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Listen to the pictures

The latest reports examined by Reva Klein. Visual imagery helps children with listening comprehension problems to build mental images as they read. In turn, this helps them to retain information and understand what they read and hear.

A study of a group of seven-and-a-half-year-olds with poor listening comprehension was conducted by Australian researchers. Half were given intensive instruction in building images. The other half were given standard listening comprehension lessons.

In the visual imagery lessons, children were asked to paint a picture in their minds of objects to help them remember what the object looked like. They then moved to pictures and sentences in boks. To describe their images, they used a think-aloud model, describing the images in narrative form. The children saw that, while their narratives were different, all were valid.

The visual imagery group's reading comprehension improved by 12 months. They outperformed the control group in listening comprehension. Improvements in reading accuracy were the same for both groups.

The Effect of Visual Imagery Training on the Reading and Listening Comprehension of Low Listening Comprehenders in Year 2 by Yola Center, Louella Freeman, Gregory Robertson and Lynne Outhred, School of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Contact:

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