Think2Read Comprehension ResearchDeveloping Comprehension Skills in the early years - Think2Read Project 2003–2011
Think2Read’s Comprehension programme is the ongoing product of ten years research. In 2001 the team observed there was a discrepancy between many primary children’s ability to read and their overall comprehension. Evidence showed that an emphasis placed on phonics was producing readers who could decode the words but often had no understanding of their meaning. This was later reflected in the Rose Review’s Simple View of Reading (2006) and more recently substantiated by York University’s ESRC study (2008) that raised the concern that ‘pupils ease at reading words out loud may mask those who have difficulties with comprehension’.
In response to this evidence, the Think2Read team developed an explicit comprehension skills programme for young children based on Palicsnar & Brown’s Reciprocal Reading model (1986). The aim was to:
- Help children to grasp the thinking processes involved in interpreting author’s meaning,
- teach them the comprehension strategies, inference skills and questioning techniques that encourage ‘understanding’ of text to grow out of their own enquiry,
- show them how to apply key comprehension strategies to monitor their understanding of the author’s meaning before, during and after reading,
- bring a sustainable level of meaning, reasoning and enjoyment of reading to them that is essential to life-long learning.
Think2Read Research TimelineThe project became a pilot study that was researched and evaluated over three major phases of development and delivery (2003–2011).
Phase 1 – Years 5 & 6 (Ages 9–11 years, Dartington Primary) - teaching literal and inferential questioning skills within reciprocal ‘teams’, Phase 2 – Years 1 & 2 (ages 5–7 years Dartington Primary and 6–7 years, Durham Street Primary and Hawthorne Road Primary - all recommended by National Strategy consultants ) - teaching comprehension strategies and questioning skills, philosophical discussion and role-based group skills Phase 3 – Whole school – Key stage 1 & 2 (Dartington Primary) Teaching comprehension strategies, inferential and evaluative questioning skills, philosophical debate and role-based group skills. Learn more >