G. Bus & S. B. Neuman (Eds.),
Multimedia and literacy development: Improving achievement for young learners (pp. 57-73).
New York: Rutledge.
Whitney, P., Ritchie, B., & Clark, M. (1991). Working memory capacity and the use of elaborative
inferences in text comprehension. Discourse Processes, 14, 133–145.
Yuill, N. & Oakhill, J. (1988). Understanding of anaphoric relations in skilled and less skilled
comprehenders. British Journal of Psychology, 79, 173–186.