Best Practice

Teaching reading comprehension: Some useful advice

Drawing on evidence into the best approaches to teaching reading comprehension, experts Di Hatchett and Gill Jordan give us their advice and tips for effective classroom practice

Good reading comprehension is a critical skill, fundamental to learning across the curriculum, to reading for pleasure and for success in life. Helping children to develop this skill can feel like a challenging process. However, a strong body of research evidence, including the recent report Improving Literacy in Key Stage 2 (Education Endowment Foundation, April 2017), reveals three identifiable practices that underpin successful teaching and learning in this area:

The Simple View of Reading (Gough & Turner, 1986) can be a useful point of reference when reflecting on children’s reading skills. It can help teachers identify which areas need more focus. This model conceives of reading ability as being composed of two key elements: word recognition (decoding) and language comprehension. Successful readers have well developed skills in both areas.

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