Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reading Comprehension Tips for Students of All Ages

Reading comprehension is a process that all students must go through. The first stage is to understand how words are put together, and then tie the sounds of different letters into the framework of language. Beyond that, the reader needs to learn the parts of speech and the things to look for in every story, and that will set the stage for better comprehension and a growing vocabulary.

Practice Phonemic Awareness

This is the ability to recognize the different parts of words and their sound. Phonemic awareness is important in word recognition and the ability to “sound out” words which are unfamiliar. Similarly, mastering phonemic awareness will help with identifying rhyming words, and being able to determine which parts of a word sound similar or different. Reading words out loud may help in learning the basic sounds and how those sounds work together.

Learning Language Through Phonics

Phonics is closely related to phonemic awareness. This is the understanding of the sounds that combinations of letters make. While phonemic awareness affects both written and verbal wording, phonics is primarily concerned with the sounds created by letter combinations and syllables. Once a student understands the use of phonetics, they will be able to sound out large, unfamiliar words. After moving beyond reading words out loud, many people still say some words silently to themselves if they are unsure of the pronunciation.

Storytelling with Fluency

Language fluency is the ability to connect parts of speech together in order to tell a coherent story. To practice fluency, create a simple sentence such as “Jane walked down the road,” and think of ways to make the sentence sound more interesting or exciting. Fluency involves the big questions of language: Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why. Fluency is the glue which holds words together, allowing them to flow in a train of thought.

Describing Details with Vocabulary

If fluency is the use of language, then our vocabulary is the ability to keep language specific and interesting. Vocabulary is the difference between something gigantic and something tiny, between red and a light shade of lavender. Building a strong vocabulary is important for speaking and writing, and ties the fluency of language together in a colorful way. Crossword puzzles and reading books are both good ways to build your vocabulary, as well as practicing your phonetic skills.

Practicing comprehension itself is the best way to build reading comprehension. Read a paragraph in a book and ask yourself what the main points are in the paragraph and how it pertains to the one before or the one which follows after. Look at the different parts of speech used in writing and how they are related throughout the story. Improving the comprehension of a young reader means opening a magical world of color and action that they can only experience through language and words.

At the Montessori School of Fremont, we understand that each child is unique and will work with your student to improve their reading comprehension skills.  Contact us today to schedule a tour and meet our teachers.

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