Difficulties in reading comprehension for students with learning disabilities

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Graham, L & Bellert, A 2004, 'Difficulties in reading comprehension for students with learning disabilities', 3rd edn, in BYL Wong (ed.), Learning about learning disabilities, Elsevier Academic Press, San Diego, pp. 251-279. ISBN: 9780127625331

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Reading comprehension is a necessary skill throughout schooling and a vital component of the successful transition to adult responsibilities. It is the complex outcome of the process of constructing meaning from print. Students' success in comprehension is influenced by how interesting and relevant they find the text they are reading; their competencies in recognizing, decoding, and pronouncing words fluently and accurately; their awareness of the different purposes associated with reading and facility with comprehension monitoring strategies. The top-down model advocates reading instruction that de-emphasizes skills and focuses instead on a holistic approach to reading connected text as well as the value of immersing children in a literate environment. Reading comprehension is an important academic skill. It underpins school learning and becomes increasingly important in all subject areas as students progress through the grades. The appropriate use of background knowledge is a crucial element in extracting meaning from text. Current research indicates that students benefit most from activities that assess, activate, and develop their background knowledge before reading. Students with learning disabilities may experience difficulties in activating appropriate knowledge or in developing background knowledge when it is missing or uncertain.

Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.