Strategy Learning Curriculum: Reading Comprehension

Introduction

The purpose of this study is to give a detailed literature review of three articles that include the impact of a strategy-based intervention on the comprehension and strategy use by struggling Adolescent readers, effective instruction for Adolescent struggling readers and synopsis of improving comprehension of expository text in students with learning disabilities (A research synthesis). The study will also encompass a reflection based on the usefulness of the information of the literature on research and practice.

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Literature Review

Impact of strategy-based intervention on the comprehension and strategy use of struggling Adolescent readers

This article focuses on the impact posed by learning strategies curriculum (LSC), intervention programs that are geared towards improving reading comprehension (comprehension) of students. The study targets 6th and 9th grade students. It also focuses on the means of reducing reading difficulties experienced at the elementary level. The study embarked on the use of randomized treatment-control group design to make comparisons based on students’ outcomes. The limitation of early literacy policies and practices is that they failed to acknowledge reading as a complex developmental process through which students increase in competence in their lives. students gain competence through reading comprehension by developing text-based decoding, increased topic knowledge, interest, lexical skills and developing cognitive monitoring as well as strategy used as reading turns into a more complex phase. However, students are of different types since there are those students who can move through the reading development phase to proficient reading without encountering any difficulties in contrast to other students who may struggle to attain the same. Reading strategies are useful to the students because they give them the opportunity to comprehend when text turns out to be more complex. Targeted intervention is resourceful to those adolescents who seem to encounter difficulties in the strategy use (Canterll, et.al 2010).

Learning strategy curriculum is made up of cognitive strategies whose role is to develop students’ abilities to practice multiple strategies with flexibility. Research has proved evidently that comprehension processes entail multiple stages (levels). For instance, at certain levels, the students should use information and visual cues in the text in order to understand the real meaning of the text. At another stage, the student must use personal experiences, emotion and background knowledge to elaborate the text content. The learning strategy curriculum only targets struggling adolescent readers and it is considered as a potion of strategy intervention model developed by the university of Kansas center for research on learning. This study was implemented in 2006 as a readers’ initiative for struggling students in 12 middle and 11 high schools in rural states. The study focused on examining the impact of the LSC on adolescent striving students. A sample was randomly selected from 6th and 9th grade students for intervention treatment and control. 862 students and 25 teachers in 23 schools participated in the study (Canterll, et.al 2010).

Effective instruction for adolescent struggling readers

This article focuses on effective instruction for adolescent struggling readers. The core areas of this article include the introduction, word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, motivation and putting it all together. Students fail because of lack of skills necessary to figure out the meanings of new or strange words. Both middle and high schools are facing difficulties in creating classroom environments that could offer support to student interest and motivation to participate in school-based-reading chores. Older students experienced reading difficulties though they were given less priority. Prevention of reading difficulties has been made easier by the introduction of adolescent reading instructions in the learning process. Instructional personnel such as teachers are provided with professional development opportunities and research based material in order to support the struggling readers in understanding text (Boardman, et.al 2008).

Reports from the National reading panel have showed that early reading comprise of five essential areas that include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. However, word study is considered crucial in learning process because it enables the readers to familiarize themselves with unusual words. In addition, readers are able to follow the sequence of speech pattern that corresponds to a certain sequence of letter pattern. Moreover, word study helps readers to read words efficiently and effectively hence resulting to a reading comprehension among them. Furthermore, word study involves breaking down structural analysis into parts for better understanding of new words in a text. Although the instructional materials involved in the word study differ based on age and grade level, the learning objectives remain unchanged (Boardman, et.al. 2008).

Research has shown that reading interventions depend on two factors that include the age and the grade level of the students even though the best interventions focuses on comprehension, fluency and vocabulary. People have asked questions about good readers. In conjunction to this, good readers are always fluent readers and this is the reason fluency is important in learning because it promotes understanding among the readers and the audience. Based on this notion, fluency instruction is of much help or useful to all struggling readers since it improves the reader’s level of understanding. It has been proven that students with reading difficulties find it ambiguous to read fluently hence being prone to failure. Success and reading comprehension can only be achieved if students can know the meaning of words. Due to this, vocabulary is considered critical in the learning process. It also enables readers to understand the text hence contributing to reading comprehension. Students can only understand the content of a text if and only if they can understand the meaning of the words contained in the text.

