Commenced in January 2007
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Integrated Models of Reading Comprehension: Understanding to Impact Teaching—The Teacher’s Central Role

Authors: Sally A. Brown


Reading comprehension is critical when working to teach students to become proficient readers. In the field of literacy research, comprehension is a complex term to define. It is not a single process that happens within a reader’s mind, but it encapsulates many different components, all of which are important for a reader to make sense of a text. Readers who decode the words on the page are not “reading” until comprehension is attained. Comprehension ultimately happens when a reader automatically constructs meaning while reading a text. Over the last 30 years, researchers have developed models or frameworks to provide a more structured understanding of the reading comprehension process. Cognitive information processing models and social cognitive theories both provide frameworks to inform reading comprehension instruction. The purpose of this paper is to (a) provide an overview of the historical development of reading comprehension theory, (b) review the literature framed by cognitive information processing, social cognitive, and integrated reading comprehension theories, and (c) demonstrate how these frameworks inform instruction. As integrated models of reading can guide the interpretation of various factors related to student learning, an integrated framework designed by the researcher will be presented. Results indicated that features of cognitive processing and social cognitivism theory—represented in the integrated framework—highlighted the importance of the role of the teacher. This model can aide teachers in not only improving reading comprehension instruction but in identifying areas of challenge for students. Teacher instructional behaviors will be shared and an example of an explicit main idea and summarization instructional routine will be provided. [Note: This paper is part of a larger dissertation study titled, The Effects of Explicit Main Idea and Summarization Instruction on Reading Comprehension of Expository Text for Alternative High School Students, 2018]

Keywords: explicit instruction, integrated models of reading comprehension, reading comprehension, teacher’s role

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