The two most recent Blogs at Linguistic Foundations – on May 6th and May 25th – offered some basic ideas of Reading Comprehension. This Blog will focus on how to better understand your child’s Reading Comprehension strengths-weaknesses and proficiency – and how this understanding can help develop an appropriate instructional plan for her.
Because Reading Comprehension is so closely related to (and dependent on) Spoken Language Comprehension, a child’s spoken language should be fully assessed. There are many smaller domains of spoken language to investigate – vocabulary, understanding sentences, processing paragraph information, recalling details, and higher-level thinking skills. Each of these smaller pieces are important by themselves, and they also work together to help us see the picture of a child’s overall understanding of language.
Reading Comprehension has the same smaller domains of language, and these areas need to be assessed, as well. The same is true for Reading Comprehension as for Spoken Language Comprehension – the smaller domains are important by themselves, and when these pieces are combined, you can get a clearer picture of your child’s overall Reading Comprehension skill. A comparison of Reading Comprehension and Spoken Language Comprehension is important and natural (because they are so closely related).
As was described in the May 25th Blog, the actual process of Decoding and Reading impacts Reading Comprehension. A child who struggles to ‘sound out’ single syllable words, to break down multi-syllable words, or to remember sight words will usually have difficulty reading smoothly and naturally. This is called Reading Fluency, and if a child has difficulty reading fluently, then her Reading Comprehension will most likely be impacted to some degree. In these situations, a child works to compensate for Reading Fluency weaknesses. However, she needs to spend cognitive-thinking energy to do this, which will make Reading Comprehension a more difficult job.
As a result, all of the skills related to Reading Fluency also need to be assessed. When a complete evaluation is done, you can learn how your child’s Reading Comprehension skills compare to her natural Spoken Language, and how those skills are impacted by her Reading Fluency skills.
A full and complete evaluation of your child’s strengths and weaknesses in Reading Comprehension should include assessment of Spoken Language Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, and Reading Fluency skills. In this way, you can help your school to develop an Instructional Plan that accurately and fully addresses your child’s learning profile.
If you have any questions, please contact Linguistic Foundations. We can help you to better understand all of these complicated components of Reading. We can also help you to learn about your child’s learning profile through our testing.
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