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How to Help Learners Improve Comprehension and Reasoning Skills

Reading comprehension is often tested, but rarely is it taught. Thus, readers with poor reading comprehension never have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to improve their comprehension. The Visualizing/ Verbalizing program, developed by Nanci Bell, uses visualizing and verbalizing exercises to stimulate concept imagery—the ability to take the “parts” of what is read and put them together into a complete picture. Strengthening concept imagery helps to improve not only comprehension, but reasoning and expressive language skills as well. Workshop attendees will observe and practice these visualizing/verbalizing activities for items of differing levels of complexity, from a simple picture to a multi-paragraph passage of text. In addition, attendees will learn how to use these activities to help learners improve their comprehension and critical thinking skills.


You will need Firefox installed on your computer with the RealPlayer plug-in installed on your windows computer in order to view these videos. (This webcast will not play on an Apple computer unless you are running something like Parallels.)

Webcast Recorded: June 13, 2009
Tutor Conference
READ/San Diego

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Petrich

Dr. Jennifer PetrichJennifer Petrich earned a BA in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University (1994) and a BA in Psychology from Towson University (1995). From 1993-1997, Jennifer worked as a cognitive and reading therapist at New Heights Learning Center in Towson, Maryland, where she was trained in three Lindamood-Bell programs: Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LiPS), Visualizing/Verbalizing (V/V) and Visualizing/Conceptualizing (V/C).

In 2004, she received a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Maryland, Baltimore after completing a dissertation on developmental dyslexia. She then took a research position at the University of California, San Diego studying the visual system and has lectured there on the auditory system and the neural mechanisms of reading and reading disorders. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience at San Diego State University.

Segment 1:
General Teaching Tips
8 minutes
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Segment 2:
Using Imagery for Comprehension - Background
10 minutes
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Segment 3:
Using Imagery for Comprehension - Implementation
60 minutes
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Segment 4:
Additional Tools
4 minutes
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Segment 5:
Audience Exercise
20 minutes
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Supporting materials:


Following this workshop, you will not be a trained Lindamood-Bell clinician. To obtain Lindamood-Bell certification you must contact Lindamood-Bell and train under their instruction. In addition, any materials received in conjunction with this workshop are not official Lindamood-Bell materials and should not be used as such. If you are a volunteer tutor through a literacy program, please check with your program to see if they have official Lindamood-Bell materials for you to use with your learner. If you would like to contact Lindamood-Bell to receive certification, you can contact them at or 800-233-1819. Official Lindamood-Bell materials are available through Gander Publishing (