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Psicologia USP

Print version ISSN 0103-6564On-line version ISSN 1678-5177

Psicol. USP vol.30  São Paulo  2019  Epub July 22, 2019

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-6564e20180126 

Article

Reading, understanding and learning in secondary education: approaches and perspectives

Luis Ángel Roldána  b  * 
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2168-7908

a Universidad Nacional de La Plata. La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

b Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas. Buenos Aires, Argentina


Abstract

In school, learning from texts is essential for achieving students’ real inclusion. The Argentine educational system is described in the secondary level of education along with the linguistic-cognitive challenges in relation to the learning this context supposes. Likewise, it is conceptualized the process by which students learn from subject matter-specific texts that become increasingly more complex as they advance through their academic career. Different theoretical perspectives are developed for this purpose. First, we will present the findings of cognitive psycholinguistics that have made it possible to describe the requirements and processes involved in reading and comprehending texts. Then, a cultural-historical psychology approach is taken up, repositioning speech-interactive processes and cultural machanisms that mediate the literacy process. Finally, we will list the core academic language skills and disciplinary literacy constructs that, from a functional-cognitive viewpoint, contribute to the understanding of the linguistic demands implied in an academic context.

Keywords: reading; reading comprehension; school learning

Resumen

En la escolaridad, el aprendizaje a partir de los textos, es fundamental para la inclusión real de los estudiantes. Se describe el sistema educativo argentino en el nivel secundario de enseñanza junto con los desafíos lingüístico-cognitivos en relación al aprendizaje que dicho contexto supone. Asimismo, se conceptualiza el proceso mediante el cual los alumnos aprenden a partir de textos disciplinares que se tornan progresivamente más complejos conforme avanzan en su trayecto escolar. Para completar dicho propósito se desarrollan diferentes líneas teóricas. En primer lugar, se presentan los hallazgos de la psicolingüística cognitiva que han permitido caracterizar las demandas y el procesamiento implicados en la lectura y la comprensión lectora. Seguidamente, se retoma el enfoque de la psicología histórico-cultural, que reposiciona los procesos interactivos-discursivos y los artefactos culturales que median el proceso de alfabetización. Por último, se exponen los constructos de habilidades claves de lenguaje académico y de alfabetización disciplinar, que desde un punto de vista cognitivo-funcional, contribuyen a entender las demandas lingüísticas que supone el contexto escolar o académico.

Palabras-clave: lectura; comprensión lectora; aprendizaje escolar

Résumé

Au niveau, apprendre à partir des textes est fondamental pour l’inclusion réelle des éleves. Le système éducatif argentin est décrit dans le niveau de l’enseignement secondaire ainsi que les défis linguistiques et cognitifs en relation avec l’apprentissage que suppose ledit contexte. De même, il est conceptualisé le processus par lequel les élèves apprennent à travers les textes disciplinaires qui deviennent progressivement plus complexes à mesure que les premiers progressent dans leur parcours scolaire. Afin de compléter cet objectif, de différentes lignes théoriques sont développées. Tout d’abord, se sont les résultats de la psycholinguistique cognitive permettant de caractériser les demandes et le traitement impliqués pendant la lecture et la compréhension ecrite qui sont présentés. Ensuite est repris l’accent de la psychologie historico-culturelle qui repositionne les processus interactifs discursifs et les artefacts culturels qui interviennent dans le processus d’alphabétisation. Enfin sont exposées les constructions des compétences clés du langage académique et de l’alphabétisation des disciplines qui dans la perspective cognitive-fonctionnelle contribuent à la compréhension des exigences linguistiques posées par le contexte scolaire ou universitaire.

Mots-clés: lecture; compréhension à la lecture; apprentissage scolaire

Resumo

Na escola, a aprendizagem a partir dos textos é fundamental para a inclusão real dos alunos. O sistema educacional argentino é descrito no nível secundário de educação juntamente com os desafios linguístico-cognitivos em relação à aprendizagem que o dito contexto supõe. Da mesma forma, é conceituado o processo mediante o qual os alunos aprendem a partir de textos disciplinares que se tornam progressivamente mais complexos enquanto progridem em sua trajetória escolar. Diferentes linhas teóricas são desenvolvidas para atingir este objetivo. Em primeiro lugar, são apresentadas as descobertas da psicolinguística cognitiva que permitiram a caracterização das demandas e do processamento envolvidos na leitura e compreensão da leitura. Logo, a abordagem da psicologia histórico-cultural é retomada, que reposiciona os processos interativos-discursivos e os artefatos culturais que medeiam o processo de alfabetização. Para terminar, os construtos das principais habilidades chave da linguagem acadêmica e da alfabetização disciplinar são expostas, aquelas que do ponto de vista cognitivo-funcional contribuem para compreender as demandas linguísticas que o contexto escolar ou acadêmico pressupõe.

