How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension
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Are you reading this right now? This is good. Reading just about anything is the first step to improving your comprehension! You're already a step ahead than everyone else by doing this.
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Did you know that based on the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Report, Philippine High school students score lower in reading comprehension, along with Mathematics and Science, compared to those of other countries? "Based on the findings, over 80 percent of Filipino students around the age of fifteen did not reach the minimum level of proficiency in reading" (Manlapig).
If you're reading this article, you're probably wondering how to avoid being part of that statistic. To improve your reading comprehension starting today, here are some tips you can use!
Tips on How to Improve Reading Comprehension
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1. Start Reading At An Early Age.
Learning skills when you're younger is easier to do than when you're older because your brain is still fresh and is better able to store new memories than adults whose brains have already been storing information for quite some time and need to reuse the same pathways for retention (“Why the Young Learn More Easily”).
Given this, it is always a good idea to introduce reading to your child the younger they are. Most children start reading as early as 3 to 5 when they enter preschool. During this time, it is crucial for young learners to be guided in their reading experience so that they will not only read properly and progress faster, they will also find the experience more enjoyable.
If you need help teaching your child how to read, try enrolling them in a preschool program or get them a private reading tutor who can help you guide your child on how to read from the comforts of your home!
But if you're no longer young, it's not a problem. Just start now! As they say, the best time to get started is always today! If you are reading this article and you want to reap the benefits that reading can bring you, then improving your comprehension as soon as you can by taking these steps. Read the rest of this article, this is a reading exercise already!
Think you need some help? Check out our Grade School English and High School Reading and Writing online tutoring programs and start improving your reading comprehension from home! If English is your second language and you need help, you can also avail of Online English as Second Language Tutoring.
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2. Find out what you enjoy reading and read those!
One of the biggest hurdles to improving reading comprehension is lack of practice. This is because a lot of people are averse to reading. To avoid this, one must find something they enjoy and read about that! It doesn’t even have to be fiction. While there’s an assumption that fiction is what most readers enjoy, even for young readers, their interests are incredibly diverse; and having a young child who loves skateboard read about mystery and adventure might be just as boring as reading an Encyclopedia.
So let the child explore! Let them find what they enjoy and have them read about that. If a reader loves basketball, give them material on basketball techniques to read! If a reader loves travelling, give them books talking about the different places in the world! There’s no one size fits all!
If it’s important to read to improve comprehension, then it’s crucial to have internal reinforcement to make the activity sustainable. Instead of making someone read something you think they should read, how about starting with material they want to read? It makes getting them started a whole lot easier since the interest in the subject is already there.
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3. Talk to others about what you read!
Application is always a great way to enhance one’s learning. An easy way to apply what you read is to talk about it. If you’re a parent encouraging your child to read, then talk to them about their reading material! Doing something so simple can help activate their comprehension and improve their understanding of the reading material.
Have normal conversations about what you read! Have you ever had a friend ask you about a book you’re reading? Didn’t you have to think about the material? This is a simple yet effective strategy to get someone to reflect on something without actually making it feel like work!
Moreover, talking about something you enjoyed reading makes the reading process all the more enjoyable if you’re able to share it with others!
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Reading is a daily part of life. We read ads, signs, and even labels on products! But things get a bit trickier when material is longer. In an age where videos are more and more accessible, some may think that reading no longer has its place, but on the contrary, reading is still very important, if not more so.
You see, given the rise in daily stressors in our fast-paced environment, reading offers us the ability to improve our analytical thinking and our focus. It also offers us solace and tranquility when we’re able to enter a mental space unhindered by outside influences. Not to mention, one is able to broaden their knowledge, improve their memory, and give their brains its daily dose of mental exercise (Winter).
“BBC NEWS | Health | Why the Young Learn More Easily.” Home - BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6172048.stm#:~:text=University%20of%20Oxford%20scientists%20say,their%20brains%20store%20memories%20differently.&text=Experts%20said%20younger%20brains%20may,may%20store%20information%20more%20efficiently. Accessed 29 June 2020.
Manlapig, Marga. “What’s to Blame for the Low Reading Comprehension of the Filipino Youth?” Cnn, https://www.cnn.ph/life/culture/2020/4/21/reading-comprehension-problem.html. Accessed 29 June 2020.
Winter, Catherine. “10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 21 May 2013, https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-reading-why-you-should-read-everyday.html.