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Strategies for Addressing Comprehension Difficulties Presentation at Reading Research 2004, International Reading Association, Reno, Nevada Nell K. Duke.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Addressing Comprehension Difficulties Presentation at Reading Research 2004, International Reading Association, Reno, Nevada Nell K. Duke."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Addressing Comprehension Difficulties Presentation at Reading Research 2004, International Reading Association, Reno, Nevada Nell K. Duke Michigan State University

2 References for Material in this Talk This talk is based largely on the upcoming chapter: Duke, N. K., Pressley, G. M., & Hilden, K. (in press). Reading comprehension difficulties. To appear in B. Shulman, K. Apel, B. Ehren, E. R. Silliman, & C. A. Stone (Eds.), Handbook of language and literacy development and disorders. New York: Guilford Press. Other relevant resources include: Cornoldi, C., & Oakhill, J. (1996). Reading comprehension difficulties: Processes and Intervention. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Carlisle, J. F., & Rice, M. S. (2002). Improving reading comprehension: Research-based principles and practices. Baltimore, MD: York Press. Gersten, R., Fuchs, L. S., Williams, J. P., & Baker, S. (2001). Teaching reading comprehension strategies to students with learning disabilities: A review of research. Review of Educational Research, 71, 279-320.

3 Plan for Presentation About comprehension difficulties Preventing and addressing comprehension difficulties –General approach –Eight important instructional strategies for preventing and addressing comprehension difficulties

4 Comprehension Difficulties: Exist. Are not always caused by word recognition and decoding difficulties. Can be caused by many different things.

5 Comprehension Difficulties Exist For evidence consider: Clinical casework on children with comprehension difficulties Range of performance on norm-referenced tests Results of state and national assessments

6 They are Not Always Caused By Difficulties with Word Recognition Far from perfect correlations between word recognition and/or fluency and comprehension (e.g., Nation and Snowling 1998; Paris, Carpenter, Paris, & Hamilton, 2002; Yuill & Oakhill, 1991) Documented cases of hyperlexia (e.g., Wahlberg, 2001; Barnes, Faulkner, & Dennis, 2001) Other cases in the clinical literature (e.g., Dewitz & Dewitz, 2003)

7 Profile Analyses, good w.r., poor r.c.: –Shankweiler et al, 1999: 13.6% of children 7.5 - 9.5 years old, 27.8% of impaired readers at this age –Catts and Hogan, 2002: 3% of fourth graders, 19.5% of fourth graders with reading difficulties –Buly and Valencia, 2002: 18% of fourth graders who did poorly on Washington state test They are Not Always Caused By Difficulties with Word Recognition

8 Comprehension Difficulties Have Many Causes Difficulties with word recognition and decoding Difficulties with fluency Difficulties with language –Speech and language impairments Differences in language –Limited language proficiency (e.g. LEP) –Dialect differences? Difficulties with written language –Specific genres –Written language registerWritten language register

9 Poor short-term and/or working memory Lack or poor use of strategies Difficulties related to prior knowledge –Lack of relevant prior knowledge –Failure to apply relevant prior knowledge –Application of irrelevant prior knowledge Lack of reading engagement Other factors –Eye movement problems –Other self-regulatory or metacognitive issues –Others

10 Example of oral register language: Telling about a birthday party: Well... I had ten guests,... I dont remember all who they were,... but I remember one was Ola,... one was Sara and Kathy,... cause they are sisters. Older brother,... and... he also came,... he was tall,... and of course I had to invite my brother,... cause of course he was... right there in the house. A-n-d... lets see,... Ola,... and... (Purcell-Gates, 1988, pages 157-158) next

11 Example of written register language: Pretending to read a wordless picture book. there once.... was a brave knight,... and a beautiful lady. They went... on a trip... A dangerous trip... they saw a castle. In the distance. They went to it. A mean... me:an... me:an hunter,... was following them,... through the bushes. At the entrance... of the little castle. As he cree:ped out of the bushes,... he thought what to do. As the drawbridge was opened,... they could easily get in,... and the question was.... how to trick them,... (Purcell-Gates, 1988, pages 157-158) back

12 Comprehension Difficulties Have Many Causes åIn some cases, only one of the previously- listed causes may be at work. åIn other, and probably most, cases, more than one of these causes is at work.

13 Preventing and Addressing Reading Comprehension Difficulties Preventing Provide effective comprehension instruction throughout schooling Addressing Assess and intervene in the areas that can cause reading comprehension difficulties * Continue to provide effective comprehension instruction

14 * Note: There is not necessarily a one-to-one mapping between causes of reading comprehension difficulties and most effective approaches to addressing them. For example, the best way to improve reading comprehension for a child with weak short- term memory may be to improve reading comprehension strategy use.

15 Eight Important Instructional Strategies for Preventing and Addressing Comprehension Difficulties* 1.Appropriate attention to underlying or accompanying skills 2.Wide reading 3.Language exposure 4.Language intervention 5.Instruction in comprehension strategies 6.Knowledge building 7.Engagement fostering 8.Miscellaneous (-:) * Depending on the student,the difficulty/ies, the goal...

