1st Edition

Beyond Decoding
The Behavioral and Biological Foundations of Reading Comprehension

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ISBN 9781606233108
Published August 11, 2009 by Guilford Press
301 Pages

USD $49.00

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Book Description

What cognitive processes and skills do children draw on to make meaning from text? How are these capacities consolidated over the course of development? What puts some learners at risk for comprehension difficulties? This authoritative volume presents state-of-the-science research on the behavioral and biological components of successful reading comprehension. Uniquely integrative, the book covers everything from decoding, fluency, and vocabulary knowledge to embodiment theory, eye movements, gene–environment interactions, and neurobiology. The contributors are prominent investigators who describe their methods and findings in depth and identify important implications for the classroom.

Table of Contents

I. Cognitive Approaches

1. Language and Body, Michael P. Kaschak, John L. Jones, Jacqueline M. Coyle, and Andrea Sell

2. Eye Movements and Moment-to-Moment Comprehension Processes in Reading, Keith Rayner and Timothy J. Slattery

3. The Influence of In-Text Instruction on Declarative Knowledge and Vocabulary Learning in Struggling Readers: How IQ Confounds the Story, Donald L. Compton, Amy M. Elleman, Natalie G. Olinghouse, Jane Lawrence, Emily Bigelow, Jennifer K. Gilbert, and G. Nicole Davis

II. Developmental Approaches

4. How Children Read for Comprehension: Eye Movements in Developing Readers, Ralph Radach, Christiane Schmitten, Lisa Glover, and Lynn Huestegge

5. Reading between the Lines: Developmental and Individual Differences in Cognitive Processes in Reading Comprehension, Paul van den Broek, Mary Jane White, Panayiota Kendeou, and Sarah Carlson

6. The Roles of Fluent Decoding and Vocabulary in the Development of Reading Comprehension, Kanu Priya and Richard K. Wagner

III. Individual-Differences Approaches

7. Reading Comprehension Development from 8 to 14 Years: The Contribution of Component Skills and Processes, Kate Cain and Jane Oakhill

8. Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary: What’s the Connection?, Kate Nation

9. Examining the Decision Reliability and Validity of Three Reading Fluency Measures for Predicting Outcomes on Statewide Reading Accountability Tests, Jose M. Castillo, Joseph K. Torgesen, Kelly A. Powell-Smith, and Stephanie Al-Otaiba

IV. Biological-Based Approaches

10. Assessment and Etiology of Individual Differences in Reading Comprehension, Janice M. Keenan, Richard K. Olson, and Rebecca S. Betjemann

11. Genes, Environments, and the Development of Early Reading Skills, Stephen A. Petrill

12. Examining Sources of Poor Comprehension in Older Poor Readers: Preliminary Findings, Issues, and Challenges, Sarah H. Eason and Laurie E. Cutting

V. Epilogue

13. Promising Interfaces, Richard K. Wagner, Christopher Schatschneider, and Caroline Phythian-Sence

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Richard K. Wagner, PhD, is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and Associate Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research. His major area of research interest is the acquisition of complex cognitive knowledge and skills. In the domain of reading, Dr. Wagner’s research has focused on the role of reading-related phonological processing abilities in the normal and abnormal development of reading skills; the prediction, prevention, and remediation of dyslexia; and understanding the origins of individual and developmental differences in reading comprehension.

Christopher Schatschneider, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and Associate Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research. His research focuses on early reading development and reading disabilities. Dr. Schatschneider is also a trained methodologist who frequently provides assistance to investigators around design and analysis issues that arise when designing experiments and analyzing data from studies of early reading development. He is the Editor of Annals of Dyslexia and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals.

Caroline Phythian-Sence, PhD, engages in research and pilot development for Reading Is Fundamental, UK, at the National Literacy Trust, in London, England. Previously, Dr. Phythian-Sence was a doctoral student of Richard Wagner at Florida State University and the Florida Center for Reading Research, where she studied vocabulary knowledge and its relation to comprehension.


By applying a multidisciplinary framework, this volume captures the true complexity of reading comprehension. When read separately, the chapters serve as a masterful review of the current research concerning comprehension and the many factors that influence it. Read as a whole, the volume points to future intersections for multidisciplinary studies that will do much to advance the field.--Katherine R. Hilden, PhD, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Radford University
This volume represents a significant accomplishment in advancing our understanding of reading comprehension. By integrating examinations of the origins of comprehension from multiple disciplines, Wagner et al. enhance each discipline's contribution. Each chapter helps to bring the topic into sharper focus, and the editors illustrate numerous ways that behavioral and biological perspectives can interface effectively. This book is an exceptional text for graduate courses in reading and will serve as an outstanding resource for researchers.--Holly B. Lane, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Florida