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Strategies for Improving the Reading Comprehension Essay

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Introduction

Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). It is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. Like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Reading Comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text/message. This understanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text/message. Proficient reading depends on the ability to recognize words quickly and effortlessly. If word recognition is difficult, students use too much of their processing capacity to read individual words, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what is read. Skill Development

Sub-lexical Reading
Sub-lexical reading, involves teaching reading by associating characters or groups of characters with sounds or by using Phonics or Synthetic phonics learning and teaching methodology. Sometimes argued to be in
competition with whole language methods. Lexical Reading

Lexical reading involves acquiring words or phrases without attention to the characters or groups of characters that compose them or by using Whole language learning and teaching methodology. Sometimes argued to be in competition with Phonics and Synthetic phonicsmethods, and that the whole language approach tends to impair learning how to spell. Other methods of teaching and learning to read have developed, and become somewhat controversial.

Learning to read in a second language, especially in adulthood, may be a different process than learning to read a native language in childhood. There are cases of very young children learning to read without having been taught. Such was the case with Truman Capote who reportedly taught himself to read and write at the age of five. There are also accounts of people who taught themselves to read by comparing street signs or Biblical passages to speech. Brain activity in young and older children can be used to predict future reading skill. Cross model mapping between the orthographic and phonologic areas in the brain are critical in reading. Thus, the amount of activation in the left dorsal inferior frontal gyros while performing reading tasks can be used to predict later reading ability and advancement. Young children with higher phonological word characteristic processing have significantly better reading skills later on than older children who focus on whole-word orthographic representation. Methods of Reading

There are several types and methods of reading, with differing rates that can be attained for each, for different kinds of material and purposes: Subvocalized reading combines sight reading with internal sounding of the words as if spoken. Advocates of speed reading claim it can be a bad habit that slows reading and comprehension, but other studies indicate the reverse, particularly with difficult texts. Speed reading is a collection of methods for increasing reading speed without an unacceptable reduction in comprehension or retention. Methods include skimming or the chunking of words in a body of text to increase the rate of reading. It is closely connected to speed learning. Proofreading is a kind of reading for the
purpose of detecting typographical errors. One can learn to do it rapidly, and professional proofreaders typically acquire the ability to do so at high rates, faster for some kinds of material than for others, while they may largely suspend comprehension while doing so, except when needed to select among several possible words that a suspected typographic error allows. Rereading is reading a book more than once. “One cannot read a book: one can only reread it,” Vladimir Nabokov once said.

Structure-proposition-evaluation (SPE) method, popularized by Mortimer Adler in How to Read a Book, mainly for non-fiction treatise, in which one reads a writing in three passes: (1) for the structure of the work, which might be represented by an outline; (2) for the logical propositions made, organized into chains of inference; and (3) for evaluation of the merits of the arguments and conclusions. This method involves suspended judgment of the work or its arguments until they are fully understood. Survey-question-read-recite-review (SQ3R) method, often taught in public schools, which involves reading toward being able to teach what is read, and would be appropriate for instructors preparing to teach material without having to refer to notes during the lecture.[citation needed] Multiple intelligences-based methods, which draw upon the reader’s diverse ways of thinking and knowing to enrich his or her appreciation of the text. Reading is fundamentally a linguistic activity: one can basically comprehend a text without resorting to other intelligences, such as the visual (e.g., mentally “seeing” characters or events described), auditory (e.g., reading aloud or mentally “hearing” sounds described), or even the logical intelligence (e.g., considering “what if” scenarios or predicting how the text will unfold based on context clues). However, most readers already use several intelligences while reading, and making a habit of doing so in a more disciplined manner—i.e., constantly, or after every paragraph—can result in more vivid, memorable experience. Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) reading involves presenting the words in a sentence one word at a time at the same location on the display screen, at a specified eccentricity. RSVP eliminates inter-word saccades, limits intra-word saccades, and prevents reader control of fixation times (Legge, Mansfield, ; Chung, 2001). RSVP controls for differences in reader eye movement, and
consequently is often used to measure reading speed in experiments.

