Comprehension IS the goal of reading; all the time and energy that a child spends learning different reading skills lead her to understand the texts that she reads. The most recent Blog at Linguistic Foundations on May 6th began to touch upon Comprehension as one of the components of Language that ties closely into Literacy Development.
In our May 6th Blog, the importance and need to assess both Language Comprehension and Reading Comprehension were emphasized. Language Comprehension is really the fundamental piece in the development of Reading Comprehension. A Reading Passage = Language – it can be the rich and flowing Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco or an informational paragraph that tells the history of Memorial Day. The same pathways in the language areas of the brain that allow a child to listen to a story also give her the chance to understand the texts she reads.
A child who learns to read without a real struggle – and may be considered a typical reader – probably possesses similar levels of skill in Language Comprehension and Reading Comprehension.
A different type of learner may read fluently but have difficulty understanding text. This child may have weakness in Reading Comprehension; it is also quite possible that she possesses wider Language-Learning issues that affect Spoken Language as well as Reading Comprehension.
There are also many different non-language factors that indirectly affect Reading Comprehension. Some of these factors relate to the process of reading fluency. These specific reading skills include phonological awareness, sight word recall, and decoding. Also, cognitive abilities like retrieval, working memory, attention, and organizational skills play unique roles that can affect Reading Comprehension.
A child, who has had difficulty developing phonological awareness, phonics, decoding skills, and/or sight word knowledge, may take great effort to read and yet have little reading fluency. She may have poor Reading Comprehension scores. However, in this case, her low Reading Comprehension may be traced back to poor reading fluency. This child can’t read text efficiently enough to build meaning, even if her natural Comprehension abilities are strong. This is a child who may be Dyslexic.
As Parents and Teachers, we realize that each child possesses a unique learning profile; there are shades of gray all along her profile. Understanding her strengths and weaknesses – and how they affect learning – are the first steps toward making your child a successful learner.
If you have any questions about your child's Reading Comprehension skills, or if you have any concerns related to his or her development of Reading Fluency, Writing, or overall Language, please contact us at Linguistic Foundations. Our complete test process will provide you with a profile of your child's strengths and weaknesses. We can help you develop an instructional plan suited to your child's unique needs as a learner. Thanks very much.