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BASIC READING SKILLS - Comprehension

Prepared by: Group 5 Nazirul Mubin bin Ismail Nooratikah binti Badrun Norhafizah binti Omar

Comprehension has the following meanings:


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In general usage, and more specifically in reference to education and psychology, it has roughly the same meaning as understanding. Reading comprehension measures the understanding of a passage of text. Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of writing. Proficient reading depends on the ability to recognize words quickly and effortlessly. If word recognition is difficult, students use too much of their processing capacity to read individual words, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what is read.

As children read, they tend to put most of their energy decoding or "reading" every word perfectly. While they may be able to say all of the words right, students must also be able to obtain meaning from what has been read. Students with special needs often experience considerable difficulty in comprehending what is read aloud or silently. They may have difficulty with processing the ideas, with relating new information to previously learning facts, or with using higher order thinking skills to organize, sequence, or prioritize that information appropriately. What "good" readers may be naturally must be made very explicit for the special needs reader, and each strategy must be taught separately in a logical order.

Teach reading comprehension


Educators use many different strategies to improve a student's understanding of text. The socalled "good reader" is always thinking of questions, making connections, making inferences about what the story may mean, deciding whether a given piece of information is significant, summarizing what they have read so far, and trying to create understanding as they go. They also must fill-in meanings where the text did not seem correct to them or they were unable to decode a particular term. These "good readers" may not even be aware of the ongoing dialogue that they are carrying out in their mind, yet it is a crucial part of their ability to comprehend what they are reading. This dialogue within the mind is called "metacognition" by educators, meaning that students are thinking about how they think. Such ongoing and simultaneous processing is often difficult for

children with special needs, because their brain is often working "overtime" simply unpacking the sounds and changing them into speech.

Strategies
1) Parents must be aware of where an individual child's thinking skills lie on such a continuum. Once the parent understands where the child's strengths lie, then the student may need to be taught in different ways and assessed in different ways as well. Years ago, Dr. Bloom identified that people learn and operate with multiple levels of thinking that progress from very concrete, fact-based learning to higher levels of abstract conceptualization that permit people to thinking about ideas. A quick review of the levels of thinking is provided here to simplify this discussion of reading comprehension:

Level

Sample Verbs What you ask the child to do recall, name, list, state, choose compare, contrast, relate, illustrate, extend, demonstrate building meaning, arrange, develop, solve, apply, model selecting hypothesis, interrelate, draw conclusion, outline predict, imagine, create, design, advise make judgments, give opinions, report, investigate, verify

Knowledge Comprehension

Application

Analysis

Synthesis

Evaluation

Using the perspective of Bloom's hierarchy of thinking enables parents to gain a clearer view of the ways in which their individual child may be able to handle reading comprehension tasks. For example, a child who is a very concrete thinker will be most successful answering questions based on facts, recalling details, naming characters or places, or choosing between two choices describing what happened. This student would have considerable difficulty answering questions

that required them to summarize what they have read, comparing it to another article, or using that information to conclude certain thoughts 2) The U.S. National Reading Panel conducted a comprehensive literature search on teaching reading comprehension. They concluded that, vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension instruction based on reading strategies, and practices were critical to effective reading comprehension teaching. 3) Use the technique called SQ3R. This stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. In order to get an understanding of the text, you should survey the chapters. This consists of quickly looking at the title, headings and any subheadings. Look at any end of chapter questions as well. While surveying, you ask questions about the topics you have scanned, such as, "What did my teacher say about this chapter? 4) The next thing is to begin reading. In a chapter book, you would read the majority of the words. In a textbook, just read quickly for the key words. There are words seen in the chapter questions, teacher made questions and in the titles or subtitles of the chapter. 5) After reading a portion or section of the book, recite what you have read out loud. By orally summarizing what you just read it helps to cement the content in your memory. 6) The last technique is top review what you have read again. By writing down key facts from the chapter and reviewing it, you will better understand the information.

Accommodations and modifications


In order to complement a child's learning experience, caregivers can modify their reading technique in ways that may promote learning. These are things that one should be aware of when facilitating reading comprehension for children with special needs:
1) "finger following" - reading by pointing to the word and reading it aloud. 2) The "talk aloud" method - readers are asked to "think aloud" as they read, to determine

what inferences they are drawing from a text. Break up long sentences. Reduce difficult vocabulary load. Reduce concept density. When using a pronoun be sure that the antecedent is very clear. Do not omit words such as: "that" where such words will clarify a sentence connection. Stay with simple co-ordinating conjunctions (e.g., but, so, for, and) and avoid less common transitional words (e.g., however, as a consequence, nevertheless, although). 9) Keep cause-and-effect expressions in a very simple in form. 10) Keep conditional expressions which influence the meaning of a statement to a minimum (such as; if, when, assuming that, suppose, provided that, etc.). If there is no other way
3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8)

11) 12) 13) 14) 15)

16)

to avoid using a difficult word, include a brief explanation in parentheses, however keep parenthetical explanations to a minimum. If an important basic or technical word is to be taught: Make meaning and application absolutely clear. Use context as a memory aid. For a new term, repeat the word numerous times in a variety of contexts. Passive voice verbs. Negative forms of verbs and other expressions of negation. Too many modifying forms, such as prepositional phrases, relative clauses. (If a relative clause must be used, the relative pronoun [who, which, that, where, etc.] should be next to the word to which it refers). *Stylistic embellishments, such as rhetorical inversions. Colloquial and idiomatic expressions. Cut wordiness while retaining simple English. Avoid the use of idioms.