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Understanding Reading Comprehension

Understanding Reading Comprehension
Processes and Practices

December 2014 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Can baboons read? That is the thought-provoking question that opens this wonderfully accessible book for trainee and practising primary school teachers to fully understand the process of reading comprehension.  Comprehension is an essential component of learning to read and a successful teacher of reading will have a portfolio of different strategies and approaches that take in to account that children learn to read in different ways. This book supports the development of student and practising teachers’ subject knowledge by providing detailed guidance in to the reading comprehension process, along with practical strategies and lesson ideas for use in the classroom. Drawing from educational and psychological research, coverage includes:

  • School-based activities in every chapter
  • An in-depth focus on the inference making process
  • The role of vocabulary and syntax in comprehension
  • Cognitive and meta-cognitive processes including the use of memory
  • Advice on developing effective classroom talk with different groups of children
  • Using different text genres and selecting texts

Locating reading
Locating comprehension
Knowledge: of life and language
Memory and monitoring
Inference making: Definition and difficulties
Coherence inferences
Interrogative inferences
Text comprehension: uniting the separate components
Selecting texts
Teaching comprehension: Pedagogical principles
Teaching comprehension: Pedagogy in practice

'Much attention has been placed on the decoding aspect of reading and far less on the hugely complex twin process of comprehending texts. Wayne Tennent’s scholarly but accessible book helps to redress the imbalance. The author explains the key issues and offers practical guidance on how teachers can best support children to fully comprehend what they read. The book is timely and will become essential reading for all primary teachers.'

Jeni Riley
Reader in Primary Literacy Education, Institute of Education, London

'Comprehensive, authoritative and timely, this book is informed by thorough analysis of research in the field and provides an insightful and invaluable guide to the teaching of reading comprehension. This is an essential resource for training and practising teachers, teacher educators and researchers.'

Mary Anne Wolpert
Affiliated Lecturer, English PGCE, University of Cambridge

This book addresses the teaching of reading comprehension from a pedagogically informed position. It provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of historical, international and current research into the teaching of reading comprehension and is illuminated by the author’s own extensive experience of working and researching with children.

Mary Anne Wolport
UKLA Newsletter

Excellent, concise and practical guide.

Education, Liverpool John Moores University
January 8, 2020

This is a very interesting book exploring the processes learners go through as they make sense of what they read. In the second half, the author suggests ways of teaching comprehension too. This is a useful text for practising teachers seeking to enhance their skills and understanding of the reading and sense-making process.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
July 17, 2018

Good insights provided into the complexities of this field.

Mrs Vivien Michele Linington
Department of Education, University of Witwatersrand
February 27, 2016

provides a good overview on the topic

Miss Lisa Paleczek
Educational Science, University of Graz
September 4, 2015

Extremely interesting text discussing the types of comprehension that occur within children's development and ways in which these can be integrated into the curriculum. Easy read, not overly technical, but clear links between theory and practice.

Mrs Ros Steward
Department of Education, University of the West Of England
June 25, 2015

Good use of theory, research and practice to assist students and teachers to understand reading comprehension.

Dr Ansurie Pillay
Teacher Education, University of KwaZulu - Natal
March 17, 2015

I will certainly refer to this book extensively during this module.

Margaret Perkins
Institute of Education, Reading University
March 3, 2015