Résumé
Reading comprehension is the ability to process written text, understand its meaning, and to integrate with what the reader already knows. Reading comprehension relies on two abilities that are connected to each other: word reading and language comprehension. Comprehension specifically is a "creative, multifaceted process" dependent upon four language skills: phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Some of the fundamental skills required in efficient reading comprehension are the ability to: know the meaning of words, understand the meaning of a word from a discourse context, follow the organization of a passage and to identify antecedents and references in it, draw inferences from a passage about its contents, identify the main thought of a passage, ask questions about the text, answer questions asked in a passage, visualize the text, recall prior knowledge connected to text, recognize confusion or attention problems, recognize the literary devices or propositional structures used in a passage and determine its tone, understand the situational mood (agents, objects, temporal and spatial reference points, casual and intentional inflections, etc.) conveyed for assertions, questioning, commanding, refraining, etc., and determine the writer's purpose, intent, and point of view, and draw inferences about the writer (discourse-semantics). Comprehension Skills that can be applied as well as taught to all reading situations include: Summarizing Sequencing Inferencing Comparing and contrasting Drawing conclusions Self-questioning Problem-solving Relating background knowledge Distinguishing between fact and opinion Finding the main idea, important facts, and supporting details There are many reading strategies to improve reading comprehension and inferences, including improving one's vocabulary, critical text analysis (intertextuality, actual events vs. narration of events, etc.), and practicing deep reading. The ability to comprehend text is influenced by the readers' skills and their ability to process information.
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