Reading Comprehension Top Tips
Reading comprehension is an important part of any student's education. Students need good reading comprehension not just for the regular reading comprehension tasks and tests they will face in literacy, but perhaps more more importantly, in order to absorb, process and understand anything they read across any subject. 
 
Many of the students we work with struggle with reading comprehension and parents don't always know how to best help. Luckily there are a number of tips and methods that we have found useful in improving students' comprehension skills! 

Top tips for improving reading comprehension 

Skim the text in the first instance 
 
We often recommend that students skim the text to start with to get an overview of the general meaning of it before starting the more in-depth analysis of the text. 
 
Read aloud 
 
Often students find it easier to gain an understanding of what they are reading when they can read the text aloud. Hearing the words out loud helps students get a better understanding of the text. As a parent, encourage your child to read a text out loud to you before attempting to answer any questions on the text. 
 
Ruler, finger or highlighter 
 
Use a ruler, finger or highlighter pen to follow along and highlight important passages or words in the text. This helps a student to not lose track when reading, ensuring they can separate the words, sentences and lines. Children with dyslexia or any visual issues often find this particularly helpful. 
 
Re-read text 
 
We often encourage our students to re-read the text once they have skimmed it following along with a highlighter pen, ruler or finger as discussed above. Re-reading the text in its entirety helps consolidate the meaning and key messages. It is particularly important that students re-read any difficult passages. Ask your child to make a list of any words they don't understand. 
 
Difficult words 
 
Look up any difficult words your child comes across in a dictionary. Your child should learn the meaning of the word and learn how to use the word in a sentence. We find that simply collating a list of abstract words and learning their meaning isn't effective. It is essential that students learn to use a word in its context. 
 
Discuss the text and recap 
 
When your child has a good understanding of the text discuss it together and recap the main points! Ask your child questions about the text and its meaning. It is good for a student to explain what they have read in their own words. This also helps with inference; understanding implied information. 
 
Knowing how to answer questions 
 
In a reading comprehension test it is important that students understand what the question is asking them to do. Some questions will be short, factual questions where the child is required to give a short answer from the text whereas other questions will be more essay style often asking the child to draw on their inference skills. Reading the question carefully and looking at the marks each question awards before attempting to answer it (a one mark question will usually require the student to make one point, a six mark question is expecting a longer, more detailed essay style answer) will help a student maximise their marks. 
 
Get help 
 
If you have tried these tips and your child is still struggling with comprehension, or you feel that your child could do with a bit of a boost, we are here to help!  
 
We offer a free trial lesson so that you and your child can get a feel for our tutors and teaching methods. Give us a call on 01234 480949 to discuss your child's tuition needs and how we can help. 
Tagged as: Study Tips
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