The Importance Of Reading Comprehension

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Reading comprehension encompasses constructing meaning using cognitive skills at the literal, interpretive, applied and critical levels (Blachowicz & Ogle, 2008). Van Keer and Verhaeghe (2005) contended that while decoding was assumed to be synonymous with comprehension, research has shown that this is not so. Reading comprehension comprises cognitive and metacognitive abilities which are activated to stimulate understanding of the text (Van Keer et al., 2005). Consequently, reading comprehension is the desired outcome of content area subjects. Akhondi, Malayeri and Somad (2011) contend that while this area had previously focused on developing skills from rote learning, it has now moved into the promotion of strategic learning that is adaptable to all learning situations. Furthermore, expository texts can be complex and confounding. As such, teachers equip the students with the right tools to navigate them effectively. Thus, educators teach the reading comprehension strategies, such as, text structure, questioning, and monitoring, in order to help them to understand what they read. According to McLaughlin (as cited in McLaughlin, 2012) teachers play active roles in the students’ acquisition of reading comprehension strategies “by explaining, demonstrating, and guiding” (p. 436). Therefore, teachers use the gradual release of responsibility model, where they model the use of the strategies, work with the students i¬¬n using them and allow them to work independently, under

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