Palavras-chave: leitura; compreensão de leitura; aprendizagem escolar

Introduction

In the 1970s, research in the field of reading was driven by the cognitive psychology of information processing. The reading activity was described, from this point of view, as an individual and merely cognitive process (Pearson & Cervetti, 2017). Recently, research has tended to integrate aspects that had not been considered in the process of reading comprehension. On the one hand, there are the interactive, motivational and group aspects of subjects who read texts (Guthrie, Wigfield, & Perencevich, 2004, Téllez, 2004); and on the other, the processes by which students learn from the texts in the school or academic environment (Jetton & Shanahan, 2012).

Although the theoretical and applied production in the field of reading comprehension has spread in recent decades, in the Ibero-American context such research has not always had the expected impact on daily educational practice and, consequently, on the improvement of learning (Perines, 2018; Ripoll & Aguado, 2014). This paper presents theoretical perspectives and concepts that have allowed to describe and explain the components involved in reading, comprehension, and school learning.

In the first place, the Argentine educational system is described in the secondary level of education, since this context supposes for the student a series of linguistic-cognitive challenges in relation to the conceptual learning from disciplinary texts. Handling texts becomes, then, an ability for students’ permanence and graduation.

Secondly, the contributions of cognitive psycholinguistics are retaken, perspective that has delimited the cognitive processes that underlie text processing and, consequently, has made innumerable contributions to think teaching strategies in that field.

Then, we return to the contributions of historical-cultural psychology, which conceptualizes reading and understanding as situated activities, mediated by cultural instruments. Likewise, from this theoretical perspective, the linguistic-discursive interactions that allow the student to access the initial literacy process and, subsequently, to discipline, are repositioned.

Finally, the concepts of academic language and disciplinary literacy are developed, which have enabled a more complete conceptualization of the characteristics of the language in the school or academic contexts.

The central objective of this study, then, is to present and develop a series of concepts and theoretical lines, which contribute to thinking about the complexity of the process to understand learning texts in secondary school and how to intervene in it.

Secondary education in Argentina: the challenge of inclusion with quality

Secondary education poses challenges for students entering that level, considering that they must use oral and written language to learn several scientific disciplines, such as Geography, History, Biology or Chemistry, to give some examples.

In Argentina, secondary education underwent a series of transformations that deserve to be highlighted in order to assess the challenge of inclusion with learning quality at that school level (Leivas, 2017). In 2006, the National Education Law was passed, promoting articulation between the levels, defining education as a right, a national priority and a state policy. The National Education Law has 3 axes that arrange it: the formation of citizenship, training to enter the world of work, and training for the continuation of higher education.

The changes introduced by the National Education Law (Argentina, 2006) at the secondary level have put the traditional teaching model in crisis, igransofar as an educational level that was historically in the hands of the governing elites becomes mandatory (Tenti Fanfani, 2003). Article 16 of the mentioned law (Argentina, 2006) establishes:

The compulsory school throughout the country extends from the age of five (5) years old until completing Secondary Education. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the competent jurisdictional authorities will ensure compliance with the compulsory school through institutional, pedagogical and rights promotion alternatives that comply with local and community requirements - urban and rural - through actions that achieve equivalent quality results throughout the country and in all social situations. (p. 3)

Although the obligation is set forth in the law, legislative changes have not necessarily led students to stay or to leave the educational system. At that point, the inclusion of students, that is, the permanence and the graduation with learning quality, become socially relevant issues to be investigated by school psychology.

Reading and writing are cultural tools that assume a learning in itself, but that, in addition, are the means for learning from the texts of several social and natural disciplines. Regarding the National Education Law (Argentina, 2006), the Art. 11 paragraph I, states the national educational policy aims to: “Strengthen the centrality of reading and writing as basic conditions for lifelong education, the construction of responsible citizenship and the free circulation of knowledge” (p. 2).

That is to say, the reading and writing management as cultural tools not only give access to learning and, with it, to the permanence and graduation in the school system, but also become fundamental tools to exercise responsible and critical citizenship.

The recent data that have been published by the evaluation operation Learning, carried out in 2017, presents information that calls for reflection on the problems that persist at the secondary level to achieve the objectives set forth in the National Education Law.

