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Clarification consists of strategies for self-monitoring text comprehension, distinguishing between what the text says explicitly and what one has inferred, actively attending to details of the text and using them to generate logical inferences, and formulating explicit explanations about how one has arrived at specific understandings. The hypothesized development of these skills is presented in Development Table 12.

Clarification strategies go beyond self-explanation by adding a layer of metacognitive control, so that self-explanation is enriched by an explicit awareness of gaps and problems, and an ability to explicitly identify and monitor the reasoning steps taken to repair one's understanding of the text. This class of strategies corresponds to Reading Standard 1 from the Common Core State Standards.

Literature Note - Clarification

Development Table 12. Hypotheses about the Development of Clarification Skills

Level
Interpretation
Deliberation
Expression
Preliminary
(oral to sentence)
Can focus on specific locations within a text and immediately access the meaning of that part of the text.
Can apply scanning strategies to locate desired information
Can respond to or discuss specific points in a text.
Foundational
(sentence to paragraph)
Can focus on specific points within a text and generate additional inferences about the information contained in that specific text segment.
Can apply repair strategies in which one detects gaps or failures in comprehension and returns focus to the portion of the text that was not fully understood.
Can quote specific points in a text and embed them in a paragraph as evidence of what a text says.
Basic
(paragraph to text)
Can distinguish between the information that is explicitly stated in the text and other information one has inferred from the text but which is not explicitly present in it.
Can apply inference verification strategies in which one rescans a text to find evidence that supports or refutes an inference drawn on a previous reading.
Can quote or paraphrase specific points in a text and embed them in a text as evidence supporting a particular inference drawn from that text.
Intermediate
(text to context)
Can evaluate how strongly the information provided by a text licenses a particular inference.
Can apply inference ranking strategies in which one considers multiple inferences, and ranks them from most to least plausible.
Can assemble an explicit case, using multiple pieces of evidence from a text, in favor of a particular inference drawn from that text.
Advanced
(text and context to discourse)
Can distinguish between inferences fully licensed by the text and those that are licensed only if particular assumptions or prior knowledge deriving from a larger discourse are brought to bear.
Can apply inference verification strategies in which one combines textual evidence with evidence about the text’s purpose and audience, and the discourses to which it contributes.
Can assemble an explicit and thoroughly argued case, using multiple pieces of evidence from a text, in favor of a particular inference drawn from that text, while taking into account differences in interests and prior knowledge.



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