12. Comprehension

  1. Melissa Lee Farrall

Published Online: 27 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118092668.ch12

Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition

Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition

How to Cite

Farrall, M. L. (2012) Comprehension, in Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy, and Cognition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118092668.ch12

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 MAY 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470873939

Online ISBN: 9781118092668



  • reading comprehension;
  • fourth grade slump;
  • Kintsch Model;
  • inferential thinking;
  • working memory;
  • background knowledge;
  • vocabulary;
  • reading comprehension tests;
  • reading comprehension questions;
  • multiple choice questions


The nature of true reading comprehension deficits is explored together with a discussion of fourth grade slump and the Kintsch model of reading comprehension and inferential thinking. There is a focus on the respective roles of working memory, background knowledge, and vocabulary in reading comprehension. A frank discussion of reading comprehension tests delves into issues related to the definition of reading comprehension as conceptualized by different test publishers and factors relating to test design that warrant consideration. Different types of test questions and the inclusion of passage-independent items may affect perceived performance. The chapter concludes with suggestions for assessing reading comprehension, as well as recommendations based on test findings. A case study is included.