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How is reading comprehension been teached in other countries

Discussion in 'Primary' started by pietermeester, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. pietermeester

    pietermeester New commenter

    Dear people,

    I’m Pieter from the Netherlands. I am a Dutch teacher at a school in a small village lying in the east of the Netherlands. The age of the children I teach, lies between 8 and 9 years. Alongside my work, I’m a master student. My study is about innovative education. For my final assignment I’m researching effective reading comprehension and which teacherskills are needed to teach reading comprehension-skills effectively.

    My native language is Dutch so probably (and unfortunately) I might have made some grammar mistakes, writing this letter in English. Therefor my apologies.

    In the Netherlands, reading comprehension-skills and mathematic-skills are used as an important predictor for intelligence and opportunities during secondary school. The government obligated a final national test at the end of primary school. Therefor most schools in the Netherlands think it is important to teach reading comprehension as a detached schoolsubject just like history-lessons and mathematics etc. The goal of the reading comprehension lessons is to evolve reading skills. Within these reading comprehension-lessons most Dutch schools teach several reading-strategies like summarizing, predicting, questioning and/or clarifying. The texts used in these lessons, are specifically designed to use those strategies.

    In the scientific articles I´ve read for my literature review, I´ve learned that it is not effective to only offer reading-strategies in texts who are specifically designed to use those strategies. Strategies should even be used (and offered by teachers) during other reading activities. Unfortunatly that doesn’t happen in practice.

    I’ve heard that others schools in Europe do not teach reading comprehension as a detached schoolsubject. I’m looking for more information about the practice of other schools in Europe. Could anyone provide me from information about how others schools in Europe develop the reading comprehension-skills of children?

    I’ve worked out some specific questions:
    1. Does your school also teach reading strategies (like summarizing, predicting, questioning and/or clarifying etc.)?

    If they do:
    a) Does the school ‘you’ work, teach the reading strategies during reading comprehension-lessons just like most Dutch schools do? Or do they teach them during other (reading) activities? If the strategies are being teached during other reading activities, could you please describe the way this is done?
    b) Could you describe which teacher skills are needed to manage the developing of the reading comprehension skills from children?

    c) If they do not teach reading strategies, in which way are reading comprehension -skills been developed?

    2. Do you use tests to determine the level of reading comprehension skills?

    I’m looking forward to hear from you. You would really help me out. If there is anything I can help you with or if you do have questions about the Dutch education in primary schools, please let me know in response!!

    Best regards,
  2. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Hi Pieter

    (Your English is very good apart from a few errors: this is purely to be helpful, as I would love to be able to write as well as you do in a foreign language!

    - the title should be 'How is reading comprehension being taught in other countries?';
    - and later on, it should be 'If the strategies are being taught during other...'
    - 'the government obligated a final national test' reads better as 'the government has introduced a compulsory final national test')

    Here in England, the children I teach are also aged 8 - 9 years and we are required to teach reading comprehension skills specifically as part of the English curriculum.

    1. We teach the skills you mention - summarising, predicting, questioning and clarifying - during reading comprehension lessons, and expect children to be able to select and use evidence from the text to support their answers to reading comprehension questions. In England, there are also compulsory reading comprehension, maths and grammar, punctuation and spelling tests for children at the end of primary school.

    a) The texts we use are usually chosen because of their relevance to what the children are learning about: they might answer reading comprehension questions based on a text about the Romans during a History lesson, for example. We also listen to children reading aloud and ask questions to test their understanding of the fiction and non-fiction books they are reading in their own time. In my school, we also use the Accelerated Reader online quiz programme: when children finish reading a book, they use an iPad to log on to the programme and take a quiz to test their understanding - it's very motivating for the children!

    b) Teachers need to monitor the progress of the children and can do this by seeing how well they can transfer these skills to their writing in subjects such as Science or RE, as well as by using age appropriate tests at the end of each year before the final year of primary school. Effective teaching of reading comprehension skills depends on the teacher being highly competent in those skills and being able to explain clearly what is involved.

    c) See above.

    2. At my school, we use the results of the Accelerated Reader quizzes, along with something called the Star reading test, which gives children a reading age. We can then compare their reading age on a certain date with their actual age to see whether they are at the level they should be.

    Good luck with your research!
    BetterNow likes this.

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