Method of Comprehension for Paper 1 Unit III (Comprehension) as Per New 2021 Syllabus

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Comprehension: Concept & Definition

Title: Comprehension

Complete Postal Material Updated as per New Syllabus

  • We define reading comprehension as the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. We use the words extracting and constructing to emphasize both the importance and the insufficiency of the text as a determinant of reading comprehension. Comprehension entails three elements.
    • The reader who is doing the comprehending
    • The text that is to be comprehended
    • The activity in which comprehension is a part.
  • In considering the reader, we include all the capacities, abilities, knowledge, and experiences that a person brings to the act of reading. Text is broadly construed to include any printed text or electronic text. In considering activity, we include the purposes, processes, and consequences associated with the act of reading.

The Reader

  • To comprehend, a reader must have a wide range of capacities and abilities.
  • These include cognitive capacities (e. g. , attention, memory, critical analytic ability, inferencing, visualization ability) , motivation (a purpose for reading, an interest in the content being read, self-efficacy as a reader) , and various types of knowledge (vocabulary, domain and topic knowledge, linguistic and discourse knowledge, knowledge of specific comprehension strategies) .
  • Of course, the specific cognitive, motivational, and linguistic capacities and the knowledge base called on in any act of reading comprehension depend on the texts in use and the specific activity in which one is engaged.
  • As a reader begins to read and completes whatever activity is at hand, some of the knowledge and capabilities of the reader change.
  • For example, a reader might increase domain knowledge during reading. Similarly, vocabulary, linguistic, or discourse knowledge might increase. Fluency could also increase as a function of the additional practice in reading.
  • Motivational factors, such as self-concept or interest in the topic, might change in either a positive or a negative direction during a successful or an unsuccessful reading experience.

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The Text

  • The features of text have a large effect on comprehension. Comprehension does not occur by simply extracting meaning from text. During reading, the reader constructs different representations of the text that are important for comprehension. These representations include.
  • For example, the surface code (the exact wording of the text) , the text base (idea units representing the meaning) , and a representation of the mental models embedded in the text. The proliferation of computers and electronic text has led us to broaden the definition of text to include electronic text and multimedia documents in addition to conventional print.
  • Electronic text can present particular challenges to comprehension, such as dealing with the non-linear nature of hypertext, but it also offers the potential for supporting the comprehension of complex texts, for example, through hyperlinks to definitions or translations of difficult words or to paraphrasing of complex sentences.

The Activity

  • During reading, the reader processes the text with regard to the purpose. Processing the text involves, beyond decoding, higher-level linguistic and semantic processing and monitoring.
  • Each process is more or less important in different types of reading, including skimming (getting only the gist of text) and studying (reading text with the intent of retaining the information for a period of time) .
  • Knowledge, application, and engagement can be viewed as direct consequences of the reading activity. Activities may also have other, longer-term consequences.
  • Any knowledge (or application) acquired during reading for enjoyment also becomes part of the knowledge that a reader brings to the next reading experience.
  • Learning new vocabulary, acquiring incidental knowledge about Civil War battles or bouillabaisse ingredients, or discovering a new interest might all be consequences of reading with comprehension.

The Context

  • One important set of reading activities occurs in the context of instruction. Understanding how the reader՚s purpose for reading and operations are shaped by instruction, and how short- and long-term consequences are influenced by instruction, constitutes a major issue within the research agenda we propose.
  • When we think about the context of learning to read, we think mostly of classrooms. Of course, children bring to their classrooms vastly varying capacities and understandings about reading, which are in turn influenced, or in some cases determined, by their experiences in their homes and neighborhoods.
  • Further, classrooms and schools themselves reflect the neighborhood context and the economic disparities of the larger society. The differences in instruction and in the availability of texts, computers, and other instructional resources between schools serving low-income neighborhoods and those serving middle-income neighborhoods are well documented.

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