The tools and application my son learned at Langsford for taking notes, writing summaries, and reading comprehension have served him extremely well. He no longer dreads reading books for school and in the summer! He has the confidence to tackle any subject and we will always be so grateful for you all.
Comprehension is essential to academic learning in all subject areas and to lifelong learning as well.
While some children need help with the mechanics of reading, others are fluent readers but have difficulty with comprehension. A child may get the literal meaning of what they are reading, but struggle with deeper understanding. They may be able to memorize the information to answer basic questions or to pass a test, but not fully understand the concepts. A few facts or parts can be grasped or memorized, but the whole — the main idea or principle content — is not fully understood. Consequently, interpretation or “reading between the lines” is also out of reach. In addition, comprehension difficulties may not show up until the middle school years, when students are expected to comprehend abstract concepts.
Children’s books, by and large, are designed to aid comprehension by representing words with illustrations. As reading levels become increasingly difficult, there are fewer and fewer illustrations. It is assumed that readers are creating their own pictures, but this is not always true. Effective language comprehension requires well-developed concept imagery, background knowledge, vocabulary and memory. Deficits or inefficiencies in any of these areas may lead to difficulty processing, retaining, or expressing information.
Our instruction focuses on conceptualizing language – beyond the ink on the page to what the words really mean when put together. This includes developing and refining dual coding — the ability to link words and pictures in the mind — so a child can make mental “movies” as they read or listen to language. Typically, those students who do not make accurate “movies” do not appropriately comprehend the whole of what they read or hear. Beginning with single words, the method continues through sentences, paragraphs, and whole texts. When concept imagery is more accurate, reading and listening comprehension become more effective. This, in turn, leads to higher level skills such as inferences, predictions, evaluations and conclusions. In essence, a child begins to learn at a much deeper level.
In my time at Langsford I learned a lot about comprehension and how to make pictures in my head as I read. Langsford will help me in the future and I am glad that I did it. In school I have been doing better in Language Arts and on tests in all my classes!