What is it about?

Reading competence is one of the main gateways to learning and is the foundation to nearly all academic subjects. Although reading competence is fundamental to learning and achievement, reading is not a natural skill. For beginning and struggling readers, the process of learning to read might be particularly frustrating. Thus, abilities to manage affect or emotions and maintain attention or focus (i.e. emotional self-regulation) are important for all, but particularly for beginning and struggling, readers. In this article, we present a model of reading competence to integrate multidisciplinary empirical research on the fit between children’s emotional self-regulation processes and their literacy contexts and how these person-in-context dynamics influence reading competence through reading motivation and engagement. We present empirical research in support of the pathways in this model of reading competence, and call for increased multidisciplinary research that takes into consideration children’s literacy contexts and their neurobiological and behavioral assets as well as vulnerabilities in order to better understand the dynamical cognitive-emotional-motivational processes that underlie the development of reading competence from early childhood through young adulthood, including the timing and mechanisms of change to target for reading interventions to have optimal impact.

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Why is it important?

In this article, we provide a contextual-developmental model of reading competence as a framework. This framework integrates empirical research on the fit between children’s developmental processes and their literacy contexts and how these dynamical cognitive-emotional-motivational processes interact with ecological or contextual factors to influence reading motivation, reading engagement, and reading competence (see Figure 1 in the article). In addition to integrating sometimes disparate areas of research, our heuristic or conceptual model serves to stimulate and guide future multi- or inter-disciplinary research directions to support reading development for typical and struggling readers from early childhood into adolescence and young adulthood.

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This page is a summary of: Pathways to Reading Competence: Emotional Self-regulation, Literacy Contexts, and Embodied Learning Processes, Reading Psychology, June 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/02702711.2020.1783145.
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