5 best English reading comprehension strategies

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand and make connections with a text. Therefore, the input is the text that should be completely comprehended. Gaining the ability of reading comprehension is learned by education, instruction, and direct experience.

There are five types of reading comprehension. Lexical, literal, interpretive, applied, and effective reading comprehension are the five types. All of these types of reading comprehension help us to deeply get the meaning and message of the text.

English reading comprehension plays a huge role in making English non_verabl communications. Poor reading comprehension results in a bad performance in the English reading skills whereas a high level of English vocabulary and text comprehension builds effective correct English non_verabl communications. Therefore, reinforcing the English reading comprehension by practicing, immersing in the English world, and certain basic strategies, stated in the last part of the paragraph, is essential in the process of English learning.

In reading comprehension, we break the text into small sections, mostly short paragraphs. Then, we find the controlling idea in the major sentence and the supporting sentences of each paragraph. In the end, we put all the pieces of information, like doing a puzzle, to get the overall idea of the text.

Reading comprehension is a very complex process that has certain levels including shallow (low-level) processing and deep (high-level) processing. Shallow processing is concerned with structural and phonemic recognition while deep processing deals with semantic processing according to Fergus I. M. Craik and Robert S. Lockhart. That is, readers first process sentence and word structure with their associated sounds in the low_level processing; and then they proceed to encode the words in the context in the high_level processing.

The speed of reading comprehension depends on the English level of the reader and the low difficulty of the text. If the reader is skilled in the four domains of English, he can quickly find out the meanings of words and relate them to each other to deduce the central idea. In addition, he can easily scan or skim the text depending on the intention he is reading. If the sentences and structures are very complex and difficult, then it takes the reader much time to associate his background knowledge with the new information of the text to deduce the central idea.

Knowing the culture of the target language plays a vital role in promoting reading comprehension as it was in verbal communications.Take the word “moon” in English as an example, this word is a symbol of “ugliness” in English while this word is a symbol of “beauty” in some languages. Knowing the cultural differences helps you better comprehend, interpret, and analyze a text to get the meanings and implicit messages beyond what is written.

In conclusion, reading comprehension is a complex process of decoding words and integrating the obtained knowledge with the background information. This ability itself requires specific requirements such as fluency, pragmatism, and rich vocabulary knowledge in the target language. Poor reading comprehension can be effectively improved by taking much time, practice, and basic strategies.

1. What is the meaning of reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension is the process of understanding the meaning of a text very deeply and integrating the obtained information with the background knowledge. Therefore, acquiring the ability of reading comprehension is not much easy, especially for language learners with a low level of proficiency. A reader must know at least 98 percent words of a text to understand it completely.

Reading comprehension is intentional action occurring before, during, and after reading. In this action, the deep connection with the author is made to realize the hidden messages and points of the text. In this way, readers can interpret and analyze the text; and they can also realize the author’s intent of writing the text, thinking ways, and ideas and judge the author fairly.

Reading comprehension is a combination of creative, multifaceted processes requiring four language skills including skills phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic. That is, readers are required to know the meanings of most words of a text, distinguish the certain meaning of the words in the context, understand the semantic relationship between the words, and interpret the meaning of the text to get the main message.

Without reading comprehension, distinguishing the written words on a page would only be possible. In this way, the words, as meaningful units containing certain ideas and concepts, can only be uttered but not be understood. Therefore, If you wish to be skillful at English reading skills, you should first reinforce your reading comprehension completely.

Text comprehension and vocabulary knowledge are the two basic elements of reading comprehension. Readers can understand the connective and denotative meanings of the words in a text through vocabulary knowledge. They can develop an understanding and awareness beyond the literal meanings through text comprehension.

Overall, reading comprehension is the process of extracting the meaning of text properly. It requires basic skills such as reading skills and rich vocabulary knowledge. It can be reinforced by practice and dedication; that is, the more you read, the more you can understand a text deeply.

2. How do you improve reading comprehension?

Reading comprehension plays a huge role in mastering a language; for example, if you can not comprehend a simple English text, you will likely fail in your non_verbal English communications. As mentioned, reading comprehension is an ability that can be reinforced by practice. You can also take advantage of the best useful strategies, such as the four ones in w, to reinforce your reading comprehension.

1. Vocabulary development

As mentioned, one of the basic components of reading comprehension is vocabulary knowledge. Knowing the majority of meanings of common words helps you proceed hugely in reinforcing your reading comprehension. The more you learn and practice new common words, the more types of texts you can understand.

Vocabulary development can help you to save more time while reading. If your vocabulary knowledge is enlarged enough not to look up the words in the dictionary too much, you can save much time and enjoy your reading. You can also figure out the meanings of individual words beyond their decorative meanings easily.

There are many practical ways for reinforcing vocabulary knowledge. Flashcards, dictionaries, vocabulary books, etc. are some of the helpful devices with which you can effectively expand your vocabulary knowledge. Furthermore, constant reading and immersion to the target language best enrich vocabulary.

2. Asking questions while reading

Taking this important strategy improves reading comprehension effectively. If you take this tip constantly, you will be so immersed in what you are reading that you can easily make connections with the text to get what the author is trying to convey. Asking questions while reading drives you to explore themes, motifs, analyze characters, and other elements of the texts.

The questions you ask yourself should be as specific and clear as possible. In this way, you will quickly get much insight into the text. In the following, there are some examples of the key questions that you can ask yourself while reading:

  1. What is the setting ( location and time) of the text?
  2. Who are the main characters of the text?
  3. Wheat raw the basic features of the main character?
  4. What is the central idea of the text?

Having answered the question, you can ask someone whose English level is higher than you to check and correct your answers. In this way, you not only improve your reading comprehension but also get much more familiar with English writing rules so that you can deduce the meaning of a text much better next time.

3. Using the clues of the context

One of the best strategies of reading comprehension is using context clues that help you drive the main meanings and messages of the text even if you do not know the 98 percent words of the text you are reading. In this way, you can find and pay attention to the key phrases or ideas in the text to deduce the central idea or message. As a result, the founded central idea can determine the significance of the text and help you to achieve better reading comprehension.

4. Summary writing

Writing a summary of a text helps you to retain your obtained information and knowledge so well that you will not forget them in the long term. By writing, you can take your time to carefully comprehend what the author was trying to convey; moreover, you can quickly gather the key points and ideas of the text. Therefore, do not hesitate to take your time to summarize their important keys after you finish reading a text.


In brief, people read a text for different purposes such as gathering information, learning facts, or enjoying. But, they all read a text to comprehend its meaning and deduce its messages. The process of deep understanding is called reading comprehension that can be reinforced by much practice and the four mentioned strategies briefly explained in this article.


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