Types of Reading
Slow reading is the intentional reduction in the speed of reading, carried out to increase comprehension or pleasure. The concept appears to have originated in the study of philosophy and literature as a technique to more fully comprehend and appreciate a complex text. More recently, there has been increased interest in slow reading as result of the slow movement and its focus on decelerating the pace of modern life. Speed reading is a technique used to improve one’s ability to read quickly. Speed reading methods include chunking and eliminating subvocalization. The many available speed reading training programs include books, videos, software, and seminars. Reading Disability

Dyslexia is a learning disability that manifests itself as a difficulty with word decoding, reading comprehension and/or reading fluency. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. It is estimated that dyslexia affects between 5–17% of the population. Dyslexia has been proposed to have three cognitive subtypes (auditory, visual and attention), although individual cases of dyslexia are better explained by the underlying neuropsychological deficits and co-occurring learning disabilities (e.g. attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, math disability, etc.). Although not an intellectual disability, it is considered both a learning disability and a reading disability. Dyslexia and IQ are not interrelated, since reading and cognition develop independently in individuals who have dyslexia. Hyperlexic children are characterized by having average or above average IQs and word-reading ability well above what would be expected given their ages and IQs. Hyperlexia can be viewed as a super ability in which word recognition ability goes far above expected levels of skill. Some hyperlexics, however, have trouble understanding speech. Most or perhaps all children with hyperlexia lie on the autism spectrum. Between 5–10% of autistic children have been estimated to be hyperlexic.

PURPOSES OF READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES
Reading is one of the most important academic tasks faced by students. Strategies designed to improve reading comprehension may have any number of purposes. To enhance understanding of the content information presented in a text To improve understanding of the organization of information in a text To improve attention and concentration while reading

To make reading a more active process
To increase personal involvement in the reading material
To promote critical thinking and evaluation of reading material To enhance registration and recall of text information in memory Reading is all about information. It’s not about the number of words you read, but the amount of value you extract from them. The key to improved reading comprehension isn’t moving your eyes across a page more quickly. It’s about creating a mental framework that helps you process words and ideas. With a bit of practice, anyone can read faster and more productively. The steps outlined below will help you to extract the maximum amount of information in the least amount of time. Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text/message. This understanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text/message The use of strategies like summarizing after each paragraph have come to be seen as effective strategies for building students’ comprehension. The idea is that students will develop stronger reading comprehension skills on their own if the teacher gives them explicit mental tools for unpacking text. The use of effective comprehension strategies is highly important when learning to improve reading comprehension. These strategies provide specific instructions for developing and retaining comprehension skills. Implementing the following instructions with intermittent feedback has been found to improve reading comprehension across all ages, specifically those affected by mental disabilities.

The use of effective comprehension strategies is highly important when learning improve reading comprehension. These strategies provide specific instructions for developing and retaining comprehension skills. Implementing the following instructions with intermittent feedback has been found to
improve reading comprehension across all ages, specifically those affected by mental disabilities.

ADVANTAGES OF READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES
Improved reading comprehension skills can positively impact many facets of student academic performance. Students who have effectively read and understood reading assignments are better prepared for class, leading to improved class participation and more accurate and complete notes. Performance on exams and quizzes may be greatly improved as students become more proficient and effective readers. Student interest and motivation in a subject is often fostered when one understands the reading assignments. In addition, as students gain proficiency in reading, self-esteem improves. COMMON READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES

As indicated previously, failures in reading comprehension are usually attributable to one or more factors: lack of interest, lack of concentration, failure to understand a word, a sentence, or relationships among sentences, or failure to understand how information fits together. Most of the strategies discussed here are arranged according to these factors. Some of the reading strategies may be used by students themselves, while others require intervention by a facilitator either initially to introduce the strategy or constantly to reinforce key ideas. Most of the strategies are designed for use by students, but a few are intended to be used by instructors only.

Conclusion

I conclude that Improving Reading Comprehension is the best way to improve reading speed at least for me. There are two things I learned from my stuttered attempts at speed reading: (1) The best way to increase reading speed for me is to simply stop re-reading sentences that I already read. I do this unconsciously usually because I didn’t fully understand the sentence the first time. Better reading comprehension reduces this. (2) Attempting to speed read is probably a waste of time for me because most of the material I read is technical, so comprehension is usually the bottleneck to getting
through the material.

Reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process)
Rayner, Keith; Barbara Foorman, Charles Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark Seidenberg (November 2001). “How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading”. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2 (2): 31–74. Adams, Marilyn McCord (1994). Beginning to read: thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-51076-6.OCLC 62108874. http://www.muskingum.edu/~cal/database/general/reading.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process)#Skill_development http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process)#Methods
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_reading
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_disability
http://www.muskingum.edu/~cal/database/general/reading.html
^ Rayner, Keith; Barbara Foorman, Charles Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark Seidenberg (November 2001). “How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading”. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2 (2): 31–74. a b Pressley, Michael (2006). Reading instruction that works: the case for balanced teaching. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 1-59385-229-0.OCLC 61229782 Berkeley, Sherry (2007). “Reading comprehension strategy instruction and attribution retraining for secondary students with disabilities”. Dissertation Abstracts: Humanities and Social Sciences 68 (3-A): 949.

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