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Vocab, Language, Word Finding, Inference

(11 Posts)
TheRoadLessTravelled Sat 08-Feb-14 15:04:07

I'm trying to get to the bottom of why Y6 DS's been stuck on a 4c in reading for a long time (despite attending interventions and booster groups).

Here is a reading comprehension extract from a CGP (Y6) book:

Nowadays, ships use fancy electronic devices to tell them exactly where they are. GPS uses signals from satellites in space to pinpoint the ship's position......

An inference Q was: What word tells us that GPS are very accurate?

My DS answered fancy instead of pinpoint

- It wasn't a reading problem, as he read the passage out loud, and then I read it to him.

- It wasn't exactly a vocab problem, as he did know what both fancy and pinpoint meant.

- I don't think it's an inference problem.

- It's not an IQ / low ability problem.

I think it's a language problem. He has a dx of 'word finding difficulties.' and I think this is the reason he's not making adequate progress.

I think a big diff between L3 and L4 comprehension, may be the language / vocab that is used?

Do any teachers have any ideas? Either about what the problem is, or about what you'd do to move him on?

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 08-Feb-14 18:09:52

Sorry no idea Road but didn't want you to go unanswered. Hopefully this will bump for you smile

TheRoadLessTravelled Sun 09-Feb-14 07:21:25

Seems like everyone here is as stuck as his teacher.

KingscoteStaff Sun 09-Feb-14 08:29:08

Well, it's clear what he did. He started reading the paragraph of text about GPS, got to the word 'fancy', identified it as meaning "extremely good and up to the minute and possibly expensive" and linked this with "very accurate". He then moved on to the next question, without spotting that there was a better 'match' further on in the text.

I have 2 children in my class who have similar problems, and have had some success with giving them correctly completed questions (in another child's handwriting) and asking them to explain how the answers had been extracted from the text.

So in your case, he would see the answer 'pinpoint' and have to explain why that word indicates accuracy - ie the fact that a pinpoint is very small, so it points to a very exact place, or by connecting it with placing a pin precisely in a map. My TA would then say 'What about 'fancy'? Doesn't that mean the same thing?' and they could discuss the different meanings.

Sometimes children need to see these things modelled to get an idea of the accuracy required.

Velma67 Sun 09-Feb-14 08:45:46

I think it is a poor question. I chose "exactly" and I am not convinced I am wrong! I do suspect though that my strategy was similar to the one described by Kingscote, I got to a good word and didn't consider the rest of the text. Maybe work on double checking answers (and reading questions carefully).

TheRoadLessTravelled Sun 09-Feb-14 09:24:01

Velma - exactly is wrong because the first sentence isn't about GPS. Only the 2nd sentence is.

Kingscote - thanks. Some good strategies there for me to try.

I guess you're right and he saw fancy first and stopped there. But even when he knew it was wrong and I told him which sentence it was in he couldn't find the answer.

Maybe it was just he'd has enough, or didn't really know what pinpoint meant. Or I'm reading too much into one wrong answer. But this is not an isolated example.

Velma67 Sun 09-Feb-14 10:13:01

From the bit that you have typed, the GPS devices are the "fancy electronic devices" mentioned in the first sentence, though. I assume that the text goes on though which may change my interpretation, for example if it goes on to mention other devices.

Velma67 Sun 09-Feb-14 10:23:15

...which comes back to reading the whole question, carefully!

TheRoadLessTravelled Sun 09-Feb-14 10:27:39

Velma - yes. Rest of paragraph about other devices. Which I didn't type out so as not to bore you.

Guess I'm reading too much into one wrong answer.

Would lots of bright Y6 kids got this q wrong?

KingscoteStaff Sun 09-Feb-14 10:31:47

I would say that's a level 5 question. Also, a lot of my EAL children would not spot the precise meaning of 'pinpoint'.

TheRoadLessTravelled Sun 09-Feb-14 10:55:22

Thanks. I thought it was a L4 Q. L5 is more reassuring.

The point is DS is not EAL.

Though I guess you're saying if you don't know the exact meaning of pinpoint, you wouldn't easily be able to infer it from the text....

My worry is because the school does have high numbers of kids with EAL they're not picking up the diff between poor vocab due to EAL and lang probs.

He's currently in a vocab intervention for EAL kids.

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