  1. The operative categorizes the performance of the students in four levels:

  2. Below the basic level

  3. Basic

  4. Satisfactory

  5. Advanced

According to the results of the evaluation operation, the 5th and 6th grade students of the secondary school only reached satisfactory/advanced performance levels in the language area, in 62.5% of the cases. The data also shows that the low performances increase in students who have repeated 1 or 2 years, in relation to those who have never done it. Likewise, in the higher income social strata, the percentage of students that achieve satisfactory/advanced performance is higher, in relation to the middle and lower income sectors. Based on these data, we can infer that important inequalities persist in the average level of education (Secretaría de Evaluación Educativa, 2018).

Reading comprehension has been singled out as a key skill for students’ school and academic success (Cain & Oakhill, 2007). In this framework, the psychology of education can promote socially relevant scientific information that are the input for the planning of public educational policies aimed at learning improvement.

Reading comprehension as a multicomponential cognitive ability

In the last 40 years, cognitive psychology and cognitive psycholinguistics have studied the psychological processes involved in the use and acquisition of language. These investigations have allowed to delimit the processes implicated in the learning of written language (Alegría, 2006, Duke & Carlisle, 2011, Kintsch & Kintsch, 2005).

From this theoretical framework two sub-processes are distinguished to explain the skills involved in the learning of reading: the recognition of words and the understanding of speech or text. According to Defior (2015), recognizing words implies:

. . . . to understand how the graphic symbols relate to the sounds, that is, to learn the rules of correspondence between the graphemes and the phonemes (RCGF) that each code establishes, and to acquire the procedures for reading words that we will later see. . . . At this point, it is important to distinguish between decoding, which is the basic process of assigning sound to the visual stimulus, and identification of the written words, which includes access to their meaning. Identifying a word implies accessing the phonological, semantic and orthographic information that is stored about it. (p 27)

Reading comprehension, on the other hand, refers to the construction of a meaning by the reader in interaction with the text. It is stated that the relationship between these processes is complementary; however, decoding is the necessary but not sufficient condition for understanding (Pazzaglia, Cornoldi, & Tressoldi, 1993, Perfetti, 2017, Perfetti, 2007, Perfetti, Landi, & Oakhill, 2005; Perfetti, 1997).

A sine qua non requirement for reading comprehension is that it is fluently done, that is, with precision, speed and expression, in such a way that the attentional resources that are necessary can be released. If the subjects do not read fluently, they will have difficulties in understanding the text (Vadasy & Sanders, 2009). Gómez-Zapata, Defior and Serrano (2011) define fluency as follows:

Reading fluency could be defined as the ability to read words, pseudowords and texts accurately (that is, without errors in their decoding), in an expressive way and at an appropriate rhythm, in such a way that attention can be directed to the understanding of what is read. In addition, the fluent reader will use this skill in a stable manner with different types of written materials, even if it is the first time he/she reads them. (p. 66)

However, it is not correct to assume from this perspective that the child learns first to recognize words and then to understand and make sense of what has been read, both processes are related in a complex way throughout literacy (Borzone, Rosemberg, Diuk, Silvestri, & Plana, 2004; Silvestri, 2004; Snow & Juel, 2005).

The idea that reading comprehension is the result of the interaction between decoding and oral comprehension was provided by Gough and Tunmer (1986), and is known as a simple reading model. Although this approach has been and still is a fruitful framework for many investigations, today it is considered that the variables involved in the comprehension of texts can not be reduced to two (Kirby & Savage, 2008).

In this sense, studies in the field of cognitive psychology of reading and psycholinguistics have defined a large number of cognitive processes that predict the ability of reading comprehension and have defined it as a multicomponential skill. Among the processes that have been implicated in this cultural ability are: metacognition (Eason, Goldberg, Young, Geist, & Cutting, 2012), inferences (Eason et al., 2012), working memory (Carretti, Borella, Cornoldi, & De Beni, 2009), executive functions (Andreassen & Bråten, 2010; Roldán, 2016), linguistic knowledge, vocabulary (Woori, Linan-Thompson, & Misquitta, 2012; Ouellette & Beers, 2010), decoding (Florit & Cain, 2011) fluency (Edmonds et al., 2009), prior knowledge (Kendeou, Rapp, & van den Broek, 2003), without being exhaustive.

