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Reading

development and dicul2es: what skills do you need to be a good comprehender?


Kate Cain Lancaster University, UK k.cain@lancaster.ac.uk

What is reading?
A story was direct and simple .. a story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her readers. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it. Reading a sentence and understanding it were the same thing; as with the crooking of a nger, nothing lay between them. (Atonement, Ian McEwan, 2002, p. 23)

What is reading?
A story was direct and simple .. a story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her readers. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it. Reading a sentence and understanding it were the same thing; as with the crooking of a nger, nothing lay between them. (Atonement, Ian McEwan, 2002, p. 23)

Overview of talk
Reading comprehension

overview of reading comprehension

Reading comprehension dicul2es


idenEcaEon of poor comprehenders aspects of comprehension that they nd hard

Reading comprehension development


skills that predict outcomes

Consequences of poor reading comprehension

What is reading comprehension?


Molly was carrying the glass of juice.

She tripped on the step. Mum fetched the mop.

What is reading comprehension?


Comprehension is an INTEGRATIVE process, in which informa2on from dierent sentences is combined

What is reading comprehension?


Molly was carrying the glass of juice.

She tripped on the step. Mum fetched the mop.

What is reading comprehension?


Comprehension is an INTEGRATIVE process, in which informaEon from dierent sentences is combined and Comprehension is a CONSTRUCTIVE process, in which explicit informaEon in a sentence or sentences is supplemented by knowledge about the world from long-term memory.

What is reading comprehension?


Molly was carrying the glass of juice.

She tripped on the step. Mum fetched the mop.

What is reading comprehension?


Outcome of skilled comprehension is the construc2on of a coherent and integrated representa2on of the state of aairs (or situa2on) described in the text a Mental Model or Situa-on Model

(Gernsbacher, 1990; Johnson-Laird, 1983; Kintsch, 1998)

Overview of talk
Reading comprehension

overview of reading comprehension

Reading comprehension dicul2es


idenEcaEon of poor comprehenders aspects of comprehension that they nd hard

Reading comprehension development


skills that predict outcomes

Consequences of poor reading comprehension

Poor comprehenders: iden2ca2on


Reading comprehension scores are poor rela2ve to both chronological age and word reading accuracy

chron. age

word reading

reading comp.

sight vocab (max=45)

Good comps Poor comps

7,8 7,9

7,8 7,10

8,3 6,7

38 37

WriYen vocabulary
Gates MacGini2e Vocabulary subtest
a different sword weapon practice turn team spurt

cap cat car can

Word reading and text comprehension


Neale Analysis of Reading Ability

Poor comprehenders: iden2ca2on


Reading comprehension scores are poor rela2ve to both chronological age and word reading accuracy

chron. age

word reading

reading comp.

sight vocab (max=45)

Good comps Poor comps

7,8 7,9

7,8 7,10

8,3 6,7

38 37

Overview of talk
Reading comprehension

overview of reading comprehension

Reading comprehension dicul2es


idenEcaEon of poor comprehenders aspects of comprehension that they nd hard

Reading comprehension development


skills that predict outcomes

Consequences of poor reading comprehension

Key skills for reading comprehension


Integra2on and inference making
- the ability to integrate sentences within a text - the ability to integrate informaEon in the text with general knowledge - the ability to check your understanding of a text: if a miscomprehension has occurred, remedial acEon can be taken - understanding of narraEves (and other genres) can be guided by knowledge about typical structure

Comprehension monitoring

Knowledge and use of story structure

Inference and integra2on


Inferences to connect ideas and to incorporate background knowledge to make sense of a text:
Debbie was going out for the aTernoon with her friend Michael. By the Eme they got there they were very thirsty. Michael got some drink out of his bag and they shared that. The orange juice was very refreshing. Q: Where did Michael get the orange juice from?
Cain & Oakhill (1999) Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503

Inference and integra2on


Inferences to connect ideas and to incorporate background knowledge to make sense of a text:
Debbie was going out for the aTernoon with her friend Michael. By the Eme they got there they were very thirsty. Michael got some drink out of his bag and they shared that. The orange juice was very refreshing. Q: Where did Michael get the orange juice from?
Cain & Oakhill (1999) Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503

Inference and integra2on


Inferences to connect ideas and to incorporate background knowledge to make sense of a text:
Debbie put on her swimming costume but the water was too cold to paddle in, so they made sandcastles instead. They played all aTernoon and didn't noEce how late it was. Then Debbie spoZed the clock on the pier. Q: Where did they spend the a=ernoon?
Cain & Oakhill (1999) Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503

Inference and integra2on


Inferences to connect ideas and to incorporate background knowledge to make sense of a text:
Debbie put on her swimming costume but the water was too cold to paddle in, so they made sandcastles instead. They played all aTernoon and didn't noEce how late it was. Then Debbie spoZed the clock on the pier. Q: Where did they spend the a=ernoon?
Cain & Oakhill (1999) Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503

Inference and integra2on


% C O R R E C T
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
literal

*
good comprehenders poor comprehenders

integrative

general knowledge

Cain & Oakhill (1999) Reading and Writing, 11, 489-503

Comprehension monitoring
Inconsistency detec2on in short stories:
Last night Jill walked home through the woods. There was no moonlight so Jill could hardly see her way. She walked along the path. The moon was so bright that it lit the way. Jill lives at the other side of the wood.

