Children are not the only ones who need help mastering reading comprehension. In fact, many adults struggle with reading comprehension. But don't worry! Learning to read does not have to be a daunting and difficult task. Whether you teach young children or adults, these quick and easy tips will help you to make reading fun and interesting for all.
Increase vocabulary. Refer to "The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists" for a list of the 1000 most common words in the English language. A person only needs to see a word approximately 10-20 times before it is committed to memory. Teach these high frequency words by using flashcards or an overhead projector. Teach 100 at a time. Once the students have mastered the first 100, then move on to the next batch.
Enhance reading comprehension by teaching students pre-reading strategies. Show them how to use highlighters to mark important main points, how to annotate text with a question and comment in the margin (or on a separate piece of paper), and how to stop reading when they are confused.
Model effective reading strategies. It is important to read aloud to the students. As you read, be sure to stop now and then to ask questions about the text or comment on a particular narrative moment. Point out main points and use an overhead projector to model how to highlight and annotate a text.
Put the students into groups. Give each student control over what text she will read and allow her the opportunity to work in a team in order to increas reading comprehension. Give each student in the group a responsibility - one is in charge of vocabulary, the other asking questions about the text, another summarizing the text, and another presenting all those topics to the class.
Use charts, lists, and reading response logs. These are useful tools for students when they are struggling to read correctly. A reading response log will allow a student the opportunity to engage with the text on a personal level and increase his comprehension.
- Use many different varities of texts. Use books, magazines, newspapers, and advertisements.
- Don't criticize a student for reading slowly.
- Don't allow other students to make fun of students who are having a difficult time reading.
Karen Silvestri is an English professor at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Fla., and has been writing professionally since 1997. She also leads workshops on memoir writing, journaling, creative writing and poetry in her community and online. Silvestri holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and studied business and education at the graduate level.