Reading comprehension utilizes each of the three controls of Attention. First, reading comprehension requires a student to use mental energy to start and sustain reading. As reading material becomes longer, more complex, or more removed from everyday context, a reader must exert more mental energy in order to comprehend the text. Mental energy is especially taxed if a student uses too much effort decoding words and/or using inadequate reading strategies.
The processing controls of attention facilitate readers’ abilities to discern the most important, or salient, details in passages. Processing controls help the student filter out non-essential from essential information, while considering the many pieces of information and concepts to understand and remember in a passage.
Finally, the production controls of attention help students use a step-wise approach to reading which facilitates comprehension and remembering. A step-wise approach to reading may involve previewing a passage before reading, self-monitoring comprehension during reading, and using strategies that have helped in past reading situations.
This chart describes some important attention skills related to reading comprehension.
|Necessary SubSkills||Common Obstacles||Helpful Tips|
|Student has sufficient mental energy to read lengthy passages.||Student often lacks the energy necessary to read lengthy passages, or runs out of energy before completing reading tasks.||view|
|Student is able to pull out the most important details and concepts in passages.||Student has difficulty determining the most important details or concepts in a passage.||view|
|Student is able to self-monitor when reading, and recognizes when he/she doesn’t understand what’s been read.
Student paces him/herself when reading, e.g., previews a difficult passage before reading or adjusts his/her reading speed for better comprehension.
|Student reads with little self-monitoring of comprehension, and does not seem to know when he/she doesn’t comprehend a passage.
Student doesn’t pace him/herself when reading, e.g., jumps into difficult passages without previewing, or reads a passage too quickly to understand it.