The influence of instruction on children's regulation activity during comprehension monitoring
Bossert, Teresa S.
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between guided instructional training and the regulation strategy of rereading. Rereading, measured in the form of lookbacks to text, has been demonstrated to be an effective means of regulating or "fixing up," comprehension failures. It has not yet been determined if this strategy can be trained. This study involved training one group of fourth-grade students to look back to text when they did not generate a correct response to comprehension questions on their own. Text-question sequences were presented to the readers on a computer. The training technique of guided instruction employed prompts progressing from general to specific hints to look back to text. A control group of subjects did not receive guided instructional training. A second session involved presenting text-question sequences without guided instruction for either group to measure the influence of training. The results revealed beneficial effects of training on the group trained to use lookbacks. The trained subjects used the rereading strategy more often than the control group, especially with the most difficult questions. The trained subjects also generated more correct responses to the comprehension questions than the control group. Subjects trained to use lookbacks were also more likely to produce correct responses following a lookback for the most difficult questions. The results are consistent with the notion that students can be instructed in regulation strategies, and that the effects of instruction in the use of regulation strategies, on less cognitively demanding comprehension tasks, appears to generalize to more cognitively demanding comprehension tasks.