The purpose of this systematic review is to compile and present research on how, why and under what conditions teaching in reading strategies promotes students’ reading comprehension. By teaching students in reading strategies such as visualizing, summarizing or drawing conclusions, the teacher can provide students with tools to gain a deeper understanding of the texts they read. The overview focuses on teaching students from 10 to 19 years.
Reading comprehension is a central part of learning in general, and students’ reading ability in particular. However, active teachers and researchers in the field have pointed out that Swedish students who have already learned to read have problems developing and deepening their reading comprehension.
In both the research community and among the active teachers, there is a widespread acceptance that reading strategy education is an effective working method to deepen students’ reading comprehension. On the other hand, there is no knowledge about why, when and under what conditions this particular working method is fruitful. This means that teachers only know that they should use the method, but not how they should use it.
It has previously been believed that students develop their reading ability by themselves during their education, and teaching about reading comprehension explicitly has only occurred to a very small extent. As a result, there is a lack of knowledge about how teaching instruction is structured to best help pupils to develop the ability to interpret and analyze texts, for example. Against this background, this overview focuses on how teachers can teach reading strategies as a specific method to promote students’ reading comprehension.
Through in-depth knowledge of why, when and under what conditions the method is fruitful, teachers can better organize their reading instruction and teaching in reading strategies to make sure it benefits all students. Our aim is that the conclusions of the overview will give teachers the opportunity to make well-founded decisions about when to teach in reading strategies, and perhaps even when it is less fruitful to do so.
The project is carried out by a project team consisting of external researchers (specialists in the field) and employees at the Institute.
Lisbeth M. Brevik, Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo