“A reading comprehension strategy is a cognitive or behavioral action that is enacted under particular contextual conditions, with the goal of improving some aspect of comprehension” (McNamara, 2007, p. 6).
In order to present a captivating and educative for students strategy, it is necessary to evaluate their levels of knowledge, their abilities to perceive information, and their attitude to education and reading in particular. When a teacher is aware of what a student expects to get during his or her education, the results of the organizer’s creation may be positive.
This simply organized diagram should be helpful for both student and teacher to check reading abilities of students and improve them if necessary. It is known that any reading comprehension strategy takes certain time (Klingner, Vaughn, & Boardman, 2007): time to explain the purposes of the organizer, time to involve students into the work, time to complete the organizer, and time to evaluate students’ answers.
First of all, it is necessary to clear up what reading comprehension strategies are chosen for this work. There are 5 major strategies under analysis:
This strategy should develop student abilities to evaluate the received information, to predict the outcomes of reading, and to comprehend why this very reading is important. In the offered organizer, for this very strategy, it is necessary to answer the questions 1, 3, 5. Students get a chance to develop their rational thinking, their forecasting abilities, and their involvement into reading.
Clearly offered questions help students comprehend what kind of answer should be represented. The questions beginning with “WHAT” and “WHY” give a hint to a student that the answers have to be extensive.
This reading comprehension strategy helps to identify the title of the story, its content, the words, which have to be analyzed, and the setting that create a general picture. TELLS strategy requires the answering to all but number four questions of this graphic organizer. A student has to concentrate not only on personal perception of the story, but also be able to share this information with the other students. First of all, it is necessary to introduce the story under consideration: present its title, describe the characters, pay more attention to setting in order to help other students get an idea of how the story is seen by this particular student.
These clearly defined questions promote student’s creative thinking and own approach to the evaluation of the text under discussion. First, a student sees that each question is addressed straight to him or her, this is why this student tries to show his/her maturity and awareness of the topic.
Another very helpful strategy for tutors to use is a think – aloud. This strategy requires aloud reading from a teacher and attentive listening from students. When a tutor stops reading, students have to answer each of the questions from the organizer. In general, the answers to the questions 1 and 2 should be similar, because al, students are under the same conditions. However, the answers to other three questions have to show personal attitude to this activity and student’s involvement into this work.
Students already know about the questions, which have to be asked, however, they do not know the content of the story and teachers intentions. This is why this strategy with the help of this organizer promote a student not only to predict possible questions but also listen information attentively in order to give interesting and, the most important point, correct answers aloud.
The essence of this strategy is to prepare students for a qualitative analysis of a text. Text annotation requires both awareness of the content and abilities to reproduce own thoughts about the story in a clear and sophisticated way. This graphic organizer helps students concentrate on the main issues, which will develop creative thinking. After a students answers the questions 1-5 of the organizer, he or she will be able to start annotative a text and give appropriate information.
The benefits are rather clear here: students save their time and work on their own creativity in order to represent proper pieces of work and prove a teacher their abilities to comprehend assignments. This circle of answers shows a way of how their thinking should work to students.
This strategy is probably the one that is based on all of the questions, offered in the organizer. The essence of this activity is to study students how to pose and answer questions in a clear way. The offered questions may serve as examples to follow while developing own questions. It is also possible to ask students create sub-questions to the already created ones.
The major benefit in this strategy is illustrations of how to work at classes. When students see some kinds of examples, they are not afraid to offer different variations of questions and demonstrate their awareness of the text.
Klingner, J. K., Vaughn, S., & Boardman, A. (2007). Teaching Reading Comprehension to Students with Learning Difficulties. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
McNamara, D. S. (2007). Reading Comprehension Strategies: Theories, Interventions, and Technologies. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.