Teaching Reading Comprehension

6449 Words Nov 16th, 2012 26 Pages

What is reading? Reading is about understanding written texts. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought. Reading consists of two related processes: word recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to the process of perceiving how written symbols correspond to one’s spoken language. Comprehension is the process of making sense of words, sentences and connected text. Readers typically make use of background knowledge, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, experience with text and other strategies to help them understand written text.
Researchs and classroom practices support the use of a balanced approach in teaching reading comprehension. Because reading comprehension depends on efficient
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A person may also read for enjoyment, or to enhance knowledge of the language being read. The purpose(s) for reading guide the reader 's selection of texts.
The purpose for reading also determines the appropriate approach to reading comprehension. A person who needs to know whether she can afford to eat at a particular restaurant needs to comprehend the pricing information provided on the menu, but does not need to recognize the name of every appetizer listed. A person reading poetry for enjoyment needs to recognize the words the poet uses and the ways they are put together, but does not need to identify main idea and supporting details. However, a person using a scientific article to support an opinion needs to know the vocabulary that is used, understand the facts and cause-effect sequences that are presented, and recognize ideas that are presented as hypotheses and givens.
Reading research shows that good readers
· Read extensively
· Integrate information in the text with existing knowledge
· Have a flexible reading style, depending on what they are reading
· Are motivated
· Rely on different skills interacting: perceptual processing, phonemic processing, recall
· Read for a purpose; reading serves a function
Reading as a Process
Historically, listening and reading skills have received less attention in language teaching than have the productive skills of
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