Reading Comprehension Skills: Reading is perceived by some as a simple activity that is simple to master. It is actually a complicated process that requires a variety of skills. Reading comprehension, or understanding what has been read, is the ultimate aim of reading, and these abilities together lead there.
For several reasons, reading comprehension might be difficult. Regardless of the cause, being aware of the necessary skills and the ones your child has trouble with will help you find the correct support.
6 Top Reading Comprehension Skills
Six fundamental abilities are listed below, along with advice on how to assist kids to develop each one.
A crucial phase in the reading process is decoding. Children use this ability to decode words they have heard but never seen written out. The basis for all other reading abilities is the capacity to do that.
Phonemic awareness, a foundational language skill, is necessary for decoding. (This talent is a component of a much bigger talent called phonological awareness.) The ability to perceive distinct sounds in words is called phonemic awareness (known as phonemes). Additionally, it enables students to “experiment”” with word and syllable-level sounds.
Connecting distinct sounds to individual letters is essential for decoding. Children must understand that the letter s makes the sound /s/ in order to read the word sun, for example. Understanding the relationship between a letter (or set of letters) and the normal sounds they produce is a crucial step in “sounding out” words.
What can help: By being exposed to books, songs, and rhymes, most children spontaneously develop the broad skill of phonological awareness. Others, however, do not. Actually, having issues with rhyming, counting syllables, or identifying the beginning sound in a word is one of the early indicators of reading difficulties.
Children can learn these abilities the most effectively through specialized education and practice. Children must be taught how to recognize and manipulate sounds. Additionally, you can help your child develop phonological awareness at home by reading to them and engaging them in word games.
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Children must be able to detect words without having to sound them out in order to read proficiently. The rate at which they can read and comprehend text is accelerated by fluency. Additionally, it’s crucial when young children come across irregular words like of and the that cannot be sounded out.
Every word can be difficult to sound out or decode. Word recognition is the skill of being able to instantaneously recognize full words by sight without having to sound them out.
Children who read rapidly and accurately are considered “fluent” readers.
Fluent readers read quickly and fluidly. When reading aloud, they utilize the appropriate tone of voice and combine words together to help with meaning. For effective reading comprehension, reading fluency is necessary.
What can help: For struggling readers, word recognition can be a major roadblock. Before a word becomes a “sight word” that readers naturally know, the average reader has to see it four to fourteen times. For example, children with dyslexia can require up to 40 viewings.
Many children have trouble reading fluently. To increase word recognition in children, like with other reading skills, extensive specialized teaching and practice are required.
Reading books aloud frequently will be the key factor in improving fluency. It’s crucial to choose books for youngsters that are at the proper degree of complexity.
You must comprehend the majority of the words in the text in order to comprehend what you are reading. A crucial aspect of reading comprehension is having a robust vocabulary. Vocabulary can be taught to students through instruction. However, they normally pick up on word meaning from reading and both everyday experiences.
What can help: Children’s vocabulary grows as a result of exposure to additional words. By often conversing with your youngster about a range of subjects, you can aid with vocabulary development. Try to use fresh terminology and concepts. Playing word games and telling jokes are enjoyable ways to hone this skill.
Daily reading aloud together also helps with vocabulary development. Stop and define new words as you read aloud. Encourage your youngster to read on their own as well. Your child can utilize context to determine a new word even without hearing its meaning.
Teachers can also be helpful. They can deliver clear instructions after carefully selecting amusing words to teach (instruction that is specialized and direct). They can start conversations with the students. Additionally, by playing word games in class, kids may make studying vocabulary enjoyable.
4. Construction and coherence of sentences
It may look like a writing skill to comprehend how sentences are constructed. Cohesion, the linking of concepts within and between sentences, may also be used. But reading comprehension also depends on these abilities.
Kids are better able to understand passages and full books when they are aware of how concepts connect at the sentence level. It also promotes coherence, or the capacity to link ideas to one another in a larger body of writing.
What can help: Children can learn the fundamentals of sentence structure through explicit instruction. For instance, teachers can help students connect two or more ideas through reading and writing.
5. Logic and background information
Most readers connect what they have read to what they already know. Therefore, it’s crucial for kids to read with background or past knowledge of the world. Additionally, they must have the ability to “read between the lines” and decipher meaning even when it is not explicitly stated.
Use this illustration: A young person is reading a tale about a struggling family in the 1930s. Understanding the Great Depression can help readers understand what’s going on in the novel. This background information can be used by the youngster to infer patterns and develop conclusions.
What can help: Reading, talking with others, watching movies and TV shows, and creating art can all help your youngster learn. Knowledge is developed through practical applications and life experience.
Expose your child to as many things as you can, and discuss the lessons you’ve learned from both your joint and individual experiences. Assist your youngster in drawing connections between new and prior information. additionally, ask open-ended queries that demand justifications and thought.
6. Concentration and working memory
Both of these abilities are categorized as executive function capabilities. They are distinct but connected.
When children read, their focus enables them to absorb the text’s information. They can keep that information in working memory and use it to make sense of what they’re reading and expand their knowledge.
That is also related to the capability of self-monitoring when reading. Children must be able to identify when they don’t comprehend something. Then, in order to clear up any uncertainty, they must pause, return, and reread.
What can be done to help: There are numerous strategies to assist in enhancing your child’s working memory. It’s not necessary for skill builders to feel like work. Many common games and activities might help youngsters develop working memory without them even realizing it.
Find reading content that is engaging or inspiring to assist your child pay more attention. For instance, some children might enjoy graphic novels. When anything isn’t apparent, get your youngster to stop reading and go over it again. And show how you check that what you’re reading makes sense by “thinking aloud” as you read.
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