Comprehension

The ultimate goal of reading is good comprehension. Reading can be defined as a system of deriving meaning from print. To achieve good comprehension, readers need to have all the basic skills outlined above. Additionally, they need sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster an understanding of what they read.

They also need to develop an array of good strategies to aid with comprehension. These strategies will include familiarity with the organization and structure of written language, different forms of writing, literary devices such as metaphor and allusion, and development of an ability to read critically.

Your child may have problems with comprehension because of his difficulties understanding and processing language. He may not understand what some words mean, and if he reads too slowly it may cause him to lose track of meaning before he reaches the end of a sentence. If he frequently confuses or omits small words like prepositions, the meaning of a passage can be dramatically altered.

Again, your child will need specific strategies to overcome confusion and to aid in comprehension. Most of the strategies your child needs are no different than what ideally should be taught to other students, but your child may miss the opportunity to learn if his reading instruction has focused primarily on his weak basic skills.

You can help improve your child's reading comprehension by encouraging her to use her imagination to visualize what is happening as she reads. Teach her to stop at the end of a sentence or paragraph and make a mental picture depicting what she has read. This will improve her memory of the text as well as her understanding.

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