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From Wikipedia

Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a writing.

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.

Many educators in the USA believe that children need to learn to analyze text (comprehend it) even before they can read it on their own, and comprehension instruction generally begins in pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten. But other US educators consider this reading approach to be completely backward for very young children, arguing that the children must learn how to decode the words in a story through phonics before they can analyze the story itself.

During the last century comprehension lessons usually comprised students answering teachers' questions, writing responses to questions on their own, or both. The whole group version of this practice also often included "Round-robin reading", wherein teachers called on individual students to read a portion of the text (and sometimes following a set order). In the last quarter of the 20th century, evidence accumulated that the read-test methods assessed comprehension more than they taught it. The associated practice of "round robin" reading has also been questioned and eliminated by many educators.

Instead of using the prior read-test method, research studies have concluded that there are much more effective ways to teach comprehension. Much work has been done in the area of teaching novice readers a bank of "reading strategies," or tools to interpret and analyze text. There is not a definitive set of strategies, but common ones include summarizing what you have read, monitoring your reading to make sure it is still making sense, and analyzing the structure of the text (e.g., the use of headings in science text). Some programs teach students how to self monitor whether they are understanding and provide students with tools for fixing comprehension problems.

Instruction in comprehension strategy use often involves the gradual release of responsibility, wherein teachers initially explain and model strategies. Over time, they give students more and more responsibility for using the strategies until they can use them independently. This technique is generally associated with the idea of self-regulation and reflects social cognitive theory, originally conceptualized by Albert Bandura.

Teaching reading comprehension

The U.S. National Reading Panel conducted a comprehensive literature search on teaching reading comprehension. They concluded that (1) vocabulary knowledge, (2) reading comprehension instruction based on reading strategies, and (3) practices were critical to effective reading comprehension teaching.

One strategy for reading comprehension is the technique called SQ3R. This stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. In order to get an understanding of the text, you should survey the chapters. This consists of quickly looking at the title, headings and any subheadings. Look at any end of chapter questions as well. While surveying, you ask questions about the topics you have scanned, such as, "What did my teacher say about this chapter?"

The next thing is to begin reading. In a chapter book, you would read the majority of the words. In a textbook, just read quickly for the key words. There are words seen in the chapter questions, teacher made questions and in the titles or subtitles of the chapter.

After reading a portion or section of the book, recite what you have read out loud. By orally summarizing what you just read it helps to cement the content in your memory.

The last technique is top review what you have read again. By writing down key facts from the chapter and reviewing it, you will better understand the information. You can also check the website "Study Guides and Strategies" []


Several theories of vocabulary instruction exist, namely, one focused on intensive instruction of a few high value words, one focused on broad instruction of many useful words, and a third focused on strategies for learning new words.

The idea of focusing intensely on a few words was popularized by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan in their book for teachers called Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (2002). They argued that words occur in three "tiers," the lowest (tier 1) being common words such as eat and fish, the top (tier 3) being very content-specific words such as photosynthesis and geopolitical. The tier 2 words were what they considered general academic vocabulary, words with many uses in academic contexts, such as analyze and frequent. Beck et al. suggested that teachers focus on tier 2 words and that they should teach fewer of these words with greater intensity. They suggested that teachers offer multiple examples and develop activities to help students practice these words in increasingly independent ways.

The method of focusing of broad instruction on many words was developed by Andrew Biemiller. He argued, contra Beck et al., that more words would benefit students more, even if the instruction was short and teacher-directed. He suggested that teachers teach a large number of words before reading a book to students, by merely giving short definitions, such as synonyms, and then pointing out the words and their meaning while reading the book to students (Biemiller & Boote, 2006). The method contrasts with the Beck et al. approach by emphasizing quantity versus quality. There is no evidence to suggest the primacy of either approach.

The final vocabulary technique, strategies for learning new words, can be further subdivided into instruction on using context and instruction on using morphemes, or meaningful units within words to learn their meaning. Morphemic instruction has been shown to produce positive outcomes for students reading and vocabulary knowledge, but context has proved unreliable as a strategy and it is no longer considered a useful strategy to teach students. This conclusion does not disqualify the value in "learning" morphemic analysis" - prefixes, suffixes and roots - but rather suggests that it be imparted incidentally and in context. Accordingly, there are methods designed to achieve this, such as Incidental Morpheme Analysis (Manzo, Manzo, Thomas, 2004, p. 163-4).

