Fundamental, Cognitive, and Environmental Factors That Affect Reading Comprehension


Listen to the full episode to hear the causes for a lack of reading comprehension in students:

One, if not the biggest, thing we focus on as literacy teachers is getting our students to be successful readers. But as upper elementary teachers, you know that you will have several students in your class who struggle with reading comprehension. This then becomes a major focus in our classrooms, but we know a student’s lack of reading comprehension can vary based on the student’s needs. So, how do we identify the root of the problem? In today’s episode, I’m sharing the different skills, processes, and factors that contribute to a student’s lack of reading comprehension.

As teachers, it’s in our nature to try and fix problems before they happen or quickly implement strategies that improve a skill any student is lacking. However, when it comes to a student’s lack of reading comprehension, it’s important to work backward and get to the root before planning proper intervention techniques. In my experience, if a student is struggling with reading comprehension, it’s because they struggle with either fundamental skills, cognitive processes, or environmental factors. I’m going to highlight each of these areas and identify 14 potential causes as to why reading comprehension is difficult for a student in your class.

Being a successful reader is more than just reading words on a page; it’s also the ability to analyze, comprehend, and explain what’s happening in the text. So, when students lack reading comprehension skills, they don’t have the necessary tools to be successful readers. In order to help them with this, we first need to identify what they’re struggling with in the area of reading comprehension before we plan intervention strategies for the student. Stay tuned to next week’s episode, where I unpack the reading comprehension causes shared today and dive further into strategies and interventions to help your students!

In this episode on causes of lack of reading comprehension, I share:
  • Three main focus areas for students who struggle with reading comprehension: fundamental skills, cognitive processes, and environmental factors
  • The causes of each of these areas in order to bring awareness in identifying a student’s struggle
  • Examples of each skill, process, or factor that students are lacking and how it’s connected to poor comprehension 
  • A preview of what’s to come on next week’s episode with reading comprehension intervention strategies for fundamental factors
Resources Mentioned:
Connect with Megan:
  • Join The Daily Writing Disguise Membership here
  • Shop my TpT store here
  • Receive emails from me here
  • Follow me on Instagram here
  • Read my blog posts here
About The Literacy Dive Podcast:

Do you find yourself seeking new implementations when it comes to literacy instruction? Do you crave fresh ideas and engaging lessons to transform your students into skilled readers and writers? The Literacy Dive Podcast was created to provide educators, like you, with actionable steps and strategies to improve teaching reading and writing. 

Your host, Megan Polk, is the creator and owner of The Literacy Dive, a company that creates educational, literacy curriculum that aims to close the gap and support children in reaching mastery. Being a literacy specialist and having over a decade of teaching grades K-5, Megan knows the power of collaboration and working alongside teachers and parents to provide them with the support, confidence, and resources they need to meet students where they are.

Dive in each Monday as Megan and her guests unpack an element of literacy or various topics relatable to educators. Here are some topics covered in this literacy podcast: writing strategies, reading comprehension, the writing process, the science of reading, and small group instruction.

Tune in on your favorite podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Amazon, and more!

If you enjoy this podcast and find the content helpful, please consider leaving a rating, feedback review, and/or sharing this podcast with a friend!

Share it:


You might also like...

Hey, I'm Megan!

I am a literacy specialist and curriculum designer who loves sharing tips and ideas to help students thrive in literacy! It brings me joy to await those a-ha moments and to see light bulbs turn on!

I have a huge passion for reading and writing and love to co-mingle the two any chance I get! You can expect to learn new strategies and ways to keep your students engaged during your literacy block! I am so glad you’re here!

Find it Fast

Browse the Blog