REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This section deals with the literature and studies gathered related to the investigation conducted.
In Instructional Approaches That Significantly Increase Reading Comprehension, Block, Whitely, Parris, Reed, and Cleveland (2009) studied the effects of adding an additional 20 minutes a school day to six different approaches to improving reading comprehension. The six different approaches were: workbook practice, individualized schema-based learning, situated practice, conceptual learning, transactional learning, and traditional instruction. The study was done to support the increased amount of time spent on each of their methods and its correlation to reading comprehension, from 70 to 90 minutes in a day. The participants were students in 3rd through 6th grades, chosen from four different school districts from the southwestern United States in different communities, consisting of a low-socioeconomic status (SES) inner city area, a high SES suburban area, a middle-class rural area, and a low-SES small town. Each of the six methods for building better reading comprehension skills have been used in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The theory proposes that better reading comprehension will help students place higher value on reading and thus get more enjoyment and fulfillment out of it. It has been proven that students that spend 20% more time reading than their peers score higher on standardized tests (Block et al., 2009). According to the article, workbook practice provides a clearly outlined set of skills for the student to master, a series of questions that require a response, material that is gradually presented with increasing difficulty, and it allows for a student to work at his or her own pace. This system is ideal for less-skilled readers but does little to provide more than just busy-work or practice for their more skilled peers. This manner of practice does not allow for immediate response to work done but it usually complements more traditional learning. According to Block et al. (2009), individual schema-based learning operates under the understanding that a student’s schema is “his or her organized knowledge of the world” and that this provides a basis to process read information, have a point of reference with which to infer meaning, summarize information, and be able to remember information read at later dates. All of these skills are key to developing fluent reading comprehension. In this case, a teacher helps create this schema by providing hints and ideas with which a student can relate to and work from while reading silently. Block et al. (2009), situated practice is when a teacher provides tools, tricks or tips for a student to practice while he or she is reading. Rather than give an answer right away, a teacher will remind a student of these practice points in order for that student to use these tools more readily until they are second nature. Then, when a student encounters another similar situation, he has the tools in mind to go forth and reading is a smoother, enjoyable pastime. Conceptual learning utilizes the idea that a student can comprehend a subject better if given multiple resources and texts on that subject, thus providing a broader understanding and building a bridge between reading comprehension and genuine understanding of the subject (Block et al., 2009). According to Block et al. (2009), transactional learning relies on a student’s ability to internalize the text, to think about the text and relate it to what he or she already knows and cares about. The first stage in transactional learning encourages private thought in order to relate it to past knowledge, while in the second stage the students discuss as a group, getting multiple perspectives on the same text. Open ended discussion rather than teacher-directed questioning allows for individual thought to take place and thus the knowledge becomes...
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