Reading intervention is instruction designed to meet a student’s specific learning needs in addition to grade level core reading instruction. It is often part of a school’s Response to Intervention or Multi-Tiered System of Support process.
The best way to improve reading skills is by understanding HOW students learn. That means training teachers in evidence-based practices, using frequent assessments and ensuring that curriculums are backed by research.
The ability to understand the meaning of text is fundamental for all learning. Comprehension is different from decoding, as it involves constructing mental representations of the text and connecting them with prior knowledge to fill in gaps in understanding. It also requires understanding text structures, identifying relevant text clues and making inferences to make sense of the text (Stahl, 2020).
Students’ comprehension skills are impacted by many variables. These include background knowledge, vocabulary level, cognitive abilities and motivation. Additionally, the complexity and unfamiliarity of text can inhibit or enhance comprehension.
Teaching students reading comprehension strategies has been found to be an effective method for improving their comprehension. Reciprocal teaching approaches have proven successful, as they require students and teachers to engage in discussion of the text in a “cognitive apprenticeship” model. Teaching strategies that involve self-questioning, constructing mental representations to integrate information from the text and identifying text consistencies have been shown to be particularly effective.
Phonics is an approach to teaching reading that emphasizes letter-sound relationships. It provides a foundation for decoding unfamiliar words, enhancing their spelling and word recognition skills.
It is an essential skill for students who are struggling with reading because it allows them to break words into syllables and pronounce them correctly. It also helps them understand the rules of English grammar, such as the difference between long and short vowels and their variations.
The goal is for students to rely on phonics to read the majority of words they encounter in their everyday life. This enables them to quickly gain fluency and comprehension.
To help children build phonological awareness and sound-letter correspondence, teachers should use a variety of teaching methods. A comprehensive phonics program should include the alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness and strategies for blending and segmenting sounds. The program should also address vowel teams and variant vowels to help students learn how to read more complex words.
A person’s vocabulary is the group of words that he or she knows and uses in speech and writing. It is also referred to as word stock, lexicon, or lexis. Vocabulary is an important aspect of reading comprehension.
It is important for students to build their vocabularies by increasing the number of words they encounter in reading and in speaking. This will help them understand the meaning of new words and will improve their comprehension skills.
Vocabulary instruction should be meaningful and not simply focused on providing a list of words to memorize. Teachers should scour their reading materials for unfamiliar words and provide contexts to allow learners to discover them. Moreover, teaching academic Tier 2 vocabulary provides learners with a broader range of meanings than basic or domain specific words.
Research shows that a person’s ability to comprehend depends on his or her vocabulary. A strong vocabulary allows people to visualize stories, anticipate events in a story, and understand jokes.
Reading fluency helps students build the bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Fluent readers read accurately, smoothly and with expression, and they group words rapidly to gain meaning from the text. Non-fluent readers struggle with decoding skills and sound choppy when they read.
Teaching strategies for fluency can include repeated oral reading, especially with a model, rhyming or rhythmic texts, and phrasing and expression instruction (e.g., intonation, volume and smoothness). Prosody can also be taught through a focus on phrase boundaries and pauses to help students who do not pick up expression intrinsically.
It is important to track student progress in fluency using a running record or chart to show the student how much they have improved. This will help boost their motivation and give them the sense of achievement they need. You can also use a partner reading strategy where a fluent reader is paired with a struggling student to model fluent reading.