University of Edinburgh

Reading and Reading Development

Presented on Thursday, 27th October 2016


This session provided research-informed teaching on reading and reading development, focusing on both the processes of learning to read (word reading) and reading to learn (reading comprehension). These are the building blocks of learning in schools. Although this course was not specifically focused on sensory impairments, how visual impairment and hearing impairment can impact on reading and reading comprehension development and strategies were explored. Participants developed their knowledge and understanding of Word Reading and Reading Comprehension. For example:

Word reading

  • The cognitive skills that contribute to early word reading success and how best to develop these.
  • Different approaches to word reading instruction (e.g., phonics, whole word, use of context).
  • Discussion of additional/amended strategies for word reading, for children with hearing and visual impairments.

Reading comprehension

  • The cognitive skills and reading activities that support children’s reading comprehension.
  • Different approaches to reading comprehension instruction (e.g., reciprocal teaching, mental imagery, vocabulary instruction).

Participants said:

"I will take back the information about comprehension with one of my P7 pupils (severely deaf) to tackle some of the areas where she is struggling now."

"Good to get ideas from other professions. Good to get ideas for supporting and developing comprehension."

"Input on ASN pupils interesting alongside the "typical" pupil."


Target Audience

All those working with children in schools, including teachers who work with learners with visual and hearing impairments, support staff and educational psychologists.


Dr Sarah McGeown, Lecturer, Developmental Psychology, Deputy Head of Institute, University of Edinburgh.


10.10 am Developing and supporting word reading skills  

1.15 pm Developing and supporting reading comprehension

3.50 pm Course Evaluation and close