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Vocabulary knowledge is therefore deemed necessary since it contributes to word consciousness and various uses of language among others. Comprehension plays a key role to readers since it enables them gauge their levels of understanding the meaning of a given text. The article postulates that readers with reading difficulties lack an aspect of comprehension in their reading. For a comprehension to be reached, readers must have a potential background in word study, fluency and vocabulary. In this regard, teachers should embark on teaching comprehension monitoring strategies to the readers to enable them keep track of their understanding in the reading process. Reading can only be enjoyable if readers are motivated to read more hence being able to improve their understanding abilities (Boardman, et.al. 2008).

Synopsis of improving comprehension of expository text in students with learning disabilities

This article is resourceful in that it focuses on the improvement of comprehension among disabled students. It highlights the transition involved in learning by students as they progress from junior or low levels of education to high levels such as from the primary level to the secondary level. As students advance in levels of education, they shift from learning to read to reading to learn. In contrast, disabled students find it difficult to attain such kind of transition without intervention from the teaching personnel. Learning disability hinders students from acquiring comprehension skills that are deemed necessary in learning. In addition to this, the article focuses on exposition of text with an aim of testing reading comprehension among the students. Instructional leaders should offer intervention to such students in order to lay off the burden of learning disabilities. In addition, the study highlights two types of interventions that include cognitive strategy instruction and content enhancement. These two types of intervention are considered as highly effective to students with learning disabilities because they helps them to acquire comprehension skills that are of much help or useful in the learning process (Gajria, et.al 2007).

Reflection of the articles

In the first article, the area of interest is the impact of learning strategy curriculum to the students. The article is resourceful because it highlights the importance of learning strategy curriculum as it is implicated in the learning process. Students are of different kinds. Some students face or encounter non-of reading difficulties in their reading. Reading comprehension forms the base of students’ reading ability hence viewed as critical to all readers. Instructional personnel such as teachers need to come up with strategy programs whose aim is to prevent reading difficulties among students.

The limitation with early literacy policies and practices is that they failed to acknowledge reading as a complex developmental process through which students increase competence in their lives. Reading strategies are useful to students because they give them the opportunity to comprehend when the text turns out to be more complex. Struggling adolescent readers deserve some special attention in order to improve their understanding abilities that are deemed necessary since they promote reading comprehension.

Word study should be an area of interest to many interveners because it helps readers to read words efficiently and effectively hence resulting in a reading comprehension among them. Fluency should be considered important in learning or reading since students will only become good readers if they are fluent. In addition, fluency enables students to read effectively and efficiently. Comprehension as discussed within the context of the study is complex because it takes into account the role of word study, fluency and vocabulary. Students will be able to understand the content of a particular text if they know the meanings of the words used in the text meaning that vocabulary is basis of reading comprehension. Special treatment should be provided to students with reading disabilities because they cannot experience the transition experienced by other students in their learning. However, instructional personnel should use exposition of text to test the reading comprehension. Cognitive strategy and content enhancement interventions should be imposed to learning institutions to help students with learning disabilities by equipping them with comprehension skills.

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Conclusion

The study is useful because it highlights the concept of reading comprehension in both normal and disabled students. Strategy learning curriculum helps readers to acquire comprehension skills by emphasis of intervention. Word study, fluency and vocabulary should gain positive perception from instructional personnel because they are the basis of reading comprehension as mentioned in the study. In addition, teachers should use exposition of text to test reading comprehension among disabled students.

References

Boardman, A. et al. (2008). Effective instruction for adolescent struggling readers: A Practice brief. PortMouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction.

Cantrell, S. et al. (2010). The Impact of a strategy-Based Intervention on the Comprehension and Strategy Use of Struggling Adolescent Readers. Journal of Educational Psychology. 102(2), 257-280.

Gajria, M. et al. (2007). Improving comprehension of expository text in students with LD: A research synthesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40, 210-225.

Strategy Learning Curriculum: Reading Comprehension
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