According to a research study out of York University, reading comprehension is a skill that many children “silently” struggle with, as issues with comprehension often go undetected. These children may be fluent readers, but are rarely asked if they understood what they just read. In the study done by psychological scientists Charles Hulme and Margaret Snowling (2011), they discovered that “poor comprehenders have less conspicuous, yet broad language difficulties that pre-date reading and most likely cause the later difficulties,” (Hulme & Snowling, 2011). These children may be able to sound out words effectively, but usually “understood fewer spoken words, had worse spoken grammar, and understood less of what they heard,” (Hulme and Snowling, 2011). Hulme and his team found that when children received intervention targeting spoken language, not only did their comprehension skills improve, but their vocabulary skills did as well. At Academics Plus, we use a targeted approach, practicing specific reading skills such as identifying details, finding the main idea, making inferences, and drawing conclusions. Presented both auditorally and visually, these activities help children become equipped with the tools to help them break down a passage and comprehend it better. By introducing children to these skills early and teaching them strategies to use them, later reading comprehension difficulties may be prevented.
Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. (2011). Children’s reading comprehension difficulties: nature, causes, and treatments. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(3), 139-142. doi: 10.1177/096372141140867