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Influences on comprehension, fluency, and word recognition - Essay Example

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Influences on Reading Comprehension Based from the available literature on the reading comprehension theme, one will find that it is a cognitive process, hence, its acquisition and development is influenced by environmental factors. This paper will some of these factors, particularly how technology, student motivation and differentiated instruction impact reading comprehension, fluency and word recognition…
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Influences on comprehension, fluency, and word recognition
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Influences on comprehension, fluency, and word recognition

Rather, it is a thinking process, where the reader thinks about what the symbols, signs and the words mean (p.99). To further contextualize the definition, the authors cited explanation from other sources that underscore how the reading comprehension reduces uncertainty and builds the bridge between the new and the known (p.99). The RAND Corporation also developed a similar definition, that which considers reading comprehension as the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language (Sweet and Snow 2003, p.10). Based from these definitions, one can infer several important insights. First, reading comprehension is a big concept that encompasses word and symbol recognition, the level of reading fluency and the ability to understand and think about the texts being read. Consequently, this paper will refer to reading comprehension as inclusive of cognition, fluency and word recognition. In addition, the framework also reveals that it is a construct resulting from social and/or cultural processes. The understanding required for the symbols and texts entails the influences of the environment, not unlike how children acquire cognitive abilities and behaviors. These points are important because they underpin the position that technology, motivation and instruction are crucial in developing reading comprehension ability. A study undertaken by Lietz (1996) measured the reading comprehension skills of students across six countries. There were at least four variables identified as major influences in a learner’s reading comprehension: gender, the education of the parents, the education of the learner, and the number of books and resources available (p.398). This study corroborates the position that reading comprehension is affected by environmental factors. For example, the education of the parents implies numerous dimensions. First, there is the level of awareness regarding the learner’s cognitive development. A higher educational attainment would mean a better understanding of the psychology of the learner. It could also be influence the perspective of the parents on education, academic performance and reading. Based from such perspective, the availability or unavailability of resources – which was also an identified variable - such as books, computer, the Internet, among others are determined. The body of literature on this subject echoes this theme. Alcantara et al. (2003), found that the attitudes of the parents, siblings and peers as well as the home background (i.e. whether the learner is read to or provided with sufficient reading materials) are crucial in the acquisition of reading comprehension ability (p.89). What these studies highlight is the fact that reading comprehension is a skill that is learned through a complex process, involving many factors. Student Motivation The student motivation is easily the most important variable that influences reading comprehension or the acquisition of the ability. As has been mentioned earlier, reading comprehension is a cognitive process. This prompted Paris and Stahl (2005) to conclude that motivational processes are integral to it. It was argued that, generally, motivation, along other constructs, is behind comprehension, which for its part is considered as a psychological phenomenon (p.29). They demonstrated the dynamics of ... Read More
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