Effective teaching of comprehension stimulates reading culture

Reading is a very important skill. Learners are expected to read a lot in order to master the concepts that they are taught in all the subjects on the curriculum. They should be guided on how to comprehend the lesson notes and other reading materials like textbooks. Teachers of English Language are supposed to be at the center of equipping the learners with the techniques of effective reading.

Reading is a very important skill. Learners are expected to read a lot in order to master the concepts that they are taught in all the subjects on the curriculum. They should be guided on how to comprehend the lesson notes and other reading materials like textbooks. Teachers of English Language are supposed to be at the center of equipping the learners with the techniques of effective reading.

I wish to share my skills and experiences with fellow teachers of English language on how effective teaching of reading comprehension stimulates the reading culture among the learners.

Reading is a life skill. Therefore, teachers should guide learners to develop their abilities of reading the various forms of written information. Learners should realise that the passages they read in lessons prepare them to revise their lesson notes of other subjects effectively.

When they acquire reading comprehension skills, they develop interest in reading textbooks, novels, written plays, poems, newspapers, notices, circulars, magazines, brochures, advertisements, autobiographies, biographies, journals and information on the internet.  Teachers should enable learners realise the relevance of reading comprehension in the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

 Teachers should sensitise learners about the need to read. They should show them how reading helps to share experiences and beliefs and how it enables them acquire diction and writing skills. Reading is also pleasurable. In most cases, learners with poor reading culture do not know why they have to read passages regularly.

 Teachers should always focus on the sub skills of reading as a way of addressing learners’ needs. The sub skills include skimming, prediction, scanning and word inference, among others.


Skimming

Skimming involves reading through certain parts of the passage at a faster pace. The objective is to get a rough idea of the message in the passage. Learners may skim through the passage by reading the first sentence of each paragraph. Usually, the first sentence is the topic sentence that states the key aspect in the paragraph. The rest of the sentences give details of the key aspect. After skimming through the passage, they relate the rough ideas developed to what they already know about a given aspect. This arouses their interest to read the entire passage.

Prediction

After skimming through the passage, learners should brainstorm on what they think the passage is about and when they get down to read it, they aim at finding out whether their predictions are true. This helps them to read the passage with enthusiasm.

Scanning

 Learners should be guided on how to critically analyse the specific details of the passage. They should be able to know how the ideas flow in the passage. They should know how the discourse markers are used to guide the reader’s understanding of the information given.

Word inference

Learners should be guided on how to infer meanings of unusual words and phrases used in the passage. They should be able to figure out the message the writer portraying by using the unusual words and phrases. This helps them to analyse and understand the writer’s message.

Reading comprehension should be taught at least once every week to enable learners do adequate practice. Teachers should use a variety of teaching materials that appeal to the learners. They should also integrate the reading skill with the other skills of English language to support the learners adequately.

When we enhance the reading culture in schools, the learners will be able to achieve the desired academic goals.

The writer is a teacher at Riviera High School

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