This publication contains papers discussed at a British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) seminar at the University of Edinburgh in September 1977.

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The first two chapters present views of comprehension from psycholinguistic and discourse analysis perspectives, respectively. In the third chapter, an accessible overview of listening comprehension is offered, taking in the interactive factors involved in speaking and listening; the complexity of the speaking process; and the differing functions of written and spoken language. In the fourth chapter, Reading comprehension, the author discusses how children learn to read; refers to inhibitors to and determinants of comprehension, and, finally, suggests how reading comprehension can be improved. In the fifth chapter, Materials for listening comprehension, ‘fill in the blank’ exercises are criticised and more communicative activities are illustrated and recommended. The final chapter, Developing materials for reading comprehension, makes recommendations specifically for the development, selection and use of reading materials in ESP.

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