Reading and writing lessons can sometimes be a great challenge for students.
Oftentimes, you’ll find there are few students who are actually interested in the lessons and enjoy the curriculum, while others find these boring.
However, helping a child develop some interest through foundational reading skills can increase the lesson lovers in your homeschool or class.
Teachers, mentors, and parents can help increase a child’s passion for reading by incorporating activities that are focused on reading skills. These activities will improve their comprehension and engagement.
Here are some simple and effective ways in which you can help your student build better reading skills whilst also improving reading comprehension.
Students who have a weak vocabulary will also have weak reading comprehension. This is because they are unable to grab the meaning of the words and fail to comprehend what they read.
Although vocabulary building is a long and continuous process, kids and young students can be taught new words and their meaning through the use of different visual or mnemonic strategies.
- Contextual Clues and Language skills
By improving the overall language skills you can increase the student’s ability to understand the text they encounter while reading.
Although vocabulary is very important and should be a focal point while teaching reading, it is not possible to teach students each and every word. This can be overcome by teaching your students to identify contextual clues from the text that they read.
Through such clues, they’ll be able to predict the possible meaning or sense of any unknown word based on the text that they are studying.
- Make Predictions
Before the students go through the text, ask them to predict the possible context, tone, and orientation of text from the title.
When students make predictions, it not only makes them remain engaged and focused but also ignites any prior knowledge related to that specific topic and promotes imagination. This will also make them curious to see if they were able to predict the key concepts correctly.
- Highlight or Summarize the Texts
Teach your student to highlight or underline any valuable information which they come across while reading or the sentences that do not make sense to them. You can also ask them to write down notes on a sticky paper or on the side of the text so that they stay engaged and try to grab the concepts rather than just reading the text subconsciously.
Moreover, when students are writing along with reading, they are actually processing the same information in multiple regions of their brain and therefore are able to comprehend the text more efficiently.
Students don’t have to write everything, simply ask them to write down the key concepts or the important details of the text in their own words.
- Personalize the text
Students should be asked to try and connect the content with their own lives. This can potentially increase their cognition through imagination. Alternatively, you can help your students by associating the text with current or recent events.
- Read in portions.
Long reading comprehension can be hectic for students. It can be made more digestible by breaking it into pieces and dividing it among different students. Hence, you can ask each child to read one by one so that the whole class is engaged.
- Ask Questions
Asking and answering questions about the text is another way to keep the students focused and interested in the text.
Ask them to identify the main idea and summarize it in their own words.
Give them a few questions and ask them to find the answers to those questions from the text. This will make them read the text more consciously and thus they will be able to comprehend it better.
- Set goals
Make your students set their own reading and comprehension goals which can include learning new words, grammatical rules or reading a short article from the books that interest them the most.
Similarly, you can ask them to read an article or paragraph from the books of their interest and paraphrase them in their own words. This will not only help you judge if they are able to comprehend the text but will also help them to improve their reading skills.
- Practice and More Practice
Reading skills are perfectly complemented by the famous proverb “Practice makes a man perfect”. There is no trick that can improve the language skills and reading comprehension overnight.
Make your students read and comprehend the texts regularly and ask them to go through different model papers or past papers.
The Student Shed has GLAT Past Papers for Reading Comprehension which can be used for practice purposes.
- Use of Online Tools
Online tools and resources are becoming the new norm in each and every level of learning. There are many tools available to improve the vocabulary and language skills in the form of courses, past papers, tips, activities, etc.