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Language & Literacy: Reading Comprehension

presented by Shari Robertson

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Shari Robertson receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.


Non-Financial: Shari Robertson has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
The recent emphasis on supporting literacy has created a set of new challenges for speech-language pathologists who work with children. Given that language problems are both a cause and a consequence of reading problems, SLPs are uniquely qualified to design and implement intervention that supports development in both domains. This course will explore the reciprocal relationships between language and literacy and link them to the skills identified as critical to reading success by the National Reading Panel. SLPs will learn to address both oral and written language targets using practical, evidence-supported strategies that are applicable across a variety of ages and ability levels.

Meet Your Instructor

Shari Robertson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Shari Robertson, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, is a Professor of Speech Language Pathology and Dean’s Associate for Graduate Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Robertson spent 18 years as a school-based SLP and special education administrator prior to obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She recently served on the ASHA Board of Directors as…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction to Text Comprehension

This chapter will discuss two common characteristics of good readers – reading with purpose and active engagement in the reading process. These characteristics have been found to substantially affect a reader’s ability to make sense of, and integrate, written text.

2. Activities to Encourage Purposeful Reading

As in all tasks associated with daily life, having a purpose for reading helps students focus on why they are reading a specific passage. It is not uncommon for students and teachers to have very different ideas about the purpose of reading a specific passage. Although rarely explicitly stated, teachers may assume students understand that when a reading passage is assigned, they will be expected to know the material for a classroom discussion, a quiz, or some other similar task. However, a struggling reader's purpose may be just to get through the passage. This mismatch can be a recipe for disaster for students who are already challenged in oral and written language.

3. Activities to Encourage Active Engagement

Having a purpose to read is important, but successful readers must also be active in the reading process to be able to comprehend text during independent reading. Active readers use meta-cognitive skills to think about what they are reading, engage in self-questioning to determine what they already know and what they don’t know about the topic, and strive to make personal connections with the reading material.

4. Using Wordless Books to Encourage Purposeful, Active Engagement in Reading

Wordless books can be used to target numerous skills related to literacy development. Since the story is told through illustrations, students become the “author” by creating text to communicate the story as they interpret it. This provides a purpose and promotes active engagement as student have to create a storyline while simultaneously managing vocabulary selection, writing mechanics, spelling, and grammar.

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