Reading Listening Comprehension Tutoring – The ultimate goal for literacy is to comprehend well what one is reading. As one of the Five Pillars of Reading, reading comprehension enables a child to predict outcomes, evaluate characters, deduce, and make connections to real-world events.
A child’s comprehension skills can begin to develop before becoming an independent reader. One way to do this is by reading to a child and discussing the story’s main idea, characters, and setting. Explicit teaching, modeling, and guided practice of comprehension skills are also crucial. This is especially true for students whose reading comprehension skills lag behind their peers.
A child has mastery of reading comprehension when he or she can:
- Process and understand events, dialogue, ideas, and information
- Relate new information to previous knowledge or what they already know
- Adjust current knowledge in relation to new ideas or information and look at ideas in different ways or standpoints
- Identify and recall key points in a story or other reading material
- Understand hidden or underlying meanings (read between the lines)
Key Comprehension Strategies for Students
When reading, comprehension begins as the student identifies the initial meaning from previewing a text or source material. It builds as one continues to read through predicting, making inferences, synthesizing, and seeking answers.
Once reading is done, the student creates a deeper understanding of the text by reviewing, going over parts of the text, discussion, and reflection while also relating these new information to his or her own experiences or current knowledge.
Improving one’s comprehension skills can be done through the following strategies:
- Making connections or using background knowledge – Students relate new information with their existing knowledge, which includes their own experiences, other texts they have read, and what they know of the world.
- Asking questions – Students ask themselves questions as they go through the text, including how they feel towards what they are reading and the author’s purpose. This helps the reader process and summarize information and identify main ideas and underlying meanings.
- Visualizing – Students create mental images of the printed word to understand events and situations in the text. Studies show that visualizing allows readers to have better recall of what they have read.
- Determining the importance of a text – This means that a student can differentiate between crucial and interesting information and fact and opinion; identify cause and effect and themes; compare and contrast ideas; determine problems and solutions; summarize; list steps in a process; and recall information that answer specific questions.
- Making inferences – Students take clues from the text and combine it with their background knowledge and identify answers to underlying themes.
- Synthesizing – Students are able to use new information in combination with existing knowledge to create original ideas or new perspectives.
For students to learn these comprehension strategies, modeling, practice, supervision, and feedback must be provided. Read more about Staten Island Letters ’ reading listening comprehension tutoring program.