Reading strategies

Before the 1980s, little comprehension instruction occurred in the United States (National Reading Panel, 2000). Palinscar and Brown (1984) developed a technique called reciprocal teaching that taught students to predict, summarize, clarify, and ask questions for sections of a text. The technique had positive outcomes. Since then, 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 t

From Yahoo Answers

Question:Read the following passage, and then answer the questions: On a September day in 1991, two Germans were climbing the mountains between Austria and Italy. High up on a mountain pass, they found a body of a man lying on the ice. At that height (3,200 meters) the ice is usually permanent. But 1991 had been an especially warm year. The mountain ice had melted more than usual and so the body had come to the surface. It was laying face downward. The skeleton was in perfect condition, except for a large wound in the head. There was still skin on the bones and the remains of some clothes. The hands were still holding the wooden handle of an axe. On the feet there were simple leather and cloth boots. Nearby was a pair of gloves made of tree bark and a holder for arrows. Who was this man? How and when had he died? Everybody had a different answer to these questions. The mountain climbers who had found the body said it seemed thousands of years old. But others thought that it might be before this century. Perhaps it was the body of a soldier who died in World War I. In fact several World War I soldiers had already been found in that area of the mountains. On the other hand, a Swiss woman believed it might be her father. He had died in these mountains 20 years before and his body had never been found. A- Answer the following questions: 4- What struck the two German climbers about the body? And what is ment by the word (struck) in the previous question?

Answers:The word "struck" is being used in its connotative sense, in other words, not as the dictionary definition of struck/strike which means to hit. Rather, it refers to what the Germans "noticed about the man in the ice; what was particularly interesting, unusual, out of the ordinary, important. Now that you know what the question means, what do you think the two Germans particularly noticed about the body in the ice? This part you can answer yourself.

Question:i am an English teacher, and i teach grade 6 boys. i need some passages as a reading about codes, pastimes and spies. also i need some funny exercises as grammar and activities. can you help me??

Answers:Some good websites to check out are,,, or This is where i get a majority of my comprehension passages from. Usually, i have to change the questions though in order to make them more challenging for my enrichment students.

Question:Rules of Reading and Comprehension, Letter by Letter, Word by Word and Passage by Passage? For example: From the Beatles: " I Read the News Today" How to read this as a passage, as a rhythm of words, word by word (I, Read, The, News, Today) and as each letter by letter ( I stand for, R stands for, e stands for, a stands for, d stands for etc.) and back to the Comprehension of the Passage until Contentment kicks in or not, but HOW! Gema Suparmanputra Onbekend to answer that: "Only be Kind, when You Don't Feel Terrorized". Still would like to learn the rules...

Answers:I can't remember either not being able to read or having any trouble learning to read, and I remember being three. It's always been second nature. I'm pretty sure I see all the letters, recognize words, and read whole passages, because I am a champion speller with a mammoth vocabulary, but I have one hell of a time with Indonesian names and the like. I have to stop and sound out "Gema Suparmanputra Onbekend" as if I'm in first grade.

Question:Hello, I am currently studying for SAT. I have a problem in Critical Reading section. In Short-Passage Reading Comprehension, I generally do good, but I do poorly on the Long-Passage Reading Comprehension. I try skimming and others but I always end up not really get the materials, and skimming seemed not to work on Non-Fiction passage. What kind of methods or strategies do you use when handling SAT-Critical Section: Long-Passage Reading Comprehension? How does skimming work on the Non-Fiction passages?

Answers:I'm assuming your problem is you have trouble paying attention while you're reading the passage? My advice: read it sentence by sentence. In your head, literally visualize what the text is saying. It takes longer, but it definitely helps.

From Youtube

How to Break Down a Science Reading Comprehension Passage expert Dana walks through an example of how you can break down one of the toughest question types on the GMAT--the Science RC passage.

How to Approach SAT Reading Passage Questions :In this prepcast, we'll discuss how to handle the reading passage questions on the SAT exam. You might be surprised, but these questions are less about comprehension than knowing what to look for.