Home > Strategies and Skill Development > Verbal Strategy Families > Glossing and Paraphrase > Literature Note: Paraphrase

Paraphrase and related metalinguistic skills such as definition are often listed as verbal strategies that support reading comprehension, though self-explanation must go well beyond paraphrase (Best, Ozuru, & McNamara, 2004; Deshler & Schumaker, 1993; Lauterbach & Bender, 1995; McNamara, 2004). Kirschner (2006), citing Aulls (2002), pointed out that effective strategy instruction is typically heavily scaffolded, with skills such as paraphrase being explicitly modeled and developed by teachers, though many students spontaneously use paraphrase and a variety of other strategies (Wade, Trathen, & Schraw, 1990). Paraphrase, glossing or defining terms, providing synonyms or antonyms—each of these can be applied as a strategy to support comprehension or come up with alternative phrasings during writing; each reflects a general metalinguistic ability to use language to clarify the meanings of texts.

Aulls, M. W. (2002). The contributions of co-occurring forms of classroom discourse and academic activities to curriculum events and instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 520–538.

Best, R., Ozuru, Y., & McNamara, D. S. (2004). Self-explaining science texts: Strategies, knowledge, and reading skill. In Y. B. Yasmin, W. A. Sandoval, N. Enyedy, A. S. Nixon, & F. Herrera (Eds.), Proceedings of the sixth international conference of the learning sciences: Embracing diversity in the learning sciences (pp. 89-96). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J.B. (1993). Strategy mastery by at-risk students: Not a simple matter. Elementary School Journal, 94(2), 153-167.

Kirschner, P. A. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologyist, 41(2), 75-86.

Lauterbach, S. L., & Bender, W. N. (1995). Cognitive strategy instruction for reading comprehension: A success for high school freshmen. High School Journal, 79(1), 58-64

McNamara, D. S. (2004). SERT: Self-explanation reading training. Discourse Processes, 38(1), 1–30.

Wade, S. E., Trathen, W., & Schraw, G. (1990). An analysis of spontaneous study strategies. Reading Research Quarterly, 25(2), 147-166.

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