In today’s post, we are going to talk about what comprehensive readings are and we are going to provide some tips to improve it through dedicated materials to develop and encourage the autonomous work of the student.
But for this, it is first important to review several concepts:
Reading and reading comprehension
First of all, reading is a process of interaction between thought and language, where the reader needs to recognize the letters and words to finish building a message, which will later be processed and understood.
On the other hand, reading comprehension is the process of understanding what is read, taking into account the global understanding of the text and also the meaning of the words.
What does this mean? This means that when we read, we activate the ability to understand and learn the relevant ideas of a text, relating them to concepts that already have meaning for the reader.
Now, when we read, the message that the text wants to convey is not always understood or, even, it can be understood in the wrong way.
In general terms, we can understand comprehensive reading as the “reading modality or activity that pursues the general understanding of the text”. Comprehensive reading activities help to reflect on the text that has been read and help facilitate its understanding.
To help achieve this main objective of reading comprehension , the reader is asked different questions:
- Do I know the vocabulary of the text? Which one(s) are the main ideas?
- What or what are the secondary ideas? Are there any relationship between them?
Thanks to these different questions, the student will be able to work on vocabulary and reading and at the same time, with the help of exercises and reading comprehension activities that we propose, work on grammar, spelling and written expression, promoting literacy .
In the end, we come to the conclusion that reading comprehension is the elaboration of a mental representation of the information that appears in the text. It is a complex process, since in order for the student to be able to understand the text, it is necessary to know how to identify the words and letters that appear correctly.
That is why different exercises are used that work the entire field of literacy. These activities are usually divided into three differentiating phases:
- A first phase of pre-reading , with tasks and exercises to do before reading, putting the student in context and preparing him for what he is going to read. In this first phase it is normal to work on aspects such as VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR and SPELLING.
- A second phase in which activities are carried out during reading. In this phase we work on reading comprehension at a general level, without forgetting the aspects of the previous phase. It is normal to find questions with open answers or exercises that help the student to understand the different aspects of the text.
- A third phase after reading, which will help to understand and reflect on the text read. In this third phase, the skills practiced throughout the process will be consolidated, so all kinds of activities can be interspersed and reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary and spelling can be worked on.
When to start working on reading and reading comprehension with comprehensive reading notebooks ?
From the early stages of reading, both teachers and parents can help children improve reading skills and reading comprehension . This can be achieved in different ways:
– Offering materials with visual support that help the student to identify words, syllables and letters. In addition to increasing vocabulary. The identification of visual elements and the written relation will help the student to improve their comprehension capacity from the first moment.
– Use different types of exercises such as word searches, crossword puzzles, linking elements with arrows, painting or coloring, or circling the correct answer. Thanks to these exercises, the work on reading comprehension will be more enjoyable and entertaining, not boring the student.
– Encouraging writing related to reading, either by asking open-ended questions, gap-filling exercises or any type of exercise that encourages writing. Thanks to this, the student will also work on their writing, grammar and spelling. In addition, many times we can relate all these exercises to calligraphy.
As we can see, there are many ways to work on reading comprehension . It is important to keep in mind that children’s reading comprehension ability is related to the degree of exposure to written material, so it is very important to work step by step to encourage children to read.