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Mukhtar Kononov
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Reading Skills And Strategies Pdf

To assume that one can simply have students memorize and routinely execute a set of strategies is to misconceive the nature of strategic processing or executive control. Such rote applications of these procedures represents, in essence, a true oxymoron-non-strategic strategic processing.

Reading Skills And Strategies Pdf


Comprehension, or extracting meaning from what you read, is the ultimate goal of reading. Experienced readers take this for granted and may not appreciate the reading comprehension skills required. The process of comprehension is both interactive and strategic. Rather than passively reading text, readers must analyze it, internalize it and make it their own.

Asking and answering questions about text is another strategy that helps students focus on the meaning of text. Teachers can help by modeling both the process of asking good questions and strategies for finding the answers in the text.

Studies have shown that students who visualize while reading have better recall than those who do not (Pressley, 1977). Readers can take advantage of illustrations that are embedded in the text or create their own mental images or drawings when reading text without illustrations.

Research shows that skilled or expert readers possess seven strategies to construct meaning before, during, and after reading a text. When skilled students read, it is an active process. Their minds are constantly processing information extracted from the text, e.g., questioning the author, summarizing passages, or interpreting images. Contrarily, struggling readers often unthinkingly read the words on the page. For them, reading is an inactive activity. Constructing meaning from the text does not naturally occur in the mind of a struggling reader.

Fortunately, the cognitive skills of expert readers can be taught. The most effective way for students to learn these skills is through explicit and direct instruction. It is important that teachers model these strategies to the class before allowing students to independently use one of them. Modeling a strategy provides students with a clear understanding of why they were given the task and how to complete it properly.

Below is a summary of the seven strategies of highly skilled readers. A brief purpose for using each strategy is provided along with a corresponding protocol. The seven strategies can be used with a variety of texts depending on the discipline. Examples of text include a painting, an annual report for a business, a script for a play, a mathematical word problem, a pie chart, a recipe, or instructions for a science experiment.

3. Monitoring and Clarifying: Students determine if they understand the text. If there are misunderstandings, they clarify and correct the confusion during and after reading a text. (Example: text coding.)

6. Questioning: Students create questions about the text, ask themselves questions while reading the text, and answer different levels of questions about the text from their peers and/or teacher. (Example: question-answer relationship.)

Reading and interpreting multiple forms of texts can be a daunting task. Thankfully, students in any classroom can learn the analytical capabilities of skilled readers. This practice takes time and patience. With purposeful implementation of these strategies across all subject areas, students can progress from dependent, inactive readers to highly skilled thinkers who independently process information from a text.

Studies on good readers have identified a number of comprehension strategies to be highly useful. These strategies range from the simple to the complex. From the array of strategies examined by researchers, the following strategies have been shown to be especially helpful and to lend themselves particularly well to instruction:1

This strategy requires readers to activate their background knowledge and to use that knowledge to help them understand what they are reading. Background knowledge is made up of a person's experiences with the world (including what he or she has read), along with his or her concepts for how written text works, including word identification, print concepts, word meaning, and how text is organized. Research has established that readers' existing knowledge is critical in determining their ability to comprehend what they read.2

When they applied schema theory to reading comprehension, cognitive scientists found that good readers constantly connect their background knowledge to the new knowledge they encounter in a text. In fact, they appear to activate a schema as soon they begin to read. The initial schema then activates others, thus directly affecting how readers understand and react to a text.4

This strategy involves readers asking themselves questions throughout the reading of a text. The ability of readers to ask themselves relevant questions as they read is especially valuable in helping them to integrate information, identify main ideas, and summarize information. Asking the right questions allows good readers to focus on the most important information in a text.6

It has been shown that when readers are taught how to make inferences, they improve their abilities to construct meaning. Indeed, research indicates that the ability to make inferences is crucial to successful reading.8

This strategy involves the ability of readers to get meaning from a text by making informed predictions. Good readers use predicting as a way to connect their existing knowledge to new information from a text to get meaning from what they read.9 Before reading, they may use what they know about an author to predict what a text will be about. The title of a text may trigger memories of texts with similar content, allowing them to predict the content of the new text.

During reading, good readers may make predictions about what is going to happen next, or what ideas or evidence the author will present to support an argument. They tend to evaluate these predictions continuously, and revise any prediction that is not confirmed by the reading.

This involves the ability of readers to make mental images of a text as a way to understand processes or events they encounter during reading. This ability can be an indication that a reader understands a text. Some research suggests that readers who visualize as they read are better able to recall what they have read than are those who do not visualize.11

Visualizing is especially valuable when it is applied to narrative texts. In reading narratives, readers often can develop a clear understanding of what is happening by visualizing the setting, characters, or actions in the plot. However, visualizing can also be applied to the reading of expository texts, with readers visualizing steps in a process or stages in an event or creating an image to help them remember some abstract concept or important name.12

This involves the ability of readers to know when they understand what they read, when they do not understand, and to use appropriate strategies to improve their understanding when it is blocked.13 Comprehension monitoring is a form of metacognition. Good readers are aware of and monitor their thought processes as they read. In contrast, poor readers "just do it."14

The strategies employed by good readers to improve understanding are called "repair" or "fix-up" strategies. Specific repair strategies include rereading, reading ahead, clarifying words by looking them up in a dictionary or glossary, or asking someone for help.15

In general, good readers use a variety of strategies such as the ones just discussed to construct meaning as they read. However, not all good readers use the same strategies; good readers tend to develop and practice those strategies that are most useful to them. Further, good readers are flexible in their strategy use: they switch from strategy to strategy as they read; they use different strategies with different kinds of texts.

The point is, because good readers have conscious control of their strategy use, they are able to make decisions about which strategies to use and when to use them. Most good readers do this with little or no explicit strategy instruction. Most students, however, can benefit greatly from organized, explicit instruction that teaches them to use specific strategies for understanding text. The good news is that specific comprehension strategies can be taught and learned - and that their deliberate use by readers improves comprehension.16

2. Anderson, R. C., & Pearson, P. D. (1984). A schema-theoretic view of basic processes in reading. In P. D. Pearson, R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, & P. Mosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 255-292). New York: Longman.

7. Pressley, M., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J. A., & Snyder, B. L. (1995). Reading comprehension strategies. In M. Pressley & V. E. Woloshyn (eds.), Cognitive strategy instruction that really improves children's academic performance. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.

13. National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

14. Dole et al., 1991; Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension monitoring activities. Cognition & Instruction, 2, 117-175.15. Paris, S. C., Wasik, B. A., & Turner, J. C. (1991). The development of strategic readers. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 609-640). New York: Longman.


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