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Reading Comprehension

In this entry, children's reading comprehension is considered: both its normal development and individual differences and specific difficulties. The majority of research in this area has been conducted on children learning to read in an alphabetic orthography (typically English), and this entry reflects that bias.

Reading comprehension requires the orchestration of many different skills, strategies, knowledge bases, and cognitive processes. Most beginning readers will be competent users of their native language and will already have well-developed listening comprehension. The majority of those children will acquire good reading comprehension because their skills in comprehending spoken text, that is, written text read aloud to them, will provide a foundation. However, a substantial minority of beginning readers have difficulties with reading comprehension, despite developing good word-reading skills.

The Development of ...
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