Strategies For Reading Comprehension

There are 10 strategies can be practically applied to your classroom techniques.

1.        Identified the purpose in reading.

Efficient reading consists of clearly identifying the purpose in reading something. By doing so, you know what you are looking for and can weed out potentioal distracting information.

2.        Use graphemic rules and patterns to aid in bottom-up mapping or decoding.

3.        Use efficient silent reading techniques for improving fluency.

If you are teaching beginning level students, this particular startegy will not apply because they are still struggling with the control of a limited vocabulary and grammatical patterns. Your intermediate to advanced level students need not be speed readers, but you can help them increase reading rate and comprehension efficiency by teaching a few silent reading rules:

  • You don’t need to “pronounce” each word to yourself
  • Try to visually perceive more than one word at a time, preferably phrases
  • Unless a word is absolutely crucial to global understanding, skip over it and try to infer its meaning from its context.

4.        Skim the text for main ideas.

Skimming consists of quickly running one’s eyes across a whole text (such as essay, article, or chapter) for its gist. Skimming gives readers the advantage of being able to predict the purpose of the passage, the main topic, or message, and possibly some of developing or supporting ideas.

5.        Scan the text for specific information.

Scanning is quickly searching for some particular piece or pieces of information in a text.

6.        Use semantic mapping or clustering.

The strategy of semantic mapping, or grouping ideas into meaningful clusters, helps the reader to provide some order to the chaos.

7.        Guess when you aren’t certain.

This is an extremely broad category. Learners can use guessing to their advantage to the following:

  • Guess the meaning of a word
  • Guaess a grammatical relationship
  • Guess a discourse relationship
  • Infer implied meaning
  • Guess about cultural reference
  • Guess content message

8.        Analyze vocabulary

Several techniques are useful here:

  • Look for prefixes that may give clues
  • Look for suffixes that may indicate what part of speech it is
  • Look for roots that are familiar
  • Look for grammatical contexts that may signal information
  • Look at the semantic context for clues

9.        Distinguish between literal and implied meanings.

This requires the application of shopisticated top-down processing skills. The fact that not all language can be interpreted appropriately by attending to its literal, syntatic surface structure makes special demnads on readers. Implied meaning usually has to be derived from processing pragmatic information.

10.    Capitalize on discourse markers to process relationships.

many discourse markers in English signal relationships among ideas as expressed through phrases, clause, and sentences. A clear comprehension of such markers can greatly enhance learners’ reading efficiency.


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Simple and complex at the same time, but not twisted, of course!

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