Reading comprehension refers to how you derive meaning from written words. We can then take that meaning and combine it with our knowledge and past experiences to make sense of the words. Imagine for a moment what life would be like if you weren’t able to do this. If you were given some text and you were able to read the words, but not be able to understand what it meant.
Life would be challenging to say the least. Many people realise the importance of reading comprehension for their child’s schooling success, but did you know that it also has a big impact on their lives outside of school too?
Here are seven ways that reading comprehension can help us excel at life.
When we are at school, university or even in the workplace we are often required to read, understand and interpret pieces of writing. We may need to read a document and then summarise it’s impact or put it into our own words for a project. Without reading comprehension skills, this would be difficult to do. If you can’t interpret what you are reading, it’s hard to provide your own condensed version of it.
To infer something is to take a logical next step in meaning based on information given to you. Inference is not only used with the written word, but also verbally and more typically in social situations. Not being able to correctly infer based on what is said (or even not said) can lead to misunderstandings in relationships. Reading comprehensions skills can help you develop your inference abilities in both written and verbal situations.
Being able to comprehend a piece of writing helps us understand in what order things happen, even when they aren’t listed in order! It also allows us to use data given to us to understand what happens next and find patterns. Something as simple as understanding that house numbers go up by 2 on one side of the road and how to find the number house you are looking for uses your sequencing abilities.
Comparing and Contrasting
Reading comprehension skills can be applied to a text to allow us to determine how two things can be like each other or how they could be different. Being able to compare and contrast helps to strengthen your memory and develops higher-order thinking. These skills are particularly useful when writing essays or proposals.
Having good reading comprehension skills help us to come to a decision based on actual or inferred information. This is an important skill to be use in problem solving and social interactions. Things like playing board games, interpreting body language and science experiments all need you to be able to draw conclusions.
Reading comprehension involves asking questions about why things are happening a certain way, challenging opinions and using your background knowledge to draw conclusions. These skills can be applied to everyday life both in written and verbal situations. You don’t necessarily want to believe everything you are told! You need to have the skills to determine what to accept as fact and what to identify as opinion.
Every day we are faced with problems that need to be solved. Some are huge like tackling climate change, but others can be as common as solving friendship issues, working out a maths problem or using coding to move a robot. Reading comprehension strengthens our problem solving abilities and allows us to draw conclusions.
Reading comprehension skills are used by our children every day at school – not just in English related subjects, but others such as Maths, History and Science. However, having good reading comprehension skills are also important for our children to succeed in life. It forms the basis of so many skills we use every day.
At Leap into Literacy we encourage children to further expand their reading comprehension and literacy skills. If you’d like to experience the encouragement and sense of literacy achievement in your child, contact us for a free trial session.