domingo, 11 de abril de 2021

Why Your Students May Not Be Comprehending | Shanahan on Literacy

 Teacher question:

"My district is trying to shift literacy instruction to be in line with the science of reading. We are wondering where comprehension strategies fit into Scarborough’s Reading Rope? Inferences and making connections are part of Verbal Reasoning, but what about other skills my students still need to be taught, like understanding and using text structure, summarizing, visualizing, questioning? There is much research to support explicit instruction in comprehension strategies, so where do they fit?  Also, even when our teachers do a good job of scaffolding students’ comprehension of complex text, our at-risk students struggle to independently process texts on tests and with grade-level classroom assignments. What else should we be doing?

Shanahan responds: 

Any model is a simplification and what gets emphasized may shift over time. Hollis Scarborough’s rope (2001) is no exception.

You’re correct that the rope does not include a strand for comprehension strategies though it does indicate that reading comprehension becomes increasingly strategic with development (just as word recognition becomes increasingly automatic).

However, don’t despair. (...)

Many folks, these days, want to relegate comprehension strategies to the ash heap of history. An out-of-date or incomplete model that leaves them out may be reassuring to them.

What do I make of Executive Functioning?

Well, first it requires intentionality… it’s the part of our mind (not brain) that takes agency, that tries to accomplish things, that aims at goals. Too often we treat reading comprehension as if it operated mainly through automaticity – arising spontaneously from reading the words.

But to comprehend we must focus on the ideas. Research reveals that adults often “read” text without attention to meaning. Haven’t you ever found yourself on page 24, not knowing how you got there? This happens with young kids, too, who may get absorbed in reading a text fluently rather than trying to gain information. Reading with the aim of understanding the text is under the control of that little guy in your head wearing the EF (executive functioning) sweatshirt.

Of course, if a text is relatively easy and you’re not too distracted, Mr./Ms. EF doesn’t have much to do. Other times, EF has to get off his/her duff and expend more effort.

That’s where reading comprehension strategies are supposed to come in. Strategies are actions we take to try to solve a problem. Several strategies have been found to improve reading comprehension. For example, summarizing has been lauded in many studies. Students who stop occasionally to sum up what the text has said so far tend to end up with higher comprehension. That makes sense. Anyone who is summarizing along the way is going to spend more time thinking about the ideas in the text than those who just read it; and that repeated rehearsal of ideas can help move them into long term memory.

That’s how strategies work. They guide the reader to pay attention or to manage memory in ways that increase learning.

That some strategies -- summarization, self-questioning, visualization, using text structure, and so on – have been researched can foster the mistaken impression that strategies are a rather static set of steps that automatically enhances reading comprehension.

That’s unfortunate because strategy use needs to be flexible, suitable to a reader’s goals, the demands of a specific text, and the actual problems being confronted. 


Post de 16.03.2021

Hoje, 11.04.2021, recolheu já 16 comentários.

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1 comentário:

Unknown disse...

É verdade, quando utilizamos um guião de exploração de uma obra, seja de um texto ou de um vídeo, os nossos alunos são ajudados a refletir sobre o mesmo e a compreendê-lo melhor, descodificando a linguagem. Quantas vezes os alunos acabam de ler um texto, e quando lhes perguntamos de que tratav, eles não sabem.

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