On page 182, Walczyk discusses “compensatory mechanisms” and the conditions under which they may be used. What does he mean by “compensatory mechanisms”? Compensatory mechanisms are strategies or “tools” that students can use to help with comprehension of a text. For example, slow reading rate, look back or reread text, pause to gather and organize information, etc.
Walczyk argues that older readers and adults compensate for inefficient lower level processes, limited resources or difficulty of text when reading under normal (non-pressured) conditions? How do you think Walczyk might explain the poor readers’ failure to monitor their comprehension in the Long and Chong (2001) study?* Recall that subjects read passages in Long and Chong’s study at their own pace by pressing a space bar to present the next line, which erased the current line. Even though participants could read at their own pace in the Long and Chong study, they could still feel pressure in the situation. If they are a struggling reader, they are probably having to focus on decoding words and actually reading the selection, which would make it difficult to comprehend and recall what they read. When I was reading the passages, I felt pressured because I was worried about if I would remember what I read when I was finished, and I could not look back in the text. In that study, the participants were at a disadvantage because could not use all of the compensatory mechanisms. They could slow their reading rate and pause to gather and organize information, but they could not look back in the text and they could only reread the line of text which they were presently reading.