UBC Graduate Research

Developing comprehension skills : teaching text structure to students with learning disabilities Southerland, Catherine


The purpose of this paper was to draw upon research to determine how to best teach text structure to students with learning disabilities. The investigation began following the discovery that some learning disabled students' comprehension continues to lag behind even after their decoding skills improve. The paper addresses what text structure is, why learning disabled students struggle with it and the techniques for teaching text structure that work best for students with learning disabilities. Implications for practice are revealed and elaborated on in a practical section discussing the steps and methods for teaching text structure. Practice is linked directly to key findings in the literature and examples of graphic organizers are given. The paper also offers an interactive, informative teachers information workshop with the goal of communicating to teachers the research behind text structure and students with learning disabilites, to share how text structure is best taught in the classroom, and how teachers can best support those students who struggle with reading comprehension. This topic was approached through the lens of a sociocognitive perspective grounded in the work of both Piaget and Vygotsky.

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