Reading Comprehension Development and Difficulties: An Overview

By Kate Cain Last updated 2024/05/27
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In this International Dyslexia Association Perspectives article, Kate Cain explores the topic of reading comprehension and how language skills develop. The article explains how vocabulary acquisition, understanding of sentence structure and how sentences work together, the ability to infer and integrate information, and building a mental model of the text’s meaning while you are reading all contribute to reading comprehension. She notes that as students become more automatic in their word reading abilities, more cognitive resources can be used to understand the text’s meaning. At this time, the student’s language development becomes more predictive of their reading comprehension. The article continues to outline possible reading difficulties, their implications, and the need for early intervention.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing C1. Knowledge about Texts C2. Comprehension Strategies
Understanding reading development is essential in all areas of the curriculum and this article broadly supports the understanding of the language skills related to reading comprehension. 
Grade(s): K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): ComprehensionGrammarSyntax and Sentence StructureVocabulary

1 Comment

  1. This article makes my heart happy. We must support language skills early on including vocabulary- but others as well. I deeply appreciate that this article has identified that the Matthew Effect is more appropriate for explaining unconstrained skills – like vocabulary – and the importance of reading, and understanding the structures of the texts we read.

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