Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

An Exploratory Study of the Relationships between Reading Comprehension Competence, Reading Attitude and the Vividness of Mental Imagery among Turkish Fourth-Grade Students *

Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

An Exploratory Study of the Relationships between Reading Comprehension Competence, Reading Attitude and the Vividness of Mental Imagery among Turkish Fourth-Grade Students *

Article excerpt

Introduction

In recent years, research pertaining to reading comprehension has received much attention and has developed into one of the most popular areas where the act of reading is concerned (Aloqaili, 2012). According to a report by the National Reading Panel, published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (2000), reading comprehension is identified as one of the five most important components in reading instruction.

Most educators would agree that reading comprehension is extremely important (Jenkins, 2009). Mason (2004) claimed reading comprehension to be essential not only in academic learning, but also in life-long learning. Reading comprehension is viewed as the "essence of reading" (Durkin, 1993) and the "ultimate goal of reading education" (Nation, 2005).

Research indicates that a host of factors affect the reading comprehension process, e.g., the reader, text, working memory, context and vocabulary (Baumann, 2009; Snow, 2002; Stahl and Nagy, 2006). In addition, evidence from several sources and studies report a relationship between reading comprehension and reading attitude (Conlon, ZimmerBembeck, Creed & Tucker, 2006; Diamond & Onwuegbuzie, 2001; Martinez, Aricak & Jewell, 2008; McKenna, Kear & Ellsworth, 1995; Ogle, Sen, Pahlke, Jocelyn, Kastberg, Roey & Williams, 2003), and that mental imagery is an effective variable in the reading comprehension process (Bourduin, Bourduin & Manley, 1993; Gambrell & Bales, 1986; Gambrell & Jawitz, 1993; Jenkins, 2009; Kocaarslan, 2015; Oakhill & Patel, 1991; Rose, Parks, Androes & McMahon, 2000).

The focus of this research was the relationships between terms that included the following: reading comprehension, reading attitude and vividness of mental imagery. Theoretical explanations related to these concepts are outlined below.

Reading Comprehension

In the past and present, reading has been defined in many different ways. The term 'reading' has for many years in a narrow sense been used to refer to a set of print-based decoding and thinking skills that are necessary for understanding text (Harris & Hodges, 1981). Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) broadened this concept by denoting reading as a complex developmental challenge that we know to be intertwined with many other developmental accomplishments, e.g., attention, memory, language and motivation. Reading is not only a cognitive psycholinguistic activity, but also a social activity (p.15).

One of the most important skills learned by young students is the ability to understand written text, generally referred to as reading comprehension. Comprehension of the information within a text, or of its author's meaning, is the ultimate reason for reading (NICHD, 2000). Research studies on reading comprehension have revealed reading to be a complex cognitive activity that is crucial for adequate functioning and for obtaining information in current society, and a process that requires the integration of memory and meaning construction (Alfassi, 2004).

According to Woolly (2011), reading comprehension is the process of making meaning from text. The goal, therefore, is to gain an overall understanding of what is described in the text, rather than to obtain meaning from isolated words or sentences (p.15). Good readers have a purpose for reading and use their experiences and background knowledge to comprehend the text. Making connections is key to comprehension. We don't comprehend unless we make connections and are able to process the words that we read at a cognitive level (Tankersley, 2003, p.90).

The RAND Reading Study Group (2002) notes that comprehension is "the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language" (p.11). According to the RAND Reading Study Group (2002), reading comprehension consists of four components: (1) the reader; (2) the text; (3) the activity; (4) the situational context (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.