What Affects Reading Comprehension Skills?
Reading Comprehension means how much of the information being read is understood and remembered. Reading Comprehension can be adversely affected by several factors including: decoding ability, background knowledge of information being read, fluency rate, sight word knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, and interest level of material.
For example, a person who has never played golf, and never wants to, might have a lower reading comprehension level when reading an article based on golf. This person wouldn’t have the background knowledge because he never played golf, or cared enough to learn about golf. He might not have the vocabulary knowledge to know what some of the words mean such as “birdie” or “hole in one”. He might have no interest in golf and find the article boring. All this might contribute to a low fluency rate and lower reading comprehension rate.
Reading Comprehension Difficulty or Decoding Difficulty?
Very often, a reader is said to have poor reading comprehension ability when actually the trouble lies in the reader’s decoding ability. A reader reading at a first grade level would have a low readomg comprehension rate when trying to decode material at a fourth grade reading level. This is commonly seen by reading teachers. The reading material must match the reader’s reading level to get an accurate picture of the individual’s real comprehension ability.
The whole purpose of reading anything is to learn something. Comprehension is the ultimate goal of the reading process.
Reading Comprehension Activities to Increase Comprehension Skills
Teach to The Wall –
Teach to the Wall is a study technique to use when learning new information. This technique can be used with any subject and is a priceless tool for any student. The Teach to the Wall strategy is taken from the book “The Overnight Student” by Dr. M. L. Jones. A pdf copy of the book can be found HERE. A quick explanation can be found HERE.
This technique calls for studying a chunk of information which you just learned, one paragraph or one page at a time, and begin to teach it to an imaginary classroom, without looking at your notes. You need to put what you just learned or read into your own words and teach it out loud.