Key Strategies for Better Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is a crucial skill to master. Think of it as the gateway between decoding a text and understanding it. By understanding what you read, you’ll be able to process and comprehend it more efficiently. A great way to develop your comprehension is by following some reading comprehension strategies.

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    There are many ways to practice and enhance your comprehension. This guide will discuss all that and more. But first things first, what is comprehension?

    A little kid reading a book with a big letter E on one page.
    Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

    The Meaning of Comprehension

    Comprehension means understanding words while reading. It is the process by which we effectively take in written information from articles, blogs, and novels. 

    This process is different from memory or other models of cognition, such as memorizing and learning. Simply memorizing or learning something does not necessarily mean comprehension. Comprehension entails understanding and making sense of the content that you read.

    It is the bridge between thought and language, and it is comprised of five main steps:

    • Process the information – look for keywords and phrases; evaluate their importance and meaning
    • Imagine the words – keep in mind and picture what’s being discussed; 
    • Make connections – find out what others have written about to support the idea;
    • Build a conclusion – summarize what was written and share what you think happened;
    • Reflect on the text – think and determine the more significant implications of the information you have learned.

    Comprehension requires sophisticated skills from the fields of processing and reasoning. Efficient and thorough comprehension does not come naturally to everyone. It takes hard work and perseverance to master.

    Importance of Good Comprehension

    Reading comprehension is one of the most critical skills that a student should possess. This skill is essential for students as it forms a basis for grasping many subjects in school and everyday life.

    Here are some of the benefits of having an enhanced reading comprehension:

    Better Understanding

    Great reading comprehension strategies aid understanding. And it helps children absorb new ideas and knowledge.

    When children understand what they read better, their mental performance and attitude toward learning also increase. For example, if children are slacking in lessons, they may be doing it because they can’t understand what is being taught. However, they are more likely to attend the class when they understand what is being taught.

    Enhanced Concentration

    Enhanced comprehension can enhance your reading concentration. It’s easier to focus on the more significant ideas if you understand the smaller ones. With better comprehension, you can read more efficiently, lower how often you re-read specific sentences, and memorize texts for short-term and long-term retention.

    Developing Critical Thinking

    When children are skilled with comprehension, they can better separate fact from fiction. They will distinguish bias from objectivity and comprehend other people’s emotions and thoughts. All of these build a better understanding of the world around them.

    8 Highly Effective Reading Comprehension Strategies

    No matter your age, you can still improve your reading comprehension. Children, in particular, require support from their teachers to do this.

    If you want to level up your reading skills, check out this list of great strategies.

    Reading Slowly and in Context

    When quickly skimming through a page, research shows that you will only absorb about five percent of its information. But after reading slowly and in context, you will be able to understand the information and the text’s main points cognitively.

    It’s best to take pauses between sentences. This helps give you time to think about what you read. You can also use a pop-up dictionary to help you figure out the unknown words and definitions. And this leads to a broader vocabulary.

    Connect with Prior Knowledge

    If you connect to what you already know, you stand a greater chance of understanding the new material. This strategy involves teaching kids to relate the story they are reading to their own experiences.

    If they read about a lizard, they could talk about a lizard they encountered at home. Consider the similarities and differences between your experiences and those of the characters in the story.

    Repetition

    Repetition is one of the key reading comprehension strategies. To grasp ideas, it is essential to amplify them multiple times. This can be done via the physical activity of repetition or mentally by reviewing connections between ideas. 

    It is important to do this over time – pausing between paragraphs to review what you have read and learned.

    Reading Aloud

    Kids are often encouraged to read aloud by their teachers in the classroom. This is because reading aloud helps them with pronouncing difficult words and concepts. It also helps them understand complex topics and sentences.

    Kids need to spend much more time reading aloud, depending on their reading skills. Reading aloud also elevates their comprehension. Boosting your child’s comprehension skills can drastically affect their literature reading skills.

    Visualizing

    When readers visualize what they read, they imagine the objects, people, places, and events described in the text in a three-dimensional graphic.

    Visualizing will help with comprehension by better engaging the readers and giving them a better understanding of the text. Because reading with purpose requires the reader to engage their senses, including sound, sight, and touch, it also leads to more retention of information.

    Predicting

    Giving kids the opportunity to predict how the story goes next engages their imagination. This allows them to focus on the story and escape the monotonous tasks they’re dealing with while learning.

    Predicting the outcome of a story helps children understand the plot and the characters and delve into the characters’ emotions. When children make predictions ahead of time, they are spontaneous. And being spontaneous is a vital part of learning for any age.

    Questioning

    After reading a book, teachers should question what the kids have learned. You can ask them about specific story parts to get them thinking. This will help them recall pieces of information and absorb them better.

    When they answer these questions, they think about the story and make connections. Rather than answering “yes,” or “no,” questions, children should give you concrete responses for their thinking. This makes them more comfortable and confident as they answer questions about books they’ve read.

    Mind Maps

    According to research, visual representations of concepts and ideas can help students organize and remember what they learn. Students can create a diagram or graphic organizer to visualize what they are reading and make connections between them.

    An in-depth graphic organizer can either be as cleverly structured as a doodle note. Learning objectives are useful in determining the appropriate mind maps for each lesson.

    Takeaway

    Learning to read better can make all the difference in communicating with the world, especially when taking part in intellectual discussions. Now that you’ve finished this article, you know the many benefits of enhanced comprehension.

    And by following the strategies provided above, you’re sure to understand and recall any resource you read. Implementing a reading strategy is a process that cannot be achieved overnight. Be patient. Set a goal. Go after it one day at a time.

    Key Strategies for Better Reading Comprehension

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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