Individual differences in late elementary graders’ reading comprehension strategy use

Individual differences in late elementary graders’ reading comprehension strategy use

First Author: Rielke Bogaert -- Ghent University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Emmelien Merchie; Hilde Van Keer
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Individual Differences, upper elementary, Text Comprehension, Reading Assessment
Abstract / Summary: 

Reading comprehension is a key competence in today’s informational society. However, many students still struggle to comprehend expository texts (Rasinski, 2017) and late elementary education appears to be a critical period in the development of reading comprehension (Keresteš et al., 2019). Previous research also revealed that effective reading comprehension strategy use is positively correlated with comprehension performance (e.g., Kung, 2019). However, to map reading strategy use, a variety of instruments, consisting of different categorizations are used. In addition, no instrument is available to map these strategies in late elementary education, especially none that is task-specific, which is a better estimate of students’ own strategy use (e.g., Endedijk et al., 2016).
Therefore, a first aim of this study is the development of a task-specific reading comprehension strategy inventory specifically attuned to late elementary students. Further, individual differences are ubiquitous, but research frequently plays down their importance (Kidd et al., 2018). Therefore, a second aim is to study the role of individual differences in strategy use.
3170 late elementary Flemish (Belgium) students participated. Exploratory (n= 1585) and confirmatory (n= 1585) factor analysis were conducted. Multilevel analyses will be executed to investigate individual differences.
Factor analyses revealed the following subscales in the developed instrument (26 items): a) observable cognitive reading strategies, b) non-observable cognitive reading strategies, d) monitoring, e) self-evaluation and f) using home language. Preliminary results on individual differences show that low reading comprehension performers report to use more observable cognitive reading strategies than high performers.
The results regarding this developed inventory and associated individual differences will be discussed in detail, as well as the implications for practice and suggestions for further research.