In this study we tested the relative effectiveness of four methods for teaching remedial reading students how to identify the main idea of expository paragraphs. Through strategy training, students learned strategies for identifying the topic and main idea of paragraphs and metacognitive strategies for checking their main idea hypotheses. Classification training provided students with instruction and practice in classifying words, phrases, and sentences under appropriate topics. These treatments were compared with a condition that combined both classification and strategy training with a practice-only control. The results indicated significant effects of strategy training on students' ability to identify the main idea in paragraphs about training content and in paragraphs about new content. Classification training showed positive effects on paragraphs about training content, but the effect did not transfer to new content. These results suggest that comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies can effectively improve remedial readers' ability to identify the main idea of expository paragraphs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology