G. Jiménez-Fernández1, P. Clarke2

1Universidad de Granada (SPAIN)
2University of Leeds (UNITED KINGDOM)
Reading comprehension is one of the most important skills for academic and occupational success. However, several international studies show that Spanish-speaking students show a low level of this skill (Mullis, Martin, Foy, & Druker, 2012; OECD, 2010). One reason that can explain this low attainment/achievement is the lack of implementation of evidence-based practices that promote reading comprehension in the classroom. In this sense, most intervention studies in Spanish have evaluated single strategies for intervention (Ripoll, 2014). In addition, the programs published until now to foster reading comprehension have not been supported by evidence from well-conducted research studies.

One interesting example of evidence-based practice to improve reading comprehension is "The York Reading for Meaning Project" (Clarke, Hulme, Truelove, & Snowling, 2010). This project was a randomised controlled trial carried out with twenty English primary schools, to assess the effectiveness of three interventions designed to support reading comprehension: text-comprehension training, oral-language training and text and oral training combined. The results of this research showed that all intervention promoted improvement in reading comprehension but the oral-language group made greater follow-up gains.

The present paper explains the collaboration project that is starting between the University of Leeds (UK) and University of Granada (Spain) to adapt into the Spanish language the Reading for Meaning program. The program in Spanish will be based on the same teaching principles of the English version but it will be developed taking into account the specific background and curricula contents of the Spanish children. In addition, we are specifically interested in comparing the results in both languages in order to analyze the possible influence of the orthographic depth on the effectiveness of the different types of programmes (English is opaque and Spanish is a substantially transparent language). Educational implications for practitioners of the best methods for supporting reading comprehension are discussed.