As we already mentioned, reading comprehension is the result of the interaction that takes place between the explicit expressions of the text and the knowledge of the reader’s world. That is, the text is a set of linguistic elements; this set must be completed by the reader to be understood or represented by him/her. One of the most robust models, which seeks not only to describe the process of understanding the text, but to explain it, is the construction and integration of van Dijk and Kintsch (1983), which was revised by Kintsch (1988, 1998).

The model delimits 3 levels of text representation. First, there is the surface code, which refers to the perceptual and verbal aspect of language, and includes the identification of words and the recognition of semantic and syntactic relationships between them. The base text refers to the semantic aspect of language and the propositions are its unit of representation. The interrelationships between propositions are called microstructure. Beyond the relationships between the propositions are the global structure or the central topic of the text and its interrelations or macrostructure.

The third and most important level of representation is called the situation model and it refers to the specific representation, which combines prior knowledge and information that has been provided by a specific text. This level is the basis for learning, deep understanding and interpretation of the text.

The situation model can use the format of an image to represent the information. This supposes a smaller effort in the cognitive system, since, if we obtain a deep understanding of the text, the activation of an image allows us to remember all the details that have been provided by him, which go beyond the verbal expression that has been used to build it. At this point, the distinction between explicit and implicit information is lost.

It should be clarified that the level of the base text and of the situation model are not consecutive levels of representation, but simultaneous, since both derive from the same trace left by the text in the minds of the readers (Tijero, 2009).

In 1998, Kintch proposed that knowledge was represented as an associative network of propositions that, in a relatively flexible way, is activated according to the information that the text presents. The difference that exists in the value of propositional nodes goes from their activation to their deactivation. In the case of those which are redundant or contradictory, the cognitive system tends to purify them, repairing errors and building an increasingly more coherent text representation.

In the last revisions of the model, Kintsch (1998) attributes a major importance to the context (textual information), when it comes to solving lexical problems and in the constitution of mental representation, affirming, thus, that the situation model is constructed. In another work, Kintsch and Rawson (2005) attribute to practice a key role in shaping mental models. Previous knowledge is then reformulated as a network that is activated by textual formation, where context and practice, or the recurrent activation of propositional networks, generates learning.

The idea of situation models, then, states that the comprehensors are sensitive to the information described by the text, that is, they are part of the information that has been told or has been narrated before being outside of it, they actively process the text, they build their meaning. The construction of a situation model is the representation that starts from a text, but can be dissociated from it. At that point, building a situation model is, as we have already said, an act of learning.

The inclusion of variables such as practice and context has enabled cognitive models to articulate their proposals with sociogenetic models, such as Bakhtin and Vygotsky (Silvestri, 2002). This writing is part of the possibility of such articulation.

Cultural artifacts and sociolinguistic interactions: their role in the literacy process

The historical-cultural psychology is born with the contributions of authors such as Vygotsky, Leontiev and Luria (Cole & Engeström, 1993). One of the fundamental assumptions of this theoretical school is that the human being differs from the animals as it uses and builds tools and these devices not only modify the context, but also produce a change in man and in their psyche.

Beyond the theoretical developments, the heirs of this research tradition have been concerned with applying some of its principles to areas such as work or school. For this study, we returned to an experience presented by Cole and Engeström, (1993) and by Cole (1999), in which an activity system is built to improve reading. What do we mean by activity system? According to Engeström (cited by Cole, 1999), an activity system:

It integrates the subject, the object and the instruments (the material tools as well as the signs and symbols) into a unified whole. An activity system incorporates both the object-oriented productive aspect and the person-oriented communicative aspect of human behavior. Production and communication are inseparable. In reality, a system of human activity always contains the subsystems of production, distribution and exchange and consumption. (p. 132)

Engeström (1987) proposes his conception of activity in which he reformulates the classic triangle that was proposed by the historical-cultural approach that indicates the instrumental mediation of all human activity. The reformulation, which was proposed by Engeström, adds the relations of the subject with the community, mediated, logically, by artifacts, but also by rules that suppose a division of labor, which imply a constant negotiation and distribution of tasks, powers and responsibilities.

The construction of a proposal or an activity system to improve reading is called Question-Ask-Read (Cole, 1999) or Reading-Questions-Answers (Cole & Engeström, 1993). It is a non-compulsory activity carried out at out-of-school hours. The objective was for the children to participate in an activity involving reading before they could read autonomously (progressive transfer of responsibility). A procedure based on a set of tools, roles and division of labor that were inspired by the reciprocal teaching procedure of Palincsar and Brown (1984) was used. Each role corresponded to a hypothetical part different from the integral act of reading.

