Deepening text understanding
Submitted by DMellard on June 23, 2014 - 3:12pm
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Reading comprehension improves the more that readers work with the text. For example, we often ask readers to develop summary statements of paragraphs or topics that they've read. That "summarizing" activity is an example of working with text in a manner that's different from just "reading."
In the National Academy of Science's report on Improving Adult Literacy Instruction, the competing challenge is explained that learners are asked to complete two tasks: learning a comprehension strategy or decoding strategy or develop fluency and also to develop a deeper understanding of the text.
How do you balance those challenges for your learners? I can imagine that multiple readings of the same text could be completed with a shift in purposes for each reading. What's your sense of how such an approach works? Are you explicit in your instruction to the learners as they approach a new text or apply a new comprehension (or other reading component) strategy?
My own experience is that I may reread text several times to get the gestalt. That approach though takes time and usually the instructional time is so limited. We want to be efficient. Maybe during this summer time programming, you can share approaches that you found effective or didn't work quite as well as intended.
Reading and writing COP moderator