James M. Ihle
COLL 100 B116
November 28, 2010
Francis P. Hyland
Reading comprehension is a valuable and necessary tool in the learning process. It allows the reader to expand his vocabulary, understand the text he is reading, and use various strategies as he might need them in order to improve learning. It is necessary because it shapes the reader's understanding of ideas and words. It assists his ability to make sense of ideas and concepts. It can even affect various parts of public life, such as the political arena. In assessing the reader's state of reading comprehension, there are three levels: literal, interpretive, and applied. If the reader is not satisfied with his own level of reading comprehension, all is not lost. There are means by which to improve it. These include growing one's vocabulary, utilizing multiple senses, and changing one's reading speed. All of these tools serve to advance the learning process.
In order for one to understand the value reading comprehension possesses, one must first understand what it is. Reading comprehension is “the process of understanding or making meaning when reading” (Elish-Piper, 2010). The reader can use what he knows to get a grasp of the material he is reading. For example, a large vocabulary—understanding the meanings of many words—can help someone understand a wide variety of texts. The text can usually be placed into a specific category. For example, a novel about an unsolved crime would be in the category of a mystery. The reader can then place the text into a proper context. For the purposes of our mystery novel, it could be for the reader's own enjoyment, or perhaps an assignment for a college course. Elish-Piper asserts that “when the reader is able to connect these three key components,” it is much easier for that person to comprehend what he is reading. If the reader needs to, he can use strategies to help comprehend the text better.... [continues]
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