Australasian Journal of Special Education

Articles

A Multiple Strategy Framework Supporting Vocabulary Development for Students with Reading Comprehension Deficits

Gary Woolleya1 c1

a1 Griffith University, Australia. gary.woolley@gmail.com

Abstract

Poor comprehenders are generally students who have significant language-learning deficits. A particular problem for students with poor comprehension is that they have difficulty learning new vocabulary because they are inclined to read less, and are unable to apply new meanings to unfamiliar words. This leads to the situation where the gap widens between them and their more successful peers, resulting in more noticeable reading difficulties in later grades. They generally have good word decoding skills but have difficulty connecting meaning to unfamiliar words in context. This is often problematic because they have particular difficulties making inferences and forming a coherent mental model of what they have read. However, effective vocabulary instruction can be achieved by the incorporation of an intervention framework that balances the teaching of word-learning strategies with strategies fostering whole story integration. This article introduces a pedagogical construct based on a modified KWL framework using a combination of evidence-based visual and verbal instructional methods, in conjunction with the development of metacognitive and self-regulating strategies. The implication is that the cognitive load on working memory will be reduced and overall story comprehension will be improved when a well-constructed pedagogical framework is utilised to enhance the acquisition of new vocabulary during reading.

Keywords

  • comprehension;
  • vocabulary;
  • reading;
  • lexical quality;
  • metacognition;
  • frameworks;
  • self-questioning;
  • feedback;
  • self-monitoring

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Gary Woolley, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.