A comparison of two methods of teaching reading comprehension

David William SORRELL, Gavin Thomas Lumsden BROWN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Most of the educational reading material primary-aged students read at school tends to fall within the informational text genre. Informational text has schematic or organizational characteristics that readers need to be access. Ability to understand informational texts (Duke, 2009) has been shown to support students with fictional text comprehension (Soalt, 2005) leading to higher reading achievement (Kletzien & Dreher, 2004). Three quasi-experimental studies investigating reading comprehension test score gains of first and second language (L1 and L2 respectively) English international primary school students (Years 2 and 6) in Hong Kong were conducted. Students were randomly assigned to one of two teaching interventions; one focused on teaching informational text schema and the other on English vocabulary building. Reading comprehension gains were measured using the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning (asTTle) program and researcher-designed cloze fiction and nonfiction tests. Meta-analysis of the multiple measures and treatments found greater comprehension and cloze performance due to the teaching of informational texts compared to vocabulary training; though this was more pronounced for students with English as L1.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


Sorrell, D., & Brown, G. T. L. (2015, February). A comparison of two methods of teaching reading comprehension. Paper presented at the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK) Annual Conference 2015: Developing scholarship in comparative education, The University of Hong Kong, China.


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