This suggests that even a brief instructional opportunity to develop word knowledge can help reading comprehension. All three groups received multiple types of strategy instruction, working with narrative as well as vocabulary, and all three groups showed improvements in reading comprehension, as assessed by a standardized test at the end of the intervention. Thus, as with so many aspects of learning, “low-level” processes underpin, and are an essential foundation for, the high-level ones: Through repeated exposure to words, a child develops specialized and efficient basic word-recognition mechanisms that are optimized for reading for meaning. Finally, what is the optimal number of sight words to teach at different points in reading acquisition and with what intensity? Turning to knowledge more broadly, higher levels of relevant background knowledge are associated with higher levels of comprehension (e.g., Barnes, Dennis, & Haefele-Kalvaitis, 1996; Kendeou & van den Broek, 2007). In contrast, when lexical quality is low, some of the reader’s limited cognitive resources must be directed to the more basic task of word recognition, and comprehension is compromised as a result. (, Nation, K., Adams, J. W., Bowyer-Crane, C. A., Snowling, M. J. Instead, we will constrain our review to key factors that influence the development of reading comprehension and those aspects of the literature that are most relevant for teaching and classroom practice. It is all about castles! By the time Carol turned eight, she was still unmanageable. Where did they come from? The activity is also laid out in a similar way to the SATs booklets, with four pages of pictures and short written extracts to read and 3-4 questions per page. Further research suggests that this translation from spelling to sound occurs very rapidly in skilled readers and indeed is apparent even in cases in which participants are not aware that a stimulus has been presented (for reviews, see Rastle & Brysbaert, 2006; Leinenger, 2014). At the other, some contain questions that can be answered correctly without even reading the text (Keenan & Betjemann, 2006). Evidence suggests that phonics teaching is more effective when children are given immediate opportunities to apply what they have learned to their reading (Hatcher, Hulme, & Ellis, 1994); so, for these reasons, we believe that there is a good argument for using decodable readers in the very early stages of reading instruction. It refers to a child’s ability to reflect on and manipulate the morphological structure of words (Carlisle, 1995) and is typically measured using oral tasks. Word knowledge in a theory of reading comprehension, Nested incremental modeling in the development of computational theories: The CDP+ model of reading aloud, Beyond single syllables: Large-scale modeling of reading aloud with the Connectionist Dual Process (CDP++) model, Meaning-based influences on visual word recognition, Suppressing irrelevant information from working memory: Evidence for domain-specific deficits in poor comprehenders. Children’s experiences in reading are often subsumed under terms such as print exposure. L. H. Spencer and Hanley (2004) were able to investigate orthographic depth in a natural experiment made possible by the schooling system in Wales at that time. We have sought to address both of these issues by providing a comprehensive tutorial review on the science of learning to read that spans from foundational alphabetic skills right through to the sophisticated set of processes that characterize skilled reading comprehension. When it comes to structures that are both majestic and well-fortified, the classic European castle is … Do they matter? Decodable books are texts written for children that consist primarily of words that they can read correctly using the grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they have learned (with the exception of a few unavoidable irregular words such as the and said). Square As we discuss later in this review, exposure to complex words and nuanced meanings is important. We consider this to be an important avenue for future work. (p. 122). Spelling is an important driver of the transition into the partial alphabetic stage (Frith, 1985). As we shall see, oral language sets a vital foundation for reading comprehension and its development. For example, the meta-analysis reported by Goodwin and Ahn (2013) found significant effects of morphological instruction on decoding, vocabulary, spelling, phonological awareness, and morphological awareness but not on reading comprehension or fluency. Working memory training is also an approach to intervention that we review later (Section 3.4.3), and it is thus important to consider its theoretical basis (for a discussion of executive skills more broadly in relation to reading comprehension, see Sesma, Mahone, Levine, Eason, & Cutting, 2009). In contrast, failing to appreciate the symbol-sound mapping in an alphabetic language would effectively turn reading acquisition into a paired-associate learning task, as the child attempts to memorize meanings for individual printed words. As discussed by Willingham (2006), this makes sense if strategies are thought of not as skills that keep developing but as “tricks” that, once explained and discovered, are available for children to use in other situations. Why do children differ in their development of reading and related skills? The nature of the writing system determines what will be required for children to make links between print and meaning, but it does not specify precisely how they do so. If instruction instead focused on teaching children to associate printed words with their meanings directly, then learning to read would require memorization of tens of thousands of individual printed words. Solity and Vousden (2009) analyzed the vocabulary within three sets of books in the United Kingdom: two structured reading schemes consisting of specially written books for school children containing high-frequency and phonically regular words and one set of story books found in typical Year 1 and 2 classrooms (i.e., children ages 5–7).