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Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension


Reading comprehension is an integral part of a student’s learning journey. It helps students comprehend their learning concepts in an effective way. Reading comprehension is the capability of students to read a particular set of texts and understand them on their own. Refining the reading comprehension skills of the students can improve their scores and their academic performance in general. Let us learn what is reading comprehension, why reading comprehension is important for students, what are the important reading comprehension skills and how to improve them, and a lot more in the article.

What is Reading Comprehension?

In order to implement the strategies to improve reading comprehension, you need to understand what is reading comprehension.  Without wasting any more time, let's examine what is reading comprehension.

Reading comprehension is the ability to read, process, and interpret a piece of text. As previously indicated, acquiring this skill is essential for improving learning outcomes. It is one of the primary skills pupils learn at the beginning of their education, and as they grow older, they get better at it. In order to decode the information properly, students have to connect it with the experience or knowledge they have gained. Along with reading, the students have to think thoroughly in order to decode their learning concepts.

Students have to read a lot to get better at comprehending texts. Hence, teachers can give activities that refine the reading comprehension abilities of the students. Now that you have understood what is reading comprehension, let us look at the types of reading comprehension.

Types of Reading Comprehension

Lexical Comprehension

It is about understanding the words in a piece of text. In this type of comprehension, the reader doesn’t comprehend the meaning of the whole text, it is rather about understanding the standalone words in a text. This type has nothing to do with the grammar or the sentence structure of the given text. In simple words, it is understanding the vocabulary in a sentence or a piece of text. To help students out, teachers can pick out new words from the textbook for the students. They can also provide students with the synonyms of the same. In this way, teachers can help students to expand their vocabulary.

Literal Comprehension

As the name suggests, it is about the literal meaning of a sentence. It does not deal with the figurative meaning of the given text. The reader does not delve further into understanding the text's underlying meaning; instead, they just comprehend what the text displays. The reader makes an effort to comprehend the text's overall meaning. This is the most basic form of comprehension. For this type of comprehension, teachers can make students understand the overall meaning of the text. Teachers can help students to find answers to their questions. (answers to the questions like where, who, what, and when can be answered). Readers skim through the text to find the literal meaning of it.

Interpretative Comprehension

This type of comprehension is when the reader understands the whole meaning of the text. The reader would deeply immerse themselves in the process of reading and hence, the reader becomes an active participant in this type. Here the reader reads between the lines in order to interpret the ideas and comes to a conclusion based on an analysis of the text. The reader interprets the meanings that are implied in the text in subtle ways. In order to understand the text, the reader scan through the text.

Applied Comprehension

During this type of comprehension, information from the text is used to generate new ideas. In this type of comprehension, the reader would connect the new information with his/her previous experiences to come to a conclusion, based on the analysis. The readers would analyze the text on their own. Teachers can ask questions to critically analyze the text and this would be a great way to boost the critical thinking skills of the students. This helps students to thoroughly understand the text.

Affective Comprehension

In this type of reading comprehension, the students or the readers would analyze the text and understand the plot of the text. Moreover, the readers try to understand the character development and hence understand the text. In short, the text would be analyzed at different levels. As a teacher, you can ask questions to the students regarding the same and assess them based on their answers.

Since you may have understood the different levels of reading comprehension, let us dive into the strategies to improve reading comprehension:

Methods to Improve Reading Comprehension

Boost the Vocabulary

By boosting vocabulary, students will be able to understand the text in a better way. In this way, their vocabulary will improve also, and they will be able to comprehend complex texts.

Read aloud

This is a strategy that can be used to teach younger students. They will be able to understand the concepts in the textbook in this way and it will be easier for you to identify your students’ mistakes. Also, students will be able to hear what they are reading through this method. It enhances their comprehension level and results in a better understanding of the text.

Break the Text

When students find it hard to comprehend the information in the text, teachers can break the text into smaller bits. In this way, students wouldn’t have to take in a lot of information in one go. Moreover, through this method, they will be able to comprehend even complex information.

Practice More

You can also provide students with a variety of books to polish their reading comprehension skills. This helps students to practice and work on their skills and also build their skills. You can also suggest some books to work on their reading comprehension.


A student needs to master reading comprehension in order to succeed in their academic endeavours. It adds value to their learning process and helps them to build skills like critical thinking which will be essential for them throughout their lives. Hence, ensure that you provide your students with the opportunities to work on their reading comprehension skills.

Suggested Read - How Teachers Can Use Documentary Films to Teach Students

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