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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eleven Plus Comprehension

Back in 1968 a man called Barrett argued the case for a taxonomy of ideas on comprehension. What he was trying to do was describe different types of comprehension. He presented five main types:

Literal comprehension: this is where your child will answer questions by direct reference to the text.

Re-organisational comprehension: here your child will try to classify or group information from within a passage.

Evaluative Comprehension: an attempt is made to interpret and evaluate assumptions and intentions.

Inferential Comprehension: this is thinking and making deductions beyond what appears in the text.

Appreciative Comprehension: where your child is expected to show awareness of language or emotion.

When your child is working through verbal reasoning questions – then reading comprehension is a high order skill. Sometimes you will be just plain grateful for a response even if it is the wrong one – because you then are presented with the opportunity to urge:

“Have you read the question again?”
“We could look for key words together.”
“Do you remember how you approached a similar example?”
“Why not have a go at eliminating answers which simply can not be correct?”

You could now add some rather more formal language:

“Have you considered that this verbal reasoning question requires a literal answer?”

“We could try and re-organise the sentence.”

“What do you think the question is trying to achieve?”

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