Oakhill et al. (2005) Reading and Writing, 18, 657-713

Comprehension monitoring
Inconsistency detec2on in short stories:
Last night Jill walked home through the woods. There was no moonlight so Jill could hardly see her way. She walked along the path. The moon was so bright that it lit the way. Jill lives at the other side of the wood.

Oakhill et al. (2005) Reading and Writing, 18, 657-713

Comprehension monitoring
Oakhill, et al (2005)
6 5 No. of 4 inconsistencies detected 3 2 1 0 near far

*
good comprehenders poor comprehenders

Oakhill et al. (2005) Reading and Writing, 18, 657-713

Knowledge and use of story structure

Knowledge and use of story structure


Story anagram task (adapted Stein & Glenn, 1982):

Tom ate every single cornake. Once there was a skinny mouse called Tom. Tom nibbled a hole in the box and slipped inside. Tom found a big box of cornakes in the kitchen. Tom was very full and went to sleep. Tom was hungry and wanted to eat some.

Cain & Oakhill (2006) BJEP, 76, 683-696

Knowledge and use of story structure


Story anagram task (adapted Stein & Glenn, 1982):

Once there was a skinny mouse called Tom. Tom found a big box of cornakes in the kitchen. Tom was hungry and wanted to eat some. Tom nibbled a hole in the box and slipped inside. Tom ate every single cornake. Tom was very full and went to sleep.

Cain & Oakhill (2006) BJEP, 76, 683-696

Knowledge and use of story structure


1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 story structure
Cain & Oakhill (2006) BJEP, 76, 683-696

*
good comprehenders poor comprehenders

Reading comprehension dicul2es: summary


o Some children demonstrate unexpectedly poor reading comprehension in rela2on to their age and word reading ability. o Their dicul2es:

extend to a range of discourse-processing skills are apparent when reading is not required (listening comprehension)

Overview of talk
Reading comprehension

overview of reading comprehension

Reading comprehension dicul2es


idenEcaEon of poor comprehenders aspects of comprehension that they nd hard

Reading comprehension development


skills that predict outcomes

Consequences of poor reading comprehension

Word reading and reading comprehension


o Language base of word reading development has been extensively researched:
o strong evidence for a relaEon between phonological skills and word reading ability !

Word reading and reading comprehension


o Language base of word reading development has been extensively researched:
o strong evidence for a relaEon between phonological skills and word reading ability !

o Rela2vely few studies of how early language skills predict later discourse comprehension:
o reading outcome measures vary: oTen confound assessment of comprehension with decoding o fail to take early discourse comprehension (autoregressor) into account

Key skills for reading comprehension


Integra2on and inference making
- the ability to integrate sentences within a text - the ability to integrate informaEon in the text with general knowledge - the ability to check your understanding of a text: if a miscomprehension has occurred, remedial acEon can be taken - understanding of narraEves (and other genres) can be guided by knowledge about typical structure

Comprehension monitoring

Knowledge and use of story structure

Reading comprehension development


Do discourse processing skills play a unique role in the development of reading comprehension? Longitudinal study
Time 1, 7 to 8 years: 102 children Time 2, 8 to 9 years: N=92 Time 3, 10 to 11 years: N=80
Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA)

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Word reading and reading comprehension


Neale Analysis of Reading Ability

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA) Phonological skills: phoneme dele2on, odd-one-out

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Phoneme dele2on
Measure of phonological awareness that is highly correlated with word reading ability Say 'broom' without the buh sound Target response: room Say 'oor' without the luh sound Target response: foor

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Odd-one-out
Measure of phonological awareness that is highly correlated with word reading ability Which is the odd word out: the word that starts/end with a dierent sound? plum plane drum plod

sand hand

band

sack

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA) Phonological skills: phoneme dele2on, odd-one-out Vocabulary (word knowledge): wriYen (Gates) & recep2ve (BPVS)

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

WriYen vocabulary
Gates MacGini2e Vocabulary subtest
a different sword weapon practice turn team spurt
Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

cap cat car can

Recep2ve vocabulary
Bri2sh Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS)

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA) Phonological skills: phoneme dele2on, odd-one-out Vocabulary (word knowledge): wriYen (Gates) & recep2ve (BPVS) Grammar (sentence comprehension): recep2ve (TROG)

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Sentence comprehension
Test for Recep2on of Grammar (TROG)

The boy chasing the horse is fat


Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA)

Phonological skills: phoneme dele2on, odd-one-out Vocabulary (word knowledge): wriYen (Gates) & recep2ve (BPVS)

