Thesis Title

Comprehend What? Teaching Reading Strategies That Improve High School Juniors Reading Comprehension Skills

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Many students in high school experience difficulty reading and comprehending text and narrative material at grade level. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of explicitly teaching comprehension strategies on eleventh grade students’ comprehension of written material. Sixty-three eleventh graders from a suburban school district in northern California participated in the study. The teacher taught fifteen basic strategies over a five- month period, alongside Collaborative Academic Preparation Initiative (CAPI) study conducted for California State Hayward. Students were pre-tested prior to instruction, and post tested at the conclusion of the study on reading comprehension skills. Results revealed that there is a need for reading comprehension instruction, and that the strategies taught, improved reading comprehension levels and skills for more than 90% of the students tested. Students at the high school level, junior, or eleventh grade particularly, cannot read and comprehend at the level expected by the school, district, and state. While the strategies improved reading skills, but expanded vocabulary and context of what was learned in the class. Skills were taught to decode problematic information and thereby improved overall confidence in the students' overall academics. The students’ attitudes toward learning have improved. Results indicated that these strategies should be taught along with material needed for the context of the class.

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