Sunday 14 January 2018

Interpretation - not limited to 'retrieval' and 'inference'

The SATs comprehension questions are limited to 'retrieval', 'inference', chronology and presentation. In fact, 'interpretation' is a more flexible, nuanced and more profound response than is allowed by SATs comprehension questions.

Retrieval: 'Billy had a blue hat. What colour was his hat?' 

'Blue' 'Correct'. 

'It was raining. Why was he wearing a hat?' 
'Because he supports Chelsea.' 
'Wrong, that's interpretation'. 
Inference says 'Because it was raining' is the one correct answer allowed.

If children choose books and read them for pleasure, they effortlessly absorb the patterns, conventions, forms , tactics and motifs of written language. They develop *interpretation* of these. This is high order thinking.

Interpretation involves the many processes of 'reader-response' that I've outlined in a 'matrix' 

(see May 22 2017 on this blog 

If you want to make 'interpretation' explicit then James Durran from NATE turned my matrix into a set of 'trigger' questions, here:

or in my booklet 'Poetry and Stories in Primary and Secondary Schools' available through my website

or from Bookmarks Bookshop, Roving Books or Newham Books.