Questions and Activities

  1. What are the three underlying elements of language comprehension? How does each contribute to successful reading comprehension?
  2. Which instructional activities are helpful for providing and activating background knowledge, teaching vocabulary, and promoting language use?
  3. Consider a student that you have worked with who has difficulty with reading comprehension. Which of the underlying element(s) of language comprehension (i.e., background knowledge, vocabulary, language use) do you believe may be at the root of this student’s difficulties? How might you develop a new instructional plan to address these difficulties?
  4. Select an informational text that you might use with students. Identify the facts, phrases, vocabulary or other knowledge items that readers would need in order to comprehend the text. Next, consider discussing which facts, phrases, vocabulary, or other knowledge items would a reader NOT necessarily need in order for comprehension to still occur.