Grammar (sentence comprehension): recep2ve Discourse: inference & integra2on, comprehension monitoring, knowledge and use of story structure

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Measures: Ages 8, 9, 11 years


Reading: word reading & reading comprehension (NARA)

Phonological skills: phoneme dele2on, odd-one-out Vocabulary (word knowledge): wriYen (Gates) & recep2ve (BPVS)

Grammar (sentence comprehension): recep2ve Discourse: inference & integra2on, comprehension monitoring, knowledge and use of story structure

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Longitudinal: word reading T1-3


7-8 years
word reading verbal IQ recept. vocab phoneme deletion odd-one-out .38 .51 .27 .17 recept. vocab phoneme deletion .16 .20

8-9 years
word .51

10-11 years
word

.54 .25

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Longitudinal: word reading T1-3


7-8 years
word reading verbal IQ recept. vocab phoneme deletion odd-one-out recept. vocab phoneme deletion
2(11) = 9.98, p > .10; CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00
Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

8-9 years
word

10-11 years
word

Longitudinal: comprehension T1-3


7-8 years
comprehension verbal IQ recept. vocab story structure monitoring .20 .49 comp .15 .19 .15 .28 inference .41 monitoring .45 .29 .24

8-9 years
.45

10-11 years
comp

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

Longitudinal: comprehension T1-3


7-8 years
comprehension verbal IQ recept. vocab story structure monitoring inference monitoring
Oakhill & Cain (in press) Scientific Studies of Reading

8-9 years
comp

10-11 years
comp

2 (18) = 24.19, p > .10; CFI = .995, RMSEA = .058

Reading comprehension development: summary


o Acquisi2on of good word reading skills does not guarantee successful comprehension o There is a clear dissocia2on between the skills that predict word reading and reading comprehension within and over 2me:
o word reading is predicted by skills that enable successful decoding of the printed form of a word o reading comprehension is predicted by skills that enable the reader to extract meaning from the text and construct a coherent representaEon of meaning

Overview of talk
Reading comprehension

overview of reading comprehension

Reading comprehension dicul2es


idenEcaEon of poor comprehenders aspects of comprehension that they nd hard

Reading comprehension development


skills that predict outcomes

Consequences of poor reading comprehension

Consequences
o What happens to poor comprehenders? o Does poor comprehension lead to broader
language and learning dicul2es?
WriZen vocabulary knowledge RecepEve vocabulary Morphological awareness

WriYen vocabulary
Gates MacGini2e Vocabulary subtest
a different sword weapon practice turn team spurt

cap cat car can

Consequences of poor comprehension: sight vocabulary


45 40 35 mean raw scores 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 8 years 11 years Age at tes2ng
Poor comprehenders Time F(1,29) = 43.83, p < .001 Group F(1,29) = 7.43, p < .015 Time X Group F(1,29) = 7.67, p < .01

Good comprehenders

Cain & Oakhill (in press) Journal of Learning Disabilities

Recep2ve vocabulary
Bri2sh Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS)

Oakhill & Cain (in press) Journal of Learning Disabilities

Consequences of poor comprehension: recep2ve vocab


160 140 standardised scores 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 8 years 11 years Age at tes2ng
Time F(1,29) = 245.57, p < .001 Group F(1,29) = 7.16, p < .015 Time X Group F(1,29) = 4.76, p < .05

Good comprehenders Poor comprehenders

Cain & Oakhill (in press) Journal of Learning Disabilities

Consequences: morphological awareness


Inec2onal morphology push: pushed:: lose: (lost) change from present to past tense Derived morphology paint is to painter as bake is to (baker) transformaEon from verb to noun

Tong et al. (in press) Journal of Educational Psychology

Consequences: morphological awareness


9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Morph at 8 years Morph at 10 years poor comps average comps good comps

Tong et al. (in press) Journal of Educational Psychology

Consequences: summary
o Poor comprehenders do not spontaneously
recover and improve their comprehension skills.

o In addi2on, poor comprehension may adversely aect other aspects of language development:
o children with poor reading comprehension at 8 years have lower vocabulary and morphological knowledge than their peers 2-3 years later

Conclusions
Skilled reading (and listening) results in a coherent and integrated representa2on of a texts meaning Some children experience signicant reading (and listening) comprehension problems despite acquiring uent and accurate word reading skills they have diculEes on a range of discourse-level
tasks, including inference, comprehension monitoring, and use of story structure

Conclusions
o Poor comprehenders do not grow out of their dicul2es, without interven2on
their comprehension diculEes persist other language skills fail to develop in line with peers

Prac2cal implica2ons
o For assessment
o we must be aware that comprehension can be limited not just by word reading prociency, but by other skills that aid the extracEon of meaning and enable the reader to build an accurate and complete representaEon of the texts meaning

o For teaching
o we should not focus on the teaching of decoding/word reading to the exclusion of other skills o we can foster discourse-processing skills through listening tasks in poor and beginner readers

Thank you for listening k.cain@lancaster.ac.uk