Reading Comprehension

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Reading comprehension is indisputably the cornerstone of strong literacy. In short, reading comprehension refers to the cognitive ability to derive meaning from text. Thus, an adult who cannot decode a common street sign that reads "walk" or "stop" has a basic deficiency in his or her comprehension. It doesn't require a doctor or analyst to warn of the trouble this portends.

Children who experience difficulty with reading comprehension aren't alone, but that doesn't mean the problem should go unremedied. Comprehension is a common stumbling block, as it integrates vocabulary, syntax, cognition, and a host of subtleties that pose just as many problems for adults as children. As a consequence, many parents are unable to spot comprehension problems in their children when they arise.

Learning Reading Comprehension

There are great supplemental learning aides on the market that can give children a head start on reading comprehension and even bump their reading level up by an entire grade. Many of these use pictures and interactive tutorials to make reading fun for grade-school-age kids, who subsequently develop a real enthusiasm for reading. The difficulties that come with tackling more advanced material are much easier for these kids to overcome when they view learning with a positive attitude, which is what these programs are designed to cultivate.

Since it's impossible for students to learn reading comprehension in a vacuum, lessons are generally integrated through stories. Children become so lost in the narrative that they often fail to realize that they're learning. This is the goal, of course, not only of reading comprehension materials but of learning in its broadest sense.


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