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Study: High Academic Achievers in High School Still Have Trouble Reading


A significant portion of high school students that are high academic achievers, do not have the same type of academic success once they get to the college level, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Alberta, in Canada.George Georgiou lab director at the University of Alberta, along with co-researcher J.P. Das, have determined that some high school students have strong challenges in reading comprehension, although they are able to achieve high grades.

The researchers analyzed the cognitive skills of some of Alberta’s students, such as, working memory, planning ability, processing, and attention, and found that although the students had good fluency skills, they had difficulties in their working memory and being able to process what they read.

“When they were doing the test, I noticed some of them were highlighting, writing ideas on the margins of the page,” said Georgiou, in a statement. “It was obvious that they had developed a strategy to help them with the ideas, but they still had significant difficulty looking at the full picture, as reflected in poor simultaneous processing.”

Georgiou also stated that students can improve their reading comprehension by organizing the ideas in the text, and that by initially grasping the main ideas of the reading will help them understand it better.

Writing down important parts of the text are also helpful in retaining the information, he said.

“The students invest most of their time on reading and they forget the meaning. They read and they decode the whole passage. So, by the time they get to the end, they forget what the first paragraph was talking about,” he said. “We want to break that massive task of decoding the text into smaller, manageable steps.”

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