The proposal has three assumptions that support it. In the first place, it is affirmed that reading supposes, on the one hand, decoding and comprehension skills, and that both must occur in an activity in an integrated manner. Secondly, it is assumed that adults play a fundamental role in coordinating the activities of children, aiming to develop reading. Finally, the model proposes that success for learning to read depends on the organization of a “cultural medium for reading, which must use mechanisms (fundamentally the text, but not only), must be proleptic, and must point to coordinate the child with the mediation system that is going to be learned” (Cole, 1999, p. 235).

The structure of the proposal consisted of four moments. In the first place, there was a conversation about goals (long, medium and short term), about the different reasons that children could have to want to learn to read. In addition, there was a distribution of roles (printed on cards), where each participant is responsible for playing at least one role in the whole activity: the person who asks about words hard to pronounce; the person who asks about words hard to understand; the person who asks a question about the main idea of the passage; the person who decides which subject will respond to the questions that have been asked by others; the person who asks about what is going to happen next. A third moment involved a silent reading and a distribution of the text of the day, one paragraph at a time. The participants (including the instructor and a competent reader, usually a university student, as well as the children) read silently. Finally, the roles were performed. The intention of the device is that children perform collectively and distributed processes that must be internalized individually. The activity focuses on the on-site process of coordination and incoordination around the activity scripted by roles and the division of labor.

One of the teachings of the proposal refers to repositioning the importance of cultural (material) mechanisms that sustain the reading processes, which are fundamental to construct effective interventions.

On the other hand, historical-cultural psychology, when conceiving learning as a culturally and socially mediated process, considers that discourse plays a primordial role in the creation and acquisition of meaning. Essentially, Vygotsky (2007) conceptualized reading and writing as superior psychological processes that subjects develop through authentic participation in determined social interactions. Following this idea, intervention models that have as their central axis the use of oral language or conversation as an instrument for scaffolding the comprehension of texts in the classroom have been developed. In a relatively recent review, Murphy, Wilkinson, Soter, Hennessey, and Alexander (2009) synthesize a series of empirical investigations in which the proper use of the teacher’s conversation and speech was highly effective in promoting literal and inferential understanding of the students.

Academic language skills and advanced or disciplinary literacy

In a complementary way to the cognitive studies of reading, some researchers began to visualize that, in order to give an understanding of successful texts, it is necessary that students develop certain linguistic capacities. The term academic language refers to language that has been used, typically, in teaching/learning situations at school (Snow & Uccelli, 2009).

Academic language studies conceive language as a social activity that involves specific communicative and cognitive demands (Meneses-Arévalo & Ow-Gonzalez, 2012; Silvestri, 2002). The school then becomes a place where the student must not only learn new “secondary discursive genres” (Bakhtin, 1982), but also “scientific concepts.”

The concept of academic language skills was coined by Jim Cummins, who proposed the distinction between basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive-academic language skills (Cummins, 1981). In the framework of his study with bilingual students, Cummins revealed that academic language skills involved a greater challenge than colloquial language skills.

From the Cummins (1981) distinction, Snow and Uccelli (2009) developed a series of characteristics that differentiate colloquial language from academic language. Likewise, Uccelli and Meneses (2014) have proposed a construct that has been called key academic language skills (hereafter, HCLA). This construct seeks to be the basis for building evaluation and intervention instruments to improve students’ language skills and establish relations with school performance. The HCLA refer to “a set of trans-disciplinary language skills that correspond to recurrent linguistic and discursive resources in academic texts (from different school disciplines), but uncommon in colloquial speech” (Uccelli and Meneses, 2014, p. 187).

One of the HCLA, understanding of complex structures, refers to the ability to break complex words that a student must handle. In the school language, the appearance of morphologically complex words is frequent. In addition, sentences are syntactically more complex than in colloquial language, with a high density of information. The logical connection of ideas assumes that in academic texts there is a high occurrence of logical connectors, and students must know the importance of such connectors for the understanding of the school language. Tracking of reference chains demands that students identify that academic texts present co-reference chains of the same character or theme which are referred to in various ways. The global organization of text implies that academic texts tend to have an argumentative structure and it is important that students recognize their specificity to understand them. The lexical precision and the understanding of metalinguistic vocabulary refer to words that allude to processes of language or thought characteristic of scientific learning. Their understanding by students is crucial to school and academic success. In addition, students should be able to interpret the points of view in a text, that is, identify the ideas that the author or authors present (n) in the academic texts and the epistemic markers of the school language. Finally, the identification of academic record refers to the ability to differentiate academic from other colloquial language.

