6 Reading Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension is perhaps the most important skill your student will ever learn. And it’s not easy. At first, the struggle to read individual words is an almost painful experience—your student must concentrate so hard to identify each letter and its correct sound. It might take several seconds to read just one word. Thankfully, with practice, reading gets easier, but improving reading comprehension involves so much more than just learning to pronounce an individual word correctly. We want students to understand the message of the words on the page. That’s why teaching reading comprehension strategies is so important.
What causes reading comprehension problems?
There are several reasons why a student may struggle with reading comprehension. Weak decoding skills (the ability to put together phonetic sounds to read an individual word) will certainly affect reading comprehension. Students will also struggle if they have poor vocabularies and don’t know what individual words mean. Students may also have reading comprehension problems if they have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, vision problems, or hearing loss.
Reading comprehension strategies
If your student is struggling with reading comprehension, don’t despair. Having a struggling student does not mean that you are a failure as a teacher or parent. And thankfully, there are several strategies that you can use to help your student develop reading comprehension skills.
1. Teach students to use context clues to read and understand unfamiliar words.
Students who are just learning how to read often come across words they have never read before. We should encourage them to “read” the illustrations and the surrounding words to see if they can guess the unfamiliar word. Often they will be able to figure it out, but even if they don’t, they have practised the valuable skill of using context clues to figure out what an unfamiliar word might mean.
Encourage the development of this skill in every grade level. Whenever you introduce students to new vocabulary words, use those vocabulary words in context sentences and see if your students can formulate a definition of the word based on the context.
2. Provide students with necessary background information before reading a text.
Sometimes students need some background information to understand what they are reading. Younger readers may need concrete examples of some of the things they are reading about. For example, in Reading 1, students read a story about an elk. My daughter knew that an elk was an animal, but she had never seen one before, so we watched a short informational video about elk before reading that selection.
3. Give students a purpose for reading.
It often helps struggling students to have specific information to look for while they are reading. For example, in Reading 2, students read the historical fiction book Hill of Fire. Every few pages, the teacher should ask the students to look for specific information, directing them to “read to find out what happens when the farmer and his son plough the field” or “read to find out what the people in the village do because of the dangerous volcano.”
4. Allow students to read silently for comprehension before asking them to read orally.
When students read orally, they are often so focused on pronouncing individual words correctly that they miss the meaning of those words. Allowing them to read silently first will give them an opportunity to focus on meaning and will allow them to read orally with better fluency and more understanding.
5. Have students make predictions as they read.
It’s important to encourage students to make predictions as they read because it encourages them to pay attention to clues such as chapter titles, headers, illustrations, etc. and think about what they might read about next. Because the students are interacting with the text as they make and revise their predictions, they will be more engaged and more likely to understand what they are reading.
6. Teach students how to use organizational strategies.
A lot of students can benefit from learning how to use graphic organizers while they read. Some particularly helpful ones include
- KWL chart—these help students think about what they already know about a topic, formulate questions to answer while they read, and give them a space to record what they learned.
- Venn diagrams and T-charts—can help students compare and contrast.
- Timelines—these help students keep track of the chronology of events.
- Word webs—these help students organize story details such as the characteristics of a particular character or a setting.
- Use levelled questioning after reading to deepen understanding.
The use of levelled questioning helps your student interact with a text in a meaningful way. It makes students think beyond the simple meaning of the exact words on a page and helps them discern what the author is trying to communicate.
Using reading comprehension strategies will almost certainly result in higher reading comprehension skills. And the more students comprehend what they are reading, the more they will love to read and the more likely they will become lifelong readers and lifelong learners.
Nisai brings distinctive British education to Education & Further Studies Fair in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nisai Malaysia invites learners of all ages to attend the Education & Further Studies Fair Series 53 (EFSF). The EFSF will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 3 April 2022, from 11 am – 6:00 pm daily at the Mid Valley Exhibition Center, Kuala Lumpur (Halls 1, 2, 3, Atrium & Foyer).
Let’s join us to:
- Discover the benefits of studying in Nisai
- Meet with school site administrators from all levels for all content areas, including Nisai Global School, vocational training, teacher training and more!
We are also giving out:
- Scholarship ( T&C Apply).
- Waived Registration Fees (RM500)
- Waived Assessment Test Fee (RM200)
- One (1) Trail Class.
- Free eBooks.
RSVP for this in-person educator fair
Student teachers and out-of-state educators are welcome!
