The study of metacognitive processes, which are those that pertain to cognitive function during learning activities, is widespread and investigates the many ways that children learn.

In a research study done in the Netherlands published February 10, 2017, the relationship between reading strategies and reading comprehension in the learning environment is deconstructed. As a result, they found that not only do reading strategies have an impact on reading comprehension, but reading comprehension also has an effect on reading strategies.

In this study, 312 fourth graders, consisting of half boys and half girls, were evaluated to determine their levels of reading comprehension and reading strategies. It is important to note that 4th grade is a critical point in a child’s development, because it is when the student moves from learning to read to using one’s reading to learn. The testing was done at the beginning of 4th grade and again at the end of 5th grade. During the examination, several different reading comprehension texts were used from a variety of sources with comprehension questions asked after reading. Four different levels of comprehension were evaluated: 1) focus on and retrieve explicitly stated information, 2) make straightforward inferences, 3) interpret and integrate ideas and information, 4) examine and evaluate content, language, and textual elements. After this initial testing, knowledge of reading strategies that were used by the student during the exercise was recorded with a questionnaire. The data analysis was then performed by using numerical scales.

The results from this study show an overall reciprocal relationship between reading comprehension and knowledge of reading strategies. When accounting for reading fluency, vocabulary, and working memory, students’ test results showed an influence of reading comprehension in 4th grade and on reading strategies in 5th grade, and vice versa. These results indicate that children are able to learn from texts as they read, developing more advanced reading strategies as they read more difficult texts. The authors conclude the importance of pursuing interventions that target reading comprehension that includes teaching reading strategies because of the positive reciprocal nature. For dyslexics, these findings can induce a deeper understanding of a student’s learning problems and how to address them.

You can read the full research article here.

Article citation:
Muijselaar MML, Swart NM, Steenbeek-Planting EG, Droop M, Verhoeven L & de Jong PF, Developmental Relations Between Reading Comprehension and Reading Strategies, Scientific Studies of Reading (2017), doi: 10.1080/10888438.2017.1278763.