Teaching reading comprehension strategies to students with learning disabilities: A review of research. Review of educational research

Peer-reviewed article
(2001 Jun) Review of educational research, 71(2) 279-320


Gersten R, Fuchs LS, Williams JP, Baker S.


We review the body of research on reading comprehension for students with learning disabilities. First, we describe the factors that lead to the comprehension difficulties of these students. Next we describe our procedures for reviewing the literature on effective instructional methods for this population. Next we review the body of studies involving instructional methods for improving the comprehension of narrative text. This is followed by the research on techniques for improving the comprehension of expository text. We conclude with a discussion of ongoing issues in the field—in particular, (a) the increased use of socially mediated instruction, (b) the need to teach multiple strategies to students to improve comprehension, and (c) controversies in how important it is to explicitly teach specific strategies versus merely providing flexible frameworks to structure dialogue on texts read.