Less Reading, Less Comprehension
Difficulty reading leads to less reading, which in turn can lead to reading comprehension trouble. This is one reason comprehension may suffer for dyslexic readers.
This makes a lot of sense. When reading is hard it becomes a chore. When reading is a chore, reading for pleasure doesn’t happen. The more a student experiences difficulty reading, the less they are motivated to read. This cycle only gets worse if the student is not given reading instruction that works to improve reading. Dyslexic readers are weak in phonological processing skills, which are necessary for sounding out unknown words. Without being taught the right skills to sound out words, students will not become better readers, they will read less and this can affect comprehension.
On the flip side, it’s important to note that more reading does not always beget better reading. Just like more phonics instruction does not help a dyslexic reader become better readers if they don’t have phonemic awareness skills and the auditory discrimination necessary to make sense of phonics. Current neurological research is very prescriptive when it comes to reading methodology for dyslexic students. A structured literacy or Orton Gillingham approach is the best approach and will improve student progress the quickest. When decoding and fluency improves, often so does comprehension.
There are three main areas that are negatively impacted by a lack of reading. These areas are background knowledge, vocabulary, and reading fluency.