Not able to attend the in-person job fair but want to share your interest and resume with our schools? Please contact our Academic Advisors at
The Nisai Group is an international education and skills provider with 25 years of experience in the education industry, focused on transforming the education landscape through blended and inclusive online learning. Nisai Group now operates and delivers quality assured education in more than 30 countries with representation in 10 countries, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is approved by Cambridge International as a Cambridge International Online School and is an IQM Center of Excellence.
Nisai believes that everyone has equal value and should have access to high-quality education around the world. It is their mission to give traditional and non-traditional learners the skills to flourish through innovative education and by influencing positive institutional change. they provide an inclusive, social and student-focused environment that welcomes learners of all backgrounds.
About the fair:
EDUCATION & FURTHER STUDIES FAIR – SERIES 53
“The Fair would be of interest to the SPM, STPM and UEC school leavers, parents, teachers, university students, working adults, members of the industry and the general public seeking higher education opportunities. A chance not to be missed by enthusiastic students going into undergraduate and post-graduate courses, this Fair will provide all the answers to your queries on the best colleges and universities, courses, scholarships and career possibilities”, said Datin Jercy Choo, Project Consultant of the Fair.
They will also be able to obtain the best advice from educationists and counsellors on the types of specialized training and academic courses available not only in Malaysia but also overseas.
PRESS RELEASE : Nisai Group acquires international specialist in workforce development, The Institute of Productivity
Nisai Group, a leading provider of online education to school age and adult learners is pleased to announce the acquisition of UK based The Institute of Productivity (IoP) extending the reach of Nisai in to the Higher Education and work-based sectors and supporting Nisai’s global strategy of improving opportunities for individuals and communities worldwide. The IoP offer complements the existing Nisai offer by providing additional educational pathways to learners who are looking to progress with a more technical and vocational route globally whilst also working at undergraduate and post graduate level. Given IoP’s long standing relationship with the UK based awarding body NOCN, Nisai sees this as a positive step forward to increasing the awareness of all three organisations within the work-based training sector not just from a TVET perspective but also for the improvement of functional maths and English.
NISAI will be adding the wide range of over 50 IOP specific on-line productivity modules to their range of education provision
IoP will be joining the NISAI group as a specialist think tank and educational agency focused on creating and delivering productivity education to support agricultural and industrial development.
The IOP team have collaborated closely with key members of FAO and UNIDO in the creation and delivery of a range of productivity programmes delivered in key countries including India, Nigeria, Mauritius, Indonesia, Bahrain, and Bangladesh. A key focus of IoP productivity programmes has been the role of productivity-based food standards education programmes showcasing gains to the bottom line for small businesses and communities.
IoP has been led by the Past President of the World Confederation of Productivity Science (WCPS) and the current Chairman of WCPS in various guides for almost 30 years. The previous Directors of IoP will join the new team as research fellows to continue to support material development. IoP has been involved in workforce development in the manufacturing, retail, service and agricultural sectors. They have trained workers at all levels from Operations through to Senior Management.
Their training programmes have been developed with a particular emphasis on participants acquiring skills in terms of problem solving and productivity improvements in the workplace. These programmes have been designed so they can be utilised as bitesize chunks of training in a particular skill set or leading to Internationally recognised qualifications at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level .
Professor Daniel Khan OBE who has taken the role of Chief Executive comments “The Institute of Productivity extensive range of Education and Training programmes are among the best globally in meeting the needs of Businesses to upskill their workforce in facing the challenges of improving their productivity and profitability with limited resources in a challenging economic environment.
Dhruv Patel, CEO and Founder of Nisai Group commented “The addition of IoP to the wider Nisai educational offer will support our teams to build on our ongoing strategy both in the UK and internationally. This is a fantastic time for Nisai, through it’s international networks to increase the awareness of IoP courses to support agricultural and industrial development.”
In a joint statement from Professors John Heap and Mike Dillon they said “The Institute of Productivity (IoP) is pleased to be joining the Nisai group. This move extends the reach of IoP and fits very well within Nisai’s commitment to developing knowledge and skills in support of specific industrial sectors and individual aspiration.
We are particularly pleased to be joining a group that shares our values, our commitment to developing social, economic and environmental productivity and our desire to make productivity-related education and training accessible to those in disadvantaged communities and developing nations.”
About Nisai Group
The Nisai Group is an international education and skills provider with 25 years of experience in the education industry, focused on transforming the education landscape through blended and inclusive online learning. Nisai Group now operates and delivers quality assured education in more than 30 countries with representation in 10 countries, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is approved by Cambridge International as a Cambridge International Online School and is an IQM Centre of Excellence.
Nