Update: What does the research tell us about language & literacy?
Research Spotlight: Scott, Cheryl M. "A Case for the Sentence in Reading Comprehension." Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 40.2 (2009).
If a reader cannot derive meaning from individual sentences that make up a text, that is going to be a major obstacle in text-level comprehension.This statement seems so obvious that it is all the more puzzling that so little attention has been paid to sentence parsing as a component of reading comprehension. The word sentence does not even appear among the recommended domains of best practice instruction taken up by the National Reading Panel (2000) and popularized as the five topic headings of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Nor are sentences discussed at all under the topic of text comprehension (Scott, p.184).
There is a connection between sentence comprehension and reading.
Erickson’s Big Takeaways:
The goal would be for students to recognize sentence complexity when they see it in a particular content domain, to be able to deconstruct that complexity so that they can comprehend the sentence, and to be more fluent with complexity when they talk or write about the same content (Scott, p. 189).
If a reader cannot parse the types of complex sentences that are often encountered in academic texts, noamount of comprehension strategy instruction will help (Scott, p.189).