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Comprehension Strategies for Struggling Readers

Rujuta Borkar Mar 17, 2019
Many people struggle while reading. Comprehension strategies for readers is an effective way to help them understand and build reading skills and strategies such that they become adept at being able to handle texts.
Do you read? Maybe you're not into books. Maybe newspapers? Whatever your choice of reading material may be, It's fairly safe to say that you do not find it difficult to get through a paragraph or even a page of the same? You do not falter, you do not stop and basically you do not even think about the technique when you're reading. You just read.
Now think about this for a minute - There are people - children actually, who find it difficult to read in schools. They struggle with the basics of the same that affects their performance at school and hence they do not enjoy school work.
In order to develop the proper reading skills in students, it is necessary to have certain comprehension strategies for struggling readers in play. These strategies aim at helping students read better. Here, we shall focus on some of these important reading strategies for struggling readers.

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Children

In helping children read better, it becomes a duty of both the teachers and the parents in helping them develop proper skills of how to go about it. For this to happen, certain comprehension strategies can be used. What are these strategies and how do they help? We will get into more details of the same.

Books and Other Reading Material

Firstly, arrange for books. If your child is struggling to read the books that have been provided in the syllabus, then get him books that are simpler to understand. Then sit with the child and read with them. This will help you understand their weakness and what they are struggling with so that you can better plan the strategies to help them in reading.

Teaching them Phonetics

The next important step is to teach the students the phonetic language. This involves teaching the students the sound of the language - how the different sounds create a word. When the word has been broken down and explained thus, it does not seem so threatening for the child to deal with.
Breaking down a word and then grouping it together so that it forms a sensible word and going through words with similar pronunciations will help a child plenty.


One of the simplest strategies is the summarizing, recalling and retelling method. When a child is given a text, the most common reason for why they can't read is because they are overwhelmed by the text.
So the way in which you help is you get them to go slowly through the text and then recollect and retell what they read. In this way, they will be trained to understand the correct methods of reading something. When they struggle, you can help them out immediately.


Another strategy that is known to bring success is to ask questions while the child reads through a text. How does that help? When you pose questions and expect answers, the child is forced to understand the text to provide answers. Unless a child pays attention and understands the text, this factor becomes difficult to bring into action.


Visualizing is to use mental images that go with the text in hand. When we read anything, we are constantly drawing mental images in our head about what is happening, but students who struggle with reading find it difficult to do the same. That is where you come in.
Explain to them how this strategy works and how to go about using it. Initially you make them stop and explain the pictures that they have drawn in their minds. You can even ask them to draw the pictures so that you can monitor their progress.
These are some of the strategies that can be used for improving the reading skills of children who are struggling with the same. These strategies ensure that the entire text is divided into a simpler format and it therefore becomes easier to understand and thereby retell the same.
With enough practice in reading with the help of these strategies, a child can easily acquire the reading skills that are required for the same. Along with that, including certain reading comprehension activities will further help a child.