chapter  5
24 Pages

Assessment of Comprehension Abilities in Young Children

WithPaul van den Broek, Panayiota Kendeou, Kathleen Kremer, Julie Lynch, Jason Butler, Mary Jane White, and Elizabeth Pugzles Lorch

The ability to read is essential for successful functioning in society and therefore is one of the most important “survival” skills to teach our children. In virtually all instances, the goal of reading is to identify the meaning or message of the text at hand. Doing so involves the execution and integration of many processes. These processes roughly fall into two main categories, those involved in translating the written code into meaningful language units and those involved in combining these units

into a meaningful and coherent mental representation. In the context of teaching young children reading skills, the bulk of attention of researchers and educators has been on the first set of processes, those involved in decoding (e.g., Catts, Fey, Zhang, & Tomblin, 1999; Ehri, Nunes, Stahl, & Willows, 2001; Perfetti, 2003; Rayner, Foorman, Perfetti, Pesetsky, & Seidenberg, 2001; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998).