In short, the academic language is a construct that allows us to think about the cognitive and linguistic demands that the school and academic environment supposes. From a functional and cognitive point, the academic language assumes a close relationship between oral language, reading and writing in a specific context. Such relationships had not been conceptualized clearly in the most classic cognitive studies of reading.

Another idea developed in this paper refers to the distinction that has been proposed by Shanahan and Shanahan (2008) between basic literacy, intermediate literacy and disciplinary literacy, which allows to conceptualize the different skills necessary to learn from the texts in several school subjects.

Basic reading skills include decoding, recognition of various writing conventions, recognition of high frequency words, and some basic fluency skills. This level also includes the knowledge of certain textual structures, such as the recognition of simple expository texts. These basic skills are involved in all or most of the reading tasks, that is, they are highly generalizable.

Intermediate literacy includes the decoding of complex and infrequent words, advanced fluency, and knowledge of vocabulary that is not usual in oral language. Several comprehension strategies are also included in this level, such as the monitoring of comprehension, the maintenance of attention in long and complex texts, the request for help from others if there is difficulty in understanding, or the use of the dictionary to expand the vocabulary, etc. At this level, students are also able to recognize more complex forms of text organization. These skills are not so generalizable to all texts and reading situations, although they are not, particularly, related to specific school disciplines.

Finally, disciplinary or advanced literacy involves high-order skills that are included in the disciplinary uses of reading and writing. These abilities are not easy to learn since they have almost no parallel with oral language and should be applied to difficult texts that, in many cases, contradict the students’ experience (for example, in a Physics text, different theories about concrete phenomena that are inconsistent with each other). These skills, which are rarely taught by teachers, are limited to very specific reading tasks, which means that their generalization is very limited.

Final considerations

The entrance in the secondary schooling supposes for the student a series of linguistic-cognitive challenges regarding the conceptual learning from disciplinary texts. In this study, we pointed out that reading skills and reading comprehension are critical to remain and graduate at this education level. In this sense, the main contributions made by psychology to conceptualize and intervene in these domains were exposed.

First, we develop the contributions of cognitive psychology that has identified the cognitive processes involved in the understanding of written language and, also, has developed strategies to improve these skills. In Argentina, specific programs have been developed to improve reading comprehension under this perspective, such as the LEE Comprensivamente Program (Gottheil et al., 2011) and the Leer para Comprender Program I and II (Abusamra et al., 2010; Abusamra et al., 2014). These are very consistent instruments, from the theoretical point of view, and have proven their effectiveness in improving comprehension skills (Fonseca, et al., 2014, Meneghetti, De Beni, Cornoldi, Abusamra, & Carretti, 2009; Cartoceti, Abusamra, De Beni, & Cornoldi, 2016).

The contributions of historical-cultural psychology reposition cultural instruments and socio-linguistic interactions that structure a context, scaffolding literacy and learning from it. Some studies have shown the importance and effectiveness of including these aspects in teaching and learning from the text (Mckeown, Beck, & Blake, 2009, Murphy et al., 2009). So, it is relevant that teachers include the aspects indicated by the historical-cultural perspective in their daily practice. In addition, this approach allows us to think about learning through the construction of a cultural environment, placing the educability as a feature of the context, rather than the individually determined subjects (Baquero, 2006).

The theoretical distinction between the different levels of literacy (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008) and the specificity of the language used in school contexts (Snow & Uccelli, 2009; Uccelli & Meneses, 2014) has strong educational implications. Given that it provides an idea that supposes differentiated skills, that students must handle and that teachers must know how to teach. Also, the perspective of learning to read (comprehensively), from a progressive point of view, makes it possible to understand that students are diverse in relation to the skills they handle when they enter or advance in compulsory schooling.

Theorizing diversity enables educational agents to attend, more adequately, school trajectories, enabling concrete inclusive actions. We understand school and social inclusion, not only as a policy that the state must guarantee, but also as a daily task that requires knowledge and the application of theoretical and technical knowledge by teachers and education professionals.

To conclude, the importance of the co-construction of problems and interventions between the school and the university and scientific system is pointed out. In this case, specialized knowledge acquires social relevance and, as highlighted by Snowling and Hulme (2011), a virtuous circle is generated, where the theory specifies the guidelines of the practice leading to refine the theories about the nature and cause of the processes of reading comprehension.

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Received: February 07, 2019; Accepted: April 30, 2019

* Corresponding address: angelroldan1990@gmail.com

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