The new Oxford Reading for Comprehension series tackles emerging comprehension challenges

Oxford University Press (OUP) has introduced a brand new guided reading program, Oxford Reading for Comprehension, to help teachers address the comprehension challenge in Australian primary schools.

The research-based series, created in Australia, combines a consistent, strategic approach to comprehension with creative and exciting content to ensure students remain engaged while they develop their comprehension skills.

The program comprises 250 full-colour fiction and non-fiction books with captivating characters, stories and factual content designed to appeal to young Australians.

The series is organised into 10 popular themes: Fantasy, Animals, Family and Friends, Food, Places, Environment, Health and Sport, Australian Stories, Art, and History. The local themes, animals and places ensure the stories are relevant and link closely to topics focused on in their wider classroom learning.

The introduction of the series comes after the release of OUP’s recent whitepaper: Reading for Meaning: A Guide to the Research on Best Practice Teaching of Comprehension in Today’s World written, authored by Maquarie University lecturer and Primary school teacher, Susan Taylor.

Ms Taylor comments that comprehension is more important than ever in an increasingly digital world.

“The demands on literacy skills have become more complex as the extent to which literacy must be considered a social interaction increase. Students are now consuming the written form more than ever before, as the medium of text spills into their methods of social communication. With increased learning and communication via technology, receiving and decoding of the written word needs to occur rapidly. Contemporary teachers must respond to this by empowering students with the literacy skills that they will need for their fast-paced, highly networked future. The need to fully discern truth from, and opinions about, what they read has never been greater as they navigate the increasing variety of textual forms.

“In addition, students are teaching themselves much more directly than in the past as they interact with highly accessible digital information. Comprehension must be immediate and clear for young students, as there will not always be an adult present to control or help them interpret what they encounter. The more aware and confident students are with their own comprehension skills, the more independent they will become.”

The series features a clear teaching and learning pathway, with comprehension coaching support for teachers for all 250 texts, a printed teacher handbook and additional digital resources.

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