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Fostering Comprehension in English Classes


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Table of Contents

1. Our Take on Adolescent Literacy2. Fostering Learning from Text3. Teaching for Understanding4. Fostering Responses to Literature5. Teaching Comprehension Strategies6. Teaching Higher-Order Thinking Skills7. Vocabulary Instruction in English Classes8. Comprehension in Context

About the Author

Raymond Philippot, PhD, is Department Chair and Professor of English at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Dr. Philippot's research interests include whole-class discussions of literature, resources for struggling readers, and reading comprehension at the secondary level. Prior to joining the faculty at St. Cloud State University, he taught high school English in Kansas and Minnesota. He currently serves as the English Education Chair for the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English. Michael F. Graves, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Literacy Education at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Reading Hall of Fame. His research, development, and writing focus on vocabulary learning and instruction and comprehension instruction. Dr. Graves has served as the Editor of the Journal of Reading Behavior and as the Associate Editor of Research in the Teaching of English. Widely published, he currently serves as a consultant on comprehension strategies, vocabulary instruction, and text difficulty.


"Going beyond the buzzwords, this compelling book provides practical and tested advice for creating a balanced, well-designed language arts classroom that will benefit students with varying levels of literacy. The strong emphasis on English language learners will help teachers ease these students into the larger culture of the classroom and the school as a whole. Each chapter is rooted in theory and research, but also offers detailed instructions that will be useful to both new and experienced teachers." - Ann Swanson, International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator and former English teacher, Minnetonka High School, Minnesota, USA "Too many teachers feel unprepared to teach reading to older students, or have trouble choosing which literacy goals to pursue. By focusing on comprehension, this book suggests an integrated and manageable way of thinking about adolescent literacy. It will help teachers put their best instincts into practice, expand their instructional repertoires, and trigger their imagination for 'what's next.' I can hardly wait to share this book with our curriculum director!" - Martha Cosgrove, English teacher, Edina High School, Minnesota, USA "As an educator of future middle and secondary English teachers, I have long sought a text to use in informing my students about both reader-response approaches and the teaching of comprehension skills. Most texts are heavily slanted toward one side or another, but this one meshes the two perspectives, truly representing the best of both worlds. Exactly the book I've been waiting for!" - Leslie S. Rush, Department of Secondary Education, University of Wyoming, USA "Philippot and Graves provide a conceptually sophisticated treatment of comprehension development in secondary English classrooms. The authors situate their discussion in both cognitive and response-based theories and research, elaborate five interconnected facets of comprehension, and offer instructional recommendations illustrated with numerous classroom vignettes. The book's discussion of comprehension development is comprehensive and unique. Critically, it not only shows how teachers can foster understanding of specific texts; it also shows how to help students develop comprehension processes that will transfer across texts and time." - Kathleen Clark, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, Marquette University, USA

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