I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I’m not sure that what you heard is what I actually meant!
Have you ever been on either end of this scenario? It is frustrating for both parties. Language comprehension is essential for one to communicate effectively with others. A person must be able to not only receptively understand language but to also be able to use his or her expressive vocabulary to effectively convey that information to others.
One can be highly intelligent and still have difficulty with language comprehension. At Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers, our experience in teaching reading over the last 25 years has been that students who are struggling are lacking the foundational skills necessary for good comprehension.
Research indicates that people with good comprehension utilize concept imagery to facilitate understanding. Simply put, they make mental movies in their mind’s eye when reading or listening.
Have you ever tried to put together a bookcase or a child’s bicycle? Did you find the diagrams that accompanied the directions to be of more help than the written directions? That’s because the diagrams helped your brain to see the relationships between the pieces and how they would work together as a whole. Concept imagery is very much like this.
The students who we tutor in comprehension at Langsford do systematic work to develop their imaging skills. This begins with a simple sentence and builds up to multi-page units of material. Once they have the information pictured in their minds, they practice recalling and verbalizing it in a clear and concise manner. Emphasis is also placed on determining the main idea and important details, as well as on developing higher order thinking skills (such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, or making evaluations of material).
Many people make mental movies in their minds naturally and without prompting. For those that don’t or those who do not do it efficiently, structured practice to develop their concept imagery and verbalizing skills can make both school and interaction with others easier and less frustrating.
I hope that what you read and what you think I said
matches what I actually said and what I meant to say!