Efficiency of a reading comprehension strategies training in French first-grade classrooms

Efficiency of a reading comprehension strategies training in French first-grade classrooms

First Author: Cynthia Boggio -- Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition (LPNC)
Additional authors/chairs: 
Maryse Bianco; Céline Pobel-Burtin; MarieLine Bosse
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Oral Language, Learning Efficiency, pronoun, Teacher education
Abstract / Summary: 

• Purpose
International comparisons show that French students have low scores in reading comprehension compared to the European average (Mullis and al., 2017). It seems crucial to develop efficient comprehension training programs for young children. Several studies found that strategy training approaches improve comprehension performance for English preschooler (Fricke and al., 2013) as well as for French ones (Bianco and al. 2010; 2012). Accordingly, we created a strategy training program to help first graders locate and understand pronouns in texts. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of this strategy training program on oral and written comprehension in beginning readers.

• Method
We used a pretest-training-posttest design. One hundred and eighty-nine French first-graders (mean age 6:5) were recruited from 10 classes which were divided in two groups, randomly assigned to experimental group (comprehension strategy training) or control group (general comprehension training). During the training phase, students participated to seven 30 minutes training sessions, over four weeks. During the pre- and post-test, participants were assessed on their ability to understand a written or oral history and to understand short sentences including pronouns.

• Results
Descriptive analyses show that students who received explicit training in a pronoun-based comprehension strategy seem to progress more than the control group. Inferential statistics are currently being analysed using mixed model analyses.

• Conclusions
We will discuss the results on both a theoretical and a practical perspective. Indeed, a difference of learning between the two training programs could have strong implications on educational practices for teaching reading at first grade.