Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

The Use of reading comprehension strategies at multiple levels of text processing: AComparative Analysis

Dr John Munro.

Readers act on the information in various ways, in order to transform it to knowledge. Comprehending is the term used to describe the set of actions or strategies readers use at each level. Paraphrasing, predicting and summarizing are examples of comprehending strategies at the sentence, conceptual and topic levels respectively. Each strategy allows readers to transform the text being read and to comprehend it in particular ways. The synthesis of these outcomes is the reader’s comprehension at any time.

Young readers acquire these strategies gradually. Few studies have examined either the spontaneous emergence of these strategies on a comparative basis or the extent to which students learn to use each type.

The present study examined these issues. Fourth and seventh graders of average reading ability responded to tasks that assessed the use of paraphrasing, predicting or summarizing. The three groups at each year level were matched on narrative reading ability. Each group was then taught explicitly to use one of the three strategies to read and learn from factual text. The comparative effect of the three strategies on literal and inferential comprehension was examined for two conditions: (1) recognition comprehension, in which readers selected the response to a comprehension task in a cloze context and (2) expressive comprehension in which readers assembled a response to a comprehension task.

The paper reports the comparative ease of use of each strategy at each year level and developmental trends observed. The data are used to support a multiple levels of text processing model of reading comprehension. The implications for effective literacy education are discussed.


Dr John Munro  (Australia)
Head, Centre for Exception Learning & Gifted Education
Department LED Faculty of Education
The University of Melbourne

  • reading comprehension
  • reading strategies
  • multiple levels of text processing
  • paraphrasing
  • predicting
  • summarizing
  • acquisition
  • strategy teaching

(Virtual Presentation, English)