The goal of reading is understanding. In order to understand print, a child must be able to decode the words on the page and to extract meaning. A large body of research focuses on how children learn to decode text and how best to foster
children’s decoding skills. In contrast, we know much less about the process of reading comprehension in children. In this booklet we first consider what is required in order to ‘read for meaning’. We then move on to discuss children who have difficulties with reading comprehension. Our aim is to enable teachers to assess individual differences in reading and to foster the comprehension strategies that characterize fluent reading.