Jacqueline Evers-Vermeul, Suzanne Bogaerds-Hazenberg & Hilde Kooiker-den Boer
From text comprehension to text structure instruction: Lessons learned from a variety of research methods
Recently, the Dutch way of teaching reading comprehension has received a lot of negative attention. This is related to results from PISA studies: from an international perspective, Dutch students’ reading proficiency seems to lag behind. Among the solutions that have been proposed (e.g. in programs such as Zondag met Lubach), are suggestions to pay less attention to elements related to text structure instruction such as interpreting signaling words and identifying main ideas per paragraph.
During this colloquium, we will argue this is not a good idea. We will present an overview of the lessons learned from studies we have conducted over the past few years about the importance of text structure for deep text comprehension. These studies display large variation in the methods applied, e.g.:
- reading experiments with online and offline measures of the effects of connectives (because, but) on text comprehension;
- a meta-analysis on the effects of text structure instruction;
- materials analyses, lesson observations and interviews focused on obtaining insight into current Dutch reading instruction practices;
- design-based research in which we developed and tested lessons involving text structure instruction.
We will discuss the main findings from these studies and pay attention to the advantages of methodological triangulation.