5 Strategies Involved in Reading Comprehension

Understanding what you read is a complex process. Today, we'll tell you about five strategies involved in reading comprehension.
5 Strategies Involved in Reading Comprehension

Last update: 02 May, 2021

Many children have difficulty understanding what they read. This happens because, although they have the ability to recognize and decode the different letters of words and understand that these have their own meaning, they haven’t yet acquired the competence to analyze semantically the information they read, trying to understand what the text conveys. Therefore, the mistake these children make is not applying the five strategies involved in reading comprehension.

So, do you want to know what these strategies are? In this article, we’ll explain in detail what each of them consists of.

“The comprehension of a text is the product of a process regulated by the reader, in which there’s an interaction between the information stored in his or her memory and the information provided by the text.”

– Sylvia Defior Citoler –

5 strategies involved in reading comprehension

According to Ramón Almela Pérez, Ginés Lozano Jaén, and María Teresa Caro Valverde, professors at the University of Murcia (Spain), there are five didactic strategies involved in reading comprehension.

Once a person has already assimilated them, they carry out these strategies automatically and unconsciously. But they don’t develop innately. So, we must teach them to children little by little.

5 Strategies Involved in Reading Comprehension

“An effective reader is one who manages to correctly associate textual stimuli to those phonic responses that are considered correct, understanding the material as effectively as possible in the least amount of time.”

– María Dolores González Portal –

1. Use text cues to guide reading comprehension

All texts have a specific form, that is, they’re structured and organized in a certain way. This is the first thing we visualize before we start reading. Therefore, it’s important to notice and observe the visual cues that the text provides (number of paragraphs, typeface, headings, hyphens, , etc.), using them as an aid to guide reading comprehension.

2. Becoming aware of comprehension

Another one of the strategies involved in reading comprehension is self-evaluating one’s own ability to read and comprehend a text, becoming aware of the difficulties one has and, if necessary, taking action to solve them.

In this regard, one of the biggest mistakes children make is to read automatically, without understanding what they’re reading. To help them in this aspect, it’s a good idea to ask them questions related to the comprehension of the text, providing them with feedback so that they can learn from their mistakes.

3. Set a reading objective, one of the strategies involved in reading comprehension

This involves specifying the reason for reading. For example, some of the most common objectives are:

  • Pleasure
  • Looking for a specific fact
  • Learning an opinion
  • Learning new information about a subject
  • Memorizing information
5 Strategies Involved in Reading Comprehension

We must take this objective into account when reading and trying to understand a text correctly. Based on this, we’ll decide whether to read deeply, selectively, quickly…

4. Focusing attention and synthesizing information

In order to focus on the text and focus attention on reading and understanding it, it’s a good idea to use strategies that facilitate this action. For example, asking questions about the reading, relating the content with previous knowledge on the subject, using the technique of underlining or highlighting, etc.

What’s more, to increase concentration, you can also create summaries, diagrams, or mental maps to organize and synthesize the information for better comprehension. This is especially useful when the goal is to memorize and assimilate the information.

5. Verify the hypotheses regarding the text

The last strategy involved in reading comprehension is that of verifying hypotheses regarding a text. So, as one reads, they check whether the ideas presented are coherent with their own knowledge and with the logic of the situation and the topic.

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  • Almela, R., Caro-Valverde, M. y Lozano, G. (2009). Guía para los exámenes de lengua castellana y comentario de texto: pruebas de acceso a la Universidad de Murcia. Murcia: Editum.