Reading Comprehension Essay

906 words - 4 pages

The National Reading Panel, convened on behalf of Congress in 1997 to assess the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read, suggests in a 58-page teacher's guide intitled "Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read" that students' reading comprehension can be greatly improved by intructing them to use specific strategies that will actively increase their ability to understand and retain what they read.
The true reason for reading any text is comprehension. Just as vocabulary can be taught, the ability to thouroughly understand what one reads can be taught. While there are several strategies that may be used to improve a students ...view middle of the document...

This provides students with a powerful tool which will help them focus on text structure as they read, examine and visually represent relationships within a text and enable them to write organized and comprehensive summaries of a text.
Questioning students in order to guide and monitor their progress is a time honored teqnique in the classroom. Whan applied to teaching students reading comprehension, research shows that teacher questioning is particularly effective in advancing a student's ability to learn from reading. Questioning students on the specifics of what they read will help them to focus attention on what they are to learn from the text. It gives them a purpose for reading and helps them to think actively about what they are reading, while they are reading it. It also supports the use of other reading comprehension strategies such as monitoring their own comprehension and summarizing what they have read.
While asking students questions is effective at helping them focus on learning from what they read, teaching them to generate their own questions improves their active processing of text. By asking themselves questions that require them to integrate information found in different segments of text, students will become more aware of what they are reading and more able to identify and resolve any problems they may be having in their understanding of the text. As an example of generating questions, students may be taught to ask themselves what the main idea is in a text and to identify where the supporting statements are.
Recognizing story structure is the next strategy in reading comprehension and refers to the way in which a story is organized into a plot. Students who are...

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