Preparing for Reading Comprehension: Fostering Text Comprehension Skills in Preschool and Early Elementary School Children

Paul van den BROEK , Panayiota KENDEOU, Sandra LOUSBERG, Gootje VISSER


To understand what they read or hear, children and adults must create a coherent mental representation of presented information. Recent research suggests that the ability to do so starts to develop early –well before reading age- and that early individual differences are predictive of later reading-comprehension performance. In this paper, we review this research and discuss potential applications to early intervention. We then present two exploratory studies in which we examine whether it is feasible to design interventions with early readers (3rd grade) and even toddlers (2-3 years old). The interventions employed causal questioning techniques as children listen to orally presented, age-appropriate narratives. Afterwards, comprehension was tested through question answering and recall tasks. Results indicate that such interventions are indeed feasible. Moreover, they suggest that for both toddlers and early readers questions during comprehension are more effective than questions after comprehension. Finally, for both groups higher working memory capacity was related to better comprehension.


eading Comprehension, Early Intervention

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic EU Education Programs
Pages 259 - 268
Issue IEJEE, Volume 4, Issue 1, Special Issue Reading Comprehension
Date of acceptance 01 October 2011
Read (times) 843
Downloaded (times) 314

Author(s) Details

Paul van den BROEK

Leiden University, The Netherlands & University of Minnesota, United States

Panayiota KENDEOU

Neapolis University Pafos, United States


HCO, The Netherlands, Netherlands


Leiden University, Netherlands


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