Focus on Reading Comprehension

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By Denise Douce

March 2016 

In the introduction to the spring issue of Perspectives on Language and Literacy, Theme Editor Kate Cain, D.Phil., tells us that although learning to decode the written symbols on the page is an “essential first step” of reading, “research over the past decades has demonstrated that learning to read words does not guarantee successful reading comprehension.”Spring 2016 Perspectives Cover-page-002

Although word reading is a critical part of comprehension, “word reading and reading comprehension are separable and do not necessarily develop in tandem. They each draw on different language skills that are associated with different regions of the brain…tapped by different assessments and requiring different types of teaching.”

In an effort to explore what does help students comprehend what they read, Dr. Cain and the other authors in this special issue “tackle very different aspects of reading comprehension.” It is her hope that providing an update on the research of comprehension development and the reasons for reading comprehension difficulties will offer new insights into putting the research into practice.

Read on for a complete list of article authors and titles:

  • Reading Comprehension Development and Difficulties: An Overview

by Kate Cain

  • Assessing the Assessments: Reading Comprehension Tests

by Janice M. Keenan

  • Reading Comprehension and Executive Function: Neurobiological Findings

by Jonathan Scheff, Neena Hudson, Mary Tarsha, and Laurie E. Cutting

  • Supporting Reading Comprehension Development: From Research to Practice

by Jane Oakhill and Kate Cain

This spring issue of Perspectives will be available to IDA members in mid to late April. If you are not a member, join IDA today to learn more about reading comprehension and other important issues that inform best practices in the classroom.

See below for links to more issues of Perspectives on Language and Literacy

Early Identification and Treatment of Dyslexia: A Brain-based Perspective, Guinevere F. Eden and Nadine Gaab, Theme Editors

Dyslexia Legislation: Past, Present, and Future, Charlotte Andrist and Deborah Lynam, Theme Editors

Vocabulary Research Meets Classroom, Michele Berg and Sara Tellman Buckerfield, Theme Editors

Common Core Implementation: Taking Stock, Taking Action, Nancy Chapel Eberhardt and Margie Gillis, Theme Editors

Denise Douce, Director of Publications and Communications

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