16 1. Appropriate Attention to Underlying or Accompanying Skills Word recognition and decoding Reading fluency But also, Intentional/functional knowledge Concepts of print Phonemic Awareness and so on

17 2. Wide Reading

18 3. Language Exposure Extensive exposure to written language Exposure to those -- and all of those -- types of text we want students to be able to comprehend Exposure to, and instruction about, rich vocabulary

19 Effective vocabulary instruction... Involves lots of time spent reading Involves lots of rich talk and talk about text Teaches important words Teaches conceptually-related words Relates new words to known words Exposes children to words multiple times in multiple meaningful contexts Raises word consciousness

20 Semantic Word Map: Farms What They Do Grow plants for people or animals to eat or use Raise animals for people to eat or use Animals cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, ostriches!, fish... Crops corn, wheat, soy beans, rice, fruit, vegetables... Equipment silo barn plow Tractor Milking machines (Rupley, Logan, & Nichols, 1999; Duke & Bennett-Armistead, 2002)

21 Concept Wheel: Hibernation Sleep Rest Winter Dens Low heart rate Bats Bears Turtles Garter snakes Toads Hibernation Sleep Bears Winter (Rupley, Logan, & Nichols, 1999; Duke & Bennett-Armistead, 2002)

22 FCategories: What is it? FProperties: What is it like? FComparisons: Same/Different FIllustrations: What are some Examples? Concept of Definition: (Schwartz & Raphael, 1985)

23 4. Language Intervention A wide range of language interventions exist. This is normally the purview of speech and language pathologists. Intervention may occur at many levels, including the phoneme, word, sentence, and extended text level

24 One outside-the box language intervention: Ambiguity training (Yuill, 1996) Defining and finding words with double meanings (e.g. bank, fan) Introduction explaining puns (e.g., Whats black and white and red all over?) Explaining sentences with double meanings (e.g., The mayor asked the police to stop stealing.) Further work on explaining jokes beyond the word level

25 Given word compounds, with double meanings, inventing meanings different from the usual meaning (e.g., sausage roll, watch dog) Communication game: One child describes a picture in such a way that others can work out which picture in an array is referred to (e.g., umbrella would be an inadequate description for an array of a red and a yellow umbrella) (e.g., see Pratt & Bates, 1982).

26 Given a word pair, such as cow-horse, thinking of a clue so that a peer can pick out one of the words (e.g., milk would prompt cow). Word pairs are either similar in meaning (e.g., river- ocean) or dissimilar (e.g., wash-give) (see Asher & Parke, 1975). Evaluating good and poor clues. Explaining metalinguistic jokes Finding key words to help understand abstract stories (see Yuill & Joscelyne, 1988, for examples) p. 211

27 5. Instruction in Comprehension Strategies Some key strategies: Generating questions Thinking aloud Monitoring and adjusting as needed Attending to and uncovering text structure Activating and applying relevant background knowledge, including predicting Drawing inferences Constructing visual representations Summarizing

28 Five Components of Teaching Comprehension Strategies (1) An explicit description of the strategy and when and how it should be used. (2) Teacher and/or student modeling of the strategy in action (3) Collaborative use of the strategy in action. (4)Guided practice using the strategy with gradual release of responsibility. (5) Independent use of the strategy.

29 A key instructional construct: Teacher Responsibility 100 0 0 Student Responsibility With any luck, we move this way (----->) over time. But we are always prepared to slide up and down the diagonal. Gradual Release of Responsibility

30 Teaching multiple strategies simultaneously may be particularly powerful (Duke & Pearson, 2002, pp. 224- 231; NRP, 2000; Pressley, 2000). Approaches tested with LD students include: Reciprocal Teaching Collaborative Strategic Reading Multipass POSSE And others (see Gersten, et al., 2001)

31 6. Knowledge Building Through reading –especially reading texts whose primary purpose is to convey information –I suggest 1/3 informational genres even in primary grades Through hands on experiences Through discussion

32 7. Engagement Fostering Especially among older students Especially among students experiencing difficulties Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI; Guthrie et al) and other engagement-concerned approaches

33 8. Miscellaneous Rich texts Text discussion –Questions and questioning (teacher and student) –Think-alouds (teacher and student) –Other Lots of opportunities for meaningful writing Screening and treatment for sensory / perceptual issues Authentic literacy events

34 More About Authentic Literacy Events FAuthentic literacy events are those that replicate or reflect reading and writing purposes and texts, specific to the genre, that occur in the world outside of a schooling context. FFor example, authentic reading of informational text involves reading for the purpose of obtaining information you want or need to know (and writing for the purpose of communicating information to people who want or need to know it). (Purcell-Gates & Duke, 2001)

35 Some set-ups for authentic reading of informational text in science in the TEXT approach FDiscrepant events to generate questions FE.g., prisms on the overhead FDemonstrations of phenomena to generate questions FE.g., volcano, caterpillars FSerendipitous events brought from world outside FE.g., broken arm FAnnouncing topic and asking for questions FE.g., K-W-L charts (topic: sound) (Purcell-Gates, Duke, Hall, & Tower, 2002)

36 Some set-ups for authentic reading and writing in science in the TEXT approach FLiteracy in response to a community need FE.g. pond brochure FLiteracy as part of problem-solving FE.g. dying tadpoles (Audience integral to authentic writing -- audiences include distant readers (e.g., Costa Rican pen pals), within-school audiences, and within-classroom audiences) (Purcell-Gates, Duke, Hall, & Tower, 2002)

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