How Do You Know If a Child Has Comprehended What They Have Read?


Quick Answer

A child's reading comprehension ability is determined by how well he understands and interprets the written material. In most instances, a broad vocabulary results in a higher comprehension level.

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Reading comprehension involves three types of skills. First, children must be able to explain, or decode, what he has read. Second, he must be able to make connections between the written material and what he already know.s Third, a child must feel compelled to think deeply about the material. A child with good comprehension skills understands the facts of a story, what events shaped the plot and what roles the characters played.

Normally, a child's ability to comprehend through listening is much higher than his ability to comprehend through reading. Reading accuracy, or the ability to read a passage aloud without any mistakes, should not be confused with reading comprehension reports. Often, a child has the skill to pronounce a word correctly without knowing the meaning of the word. That is why vocabulary plays a key role reading comprehension.

Testing for comprehension typically involves asking a child specific, factual questions about what he has read. However, more extensive testing often presents the child with questions that require him to make inferences or assumptions about the material. For instance, a child may be asked why the character felt a certain way, or what he thinks is likely to happen next in the story.

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