The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Inferences and Reading Comprehension: Learning Disabled and Second Language Speakers Are They The Same? New Teaching Strategies

Lucie Godard, Université du Québec à MOntréal (Canada)

Abstract

Weak readers struggle in making inferences in reading comprehension tests (Cain &Oakhill 1999). Both Second Language (L2) and Learning Disabled (LD) students demonstrate reading comprehension problems. In the Quebec context, L2 and LD students are found together in the same classrooms. To make better informed decisions regarding classroom remedial measures in reading, it is important to determine if the reading problems of these two populations share a common ground or existing independently of each other.

Do L2 and LD students have trouble with inferences? If so, are difficulties caused by the same sources for L2 and LD students?

In a reading task, we tested 281 participants from grade 3 to grade 6 on inferences. We found differences between these students. First language speaker students were better than L2 students who were better than LD students. LD students are weaker because their lack of reading strategies, and L2 students have a lack of vocabulary. By using new technology, we propose different classroom remedial measures in reading for each of them.

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