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The Textmapping Project
A resource for teachers improving reading comprehension skills instruction
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Reading Comprehension Skills Instruction has been identified by government and academic sources as a research priority [note 1].
We are encouraging researchers to study Textmapping as an enabling technology for classroom instruction in reading comprehension and writing skills, study skills, and text-based course content.
The Textmapping approach is comprised of two elements:
Textmapping fits nicely under the category of graphic organizers, which includes such well-known techniques as Semantic Mapping, Concept Mapping, and Story Mapping [note 3]. There are, however, three key differences between Textmapping and other graphic organizers.
For more about the differences between Textmapping and other graphic organizers, see the FAQ entry on Graphic Organizers.
Textmapping taps deeply into students' visual, spatial, tactile, and kinaesthetic learning abilities. It has been used with mainstream, ESL, and special needs students at all levels, from elementary through college, and may have applications for deaf learners as well.
Textmapping's display environment (scrolls [http://www.textmapping.org/scrolls.html]) and intensive marking techniques (mapping [http://www.textmapping.org/mapping.html]) can be used to support a wide variety of instructional techniques (for example, Think Aloud, Metacognitive/Questioning, Reciprocal Teaching, SAIL and the like) and key instructional components (for example, explicit description, modeling, collaboration, guided practice, and independent use) [note 5]
Feedback from educators [http://www.textmapping.org/comments.html] has been positive.
For more about Textmapping, read the overview [http://www.textmapping.org/overview.html].
Researchers have long known that students who are aware of textual cues and text structure demonstrate significantly better comprehension [note 6]. This is especially true in the case of students with learning disabilities [note 7].
We have had some success using Textmapping to teach students how to recognize and use text structure. This is an avenue of inquiry that we would like to see pursued by researchers.
The research also shows that active, intensive marking (such as highlighting, underlining, and margin notes) and graphic/visual organization techniques (such as Semantic Mapping) are very effective for improving comprehension and recall [see note 2 and note 3].
Textmapping offers significant opportunities for teaching and practicing active marking.
It opens new opportunities to take advantage of visual, spatial, tactile, and kinaesthetic learning abilities - i.e., that it expands upon the opportunities first opened by spatial strategies such as Semantic Mapping.
The benefits [http://www.textmapping.org/benefits.html] page on this site provides a clear and concise explanation of the instructional benefits of Textmapping. You might find this list helpful when it comes to formulating your research questions.
Please let us know any time you publish an article about Textmapping. You can email us at . We'll put a link to it on our published research page [http://www.textmapping.org/researchPublished.html].
See: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (2002). Notice of Final Priority. http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2002-2/041002b.html.
Also see: RAND Reading Study Group, Reading for Understanding: Towards an R&D Program in Reading Comprehension. The RAND Corporation (Draft 2001). http://www.rand.org/multi/achievementforall/reading/readreport.pdf.
Also see: Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy, Panel Urges Study of Reading Comprehension. (Feb. 7, 2001) Edweek. http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=21rand.h20
See: Holley, Charles D., & Dansereau, Donald F.; (1984) Spatial Learning Strategies: Techniques, Applications, and Related Issues. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-352620-5. This book is now out of print, but available in many libraries, as well as on line through used book sellers.
Hall, Tracey, and Strangman, Nicole; (2002) Graphic Organizers. http://www.cast.org/ncac/GraphicOrganizers3015.cfm
There are two relevant points to be made concerning the distinction between Textmapping, which is a true mapping technique, and other visual organizers such as Semantic Mapping, which are actually diagramming techniques:
For more on these techniques and components, see: Duke, Neil K., and Pearson, P. David; (2002) Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension, in Alan E. Farstrup & S. Jay Samuels (Eds.), What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction, 3rd. Editon, Newark, DE, International Reading Association. http://www.scholastic.com/dodea/Module_1/resources/dodea_m1_pa_duke.pdf
For example, see: Dickson, Shirley V., Simmons, Deborah C., and Kameenui, Edward J., Text Organization and Its Relation to Reading Comprehension: A Synthesis of the Research. http://idea.uoregon.edu:16080/~ncite/documents/techrep/tech17.html
For example, see: Gersten, Russell, and Baker, Scott, Reading Comprehension Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities. http://www.ncld.org/research/ncld_reading_comp.cfm
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