Reading strategies, keywords and metacomprehension

Reading strategies, keywords and metacomprehension

Reading strategies, keywords and metacomprehension

Metacomprehension is the ability to monitor understanding of texts. Working on this ability might be a good technique to improve reading comprehension.

In the study of de Bruin et al. (2011), they demonstrated that select keyword after a first reading is a good strategy to improve metacomprehension. These improvements were greater when generating keywords for 11-13 years old children. Moreover, they found out that improved metacomprehension accuracy led to improved regulation of study (de Bruin, Thiede, Camp, & Redford, 2011).

Following the study of de Thiede et al. (2005), generative tasks like summarizing or keyword listing showed up that were useful to improve reading comprehension. However that increase was only produced when these tasks were performed at a delay rather than immediately after reading (Thiede, Dunlosky, Griffin, & Wiley, 2005).

Hence and related to those studies, a good way to improve reading comprehension might be using the following techniques:

  • Ask yourself: What is the text going about? To check out if we have understood what the text was about, we would have to try to choose the keyword that better define the whole topic of the text. The one that summarizes it all.
  • Think and write down a title that summarizes all the information of the text.
  • Try to select 10 keywords that sum up the main information of the text



De Bruin, A. B. H., Thiede, K. W., Camp, G., & Redford, J. (2011). Generating keywords improves metacomprehension and self-regulation in elementary and middle school children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology109(3), 294–310. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.02.005

Thiede, K. W., Dunlosky, J., Griffin, T. D., & Wiley, J. (2005). Understanding the delayed-keyword effect on metacomprehension accuracy. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition31(6), 1267–1280. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.31.6.1267

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