Kendeau, et all, in the most recent Learning Disabilities Research & Practice journal discusses reading comprehension problems from the perspective of cognitive functioning in three areas: inferences formation, executive function (working memory and inhibition), and attention allocation to the task. I found this article very interesting in that their views mirror the problems I see and the approach I use in working with students who struggle to build meaning from text. While other factors can contribute to ongoing comprehension struggles, the discussion identifies key issues. I use the SRA/McGraw Hill Reading Success program with some students to strengthen their reading comprehension skills. Inference-building is one of the first skills to be introduced in these materials at all levels. I have found that extended practice using Specific Skills Series books focused on that skill strengthens a student’s mastery. Kendeou’s discussion of inhibition problems as well as distraction issues is seen in my work with students who demonstrate varying degrees of attention problems. Lots of food for thought in their discussion!

Kendeou, P. et al. (2014). A cognitive view of reading comprehension: Implications for reading difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 29(1), 10-16.

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