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Study Tips: How to Improve Reading Comprehension Skills?

Manju Nair
Sep 14, 2022
Schools, Learning

Parents usually wonder why their kid is not able to make sense of what is being read to or by them. Reading Comprehension meaning can be explained as the work the brain goes through. The term means the ability to read the text, process and understand it. 

Reading comprehension relies on word reading and language comprehension. The word reading signifies the ability to decode symbols on the page. Language comprehension, on the other end, means being able to make sense of words and sentences. 

The less they know, the more important it gets for the people who are unaware of what is comprehension and reading skills. Sure, some students are quick with sentence formation and understanding the same. However, some students take time to develop and understand how to improve reading comprehension skills. 

For instance, the teacher commands a student to read the passage and explain its meaning. The child would know how to read it, and what every word means but, they might be struggling to make sense of the whole sentence. 

What is Reading Comprehension?

Reading comprehension is a term that is used to define the ability to read, decode and understand sentences. The phenomenon has three main keys- decoding, vocabulary skills and fluency. The potential to connect the words with their individual meanings and then make sense of the whole sentence is reading comprehension. 

Just knowing the meaning of individual words and knowing how to connect them doesn’t fulfil the purpose of reading. The process of reading involves understanding and connecting words into sentences until they make perfect sense. 

Importance of Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is one of the most unknown yet important phenomena for your kids. Until they understand what they read, they are not reading at all. Reading is done to gather meaning from what the child reads. If a child is not able to join the words to make sense of it, they are not gaining anything. 

Knowing how to read and understand the meaning of the sentences is the core of any education. Reading is the start of gaining knowledge and lacking in the same can hinder your future activities. The comprehension strategies are implemented to enhance the children’s understanding of what they read. 

Reading comprehension makes reading more fun and worth spending time on. Children are asked to start reading in routine. What is the use, if their reading comprehension is not yet maintained? Not understanding what you read is not how reading should be done. The importance of English reading comprehension gradually makes sense and should be attended to immediately.  

Types of Reading Comprehension for Students in School

Reading comprehension is further classified into 5 types. 

1. Lexical comprehension

2. Interpretive comprehension

3. Applied comprehension

4. Literal comprehension

5. Affective comprehension

These are the 5 types of reading comprehension for kids that are taught in best CBSE schools. Teachers observe the child’s reading skills and analyse what type of reading comprehension should be taught to them. Every child has a different level of text understanding. 

Teachers are expected to do the best for their students by providing them with the right set of reading comprehension tutoring. They understand the level of help and guidance the students need and try to help them get better at reading. 

Components of Reading Comprehension

Some of the components of reading comprehension are-

1. Decoding

2. Vocabulary

3. Fluency

4. Sentence formation and cohesion

5. Working memory and attention

6. Reasoning and background knowledge

Starting from decoding the words to understanding their meaning when put together, the children need guidance to put together these components. 

Decoding simply means decrypting what they read and understanding the meaning individually. 

Vocabulary is the ability to know the meaning of words. One of the easiest reading comprehension examples is that knowing that chance and opportunity mean the same can elevate the understanding of the whole sentence. 

Fluency comes from the ability to recognize the words students read. Having good fluency can increase the time taken to read the sentences. 

Sentence formation and cohesion are the ability to understand how the sentences are built. Understanding how the sentences form and link together improves reading comprehension. 

Working memory and attention are closely related but have different meanings. Attention helps the student grab the information from the text and working memory allows the students to retain the memory of what they read. 

Reasoning and background knowledge is the connection that the reader finds with what they read. So, knowing about the background of the topic gives the reader an upper hand in retaining the information. They can relate to the topic if they know about it before reading. 

Reading Comprehension Strategies

No one said that reading comprehension skills cannot be polished. A child can easily improve their reading comprehension by following some reading comprehension strategies. 

Here are a few tips and steps that can help the student catch the pace of enhancing their reading comprehension skills. 

1. Reading Aloud

When a student reads aloud, they get to understand the sentences in a better way. Reading aloud has been scientifically proven to help make sense of sentences. Hearing what you are reading gives a better hold of what you read. 

2. Break Up the Sentences

If the child has low reading comprehension skills, they should break up the sentences and then read them. Small sentences are easier to understand and retain. 

3. Question Yourself

Reading a sentence can sometimes make no sense to the students. They are advised to start questioning themselves about what they read. This will force them to understand what they read which can be helpful. 

How to Improve Reading Comprehension Skills?

Comprehension is an important and integral part of reading. Until the student can understand what they read means, what is the point of reading? Reading comprehension skills can be easily improved by working strategically for them. 

Improving reading comprehension skills can become easier by following these steps.

Look for the Main Idea

One of the most helpful steps is to look for the main idea behind the text. If the student tries to understand the overall idea of what they read, it can get easier for them to evaluate the meaning of the whole text. 

Start Writing What You Read

If the student is not able to understand what they read, they should simply start writing about what they read. This will force them to try to understand the sentences and put together the sentence to make sense. 

Set Goals to Pace Yourself

Set goals for yourself concerning reading. The efforts to meet the set goal can increase the urge to understand the sentence. Make it a habit to set a time for a specific amount of text to understand. This will increase the student’s pace of understanding the sentences.  

These steps can help the child to work on their reading comprehension skills. Not only academically, but improved reading comprehension can boost the child’s confidence. Being able to understand the text like everyone else can make the student feel confident. 

How Can Parents Encourage Reading Comprehension at Home?

The first duty of every parent is to know if their child is doing fine with their studies. To make out if they are slow in comprehension reading is the parent’s responsibility. Once they realize it, there are many ways to combat the issue. Parents can help their child refine the situation even by knowing how to make reading comprehension questions.

Online Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Lack of reading comprehension skills are quite common when it comes to students. Parents can access online reading comprehension worksheets to accumulate how slow they are in reading comprehension. Also, the online worksheets give a practice paper to enhance the reading speed and understanding. 

Encourage All Types of Reading

Parents should encourage all types of reading in order to improve their reading comprehension skills. They should not focus solely on academic reading but also offer child novels and story books for the same. Even digital reading can help them build interest and understand the text. 

Focus on the Child’s Favourite Topics

Observe what your child wishes to read the most. For instance, if they are interested in reading about games or nature, provide them with the material of the same genre. This will push them to make sense of what they read, and leverage their interest in the same. 

Put on the Cartoon or Movie Subtitles

Even when your child is busy watching cartoons online, you can switch on their subtitles. Having sentences on the screen and understanding how visuals are related to them can improve your child’s reading comprehension. 

Parents are the first teachers of the children and having them improve their reading comprehension skills can speed up the process. 


Reading comprehension skills play an integral role in the student’s learning. The more the students lack in it, the more difficult it gets for them to focus on their studies. After a while, it gets frustrating for the child to not be able to understand what the sentences mean. 

Children are mentally affected especially when they are surrounded by different levels of students. Since the issue is common in students, teachers and schools are making efforts to help children overcome it. Choosing the best CBSE school can give your child a better environment to dwell and grow in.

Before choosing the finest high school for your child, make sure you observe their take on reading comprehension skills. If you feel your child can grow academically in the given surroundings, go ahead or consider the potential red flags.

Manju Nair

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