This book integrates research in language acquisition, psycholinguistics and neuropsychology to give a comprehensive picture of the process we call language "comprehension," right from the reception of an acoustic stimulus at the ear, up to the point where we interpret the message the speaker intended. A major theme of the book is that "comprehension" is not a unitary skill; to understand spoken language, one needs the ability to classify incoming speech sounds, to relate them to a "mental lexicon," to interpret the propositions encoded by word order and grammatical inflections, and to use information from the environmental and social context to select, from a wide range of possible interpretations, the one that was intended by the speaker. The emphasis of this book is on children with specific language impairments, but normal development is also given extensive coverage. The focus is on research and theory, rather than practical matters of assessment and intervention. Nevertheless, while this book is not intended as a clinical guide to assessment, it does aim to provide a theoretical framework that can help clinicians develop a clearer understanding of what comprehension involves, and how different types of difficulty may be pinpointed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) Links
This article reviews research on the use of situation models in language comprehension and memory retrieval over the past 15 years. Situation models are integrated mental representations of a described state of affairs. Significant progress has been made in the scientific understanding of how situation models are involved in language comprehension and memory retrieval. Much of this research focuses on establishing the existence of situation models, often by using tasks that assess one dimension of a situation model. However, the authors argue that the time has now come for researchers to begin to take the multidimensionality of situation models seriously. The authors offer a theoretical framework and some methodological observations that may help researchers to tackle this issue. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) Links
WHAT IS LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION?
Understanding what other people say and write (i.e., language comprehension) is more complicated than it might at first appear. Comprehending language involves a variety of capacities, skills, processes, knowledge, and dispositions that are used to derive meaning from spoken, written, and signed language. In this broad sense, language comprehension includes reading comprehension, which has been addressed in a separate tutorial, as well as comprehension of sign language. (SeeTutorial on Reading Comprehension.) Deriving meaning from spoken language involves much more than knowing the meaning of words and understanding what is intended when those words are put together in a certain way. The following categories of capacity, knowledge, skill, and dispositions are all brought to bear in fully comprehending what another person says. Communication Awareness
Communication awareness includes knowing (1) that spoken language has meaning and purpose, (2) that spoken words, the organization of the words, their intonation, loudness, and stress patterns, gestures, facial expression, proximity, and posture all contribute to meaning, (3) that context factors need to be taken into consideration in interpreting what people mean to communicate, (4) that it is easy to misinterpret another’s communication, and (5) that it often requires effort to correctly interpret another person’s intended meaning and that correct interpretation is worth the effort! Hearing and Auditory Processing
Understanding a spoken utterance assumes that the listener’s hearing is adequate and that the spoken sounds are correctly perceived as phonemes of English (or whatever language is spoken). Phonemes are the smallest units of spoken...
References: School of Education
October 2, 1998
Gunning (1996) identifies three main theories of reading comprehension. These theories are Schema Theory, Mental Models, and Proposition Theory.
Gunning (1996) defines a schema as the organized knowledge that one already has about people, places, things, and events
Katims (1997) stated that learning strategies are techniques, or routines that enable students to learn to solve problems and complete tasks independently
Gunning (1996) describes Preparational strategies as those that activate prior knowledge about a particular topic
Gunning (1996) describes Organizational strategies as the process of selecting important details and building relationships from them
Gunning (1996) refers to elaboration as an additional processing of the text, by the reader, which may increase comprehension
Gunning (1996) defines monitoring as being aware of one’s own mental process when reading
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Kitao, Kathleen S. (1990). Textual Schemata and English Language Learning. Cross Currents, Issue 3, 147-155.
Perkins, D.N. (1991). Educating for Insight. Educational Leadership. Issue 2, 4-9.
Armstrong, Thomas. (1994). Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Chapter 6, 72.
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