How reading comprehension is embodied and why that matters

Main Article Content

Arthur M. Glenberg


Reading comprehension, much like comprehension of situations and comprehension of oral
language, is embodied. In all cases, comprehension is the ability to take effective action on the basis of
affordances related to the body, the physical world, and personal goals and cultural norms. In
language contexts, action-based comprehension arises from simulating the linguistic content using
neural and bodily systems of perception, action, and emotion. Within this framework, a new approach
to teaching reading comprehension is described: Teach children how to simulate while reading. The
Moved by Reading intervention teaches simulation in two stages. In the first stage, physical
manipulation, children manipulate toys to simulate the content of what they are reading. After
success in physically manipulating the toys, the children are taught to manipulate the toys in
imagination. Research demonstrates that both physical and imagined manipulation leads to large
gains in memory and comprehension.


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How to Cite
GLENBERG, Arthur M.. How reading comprehension is embodied and why that matters. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 5-18, aug. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 oct. 2020.


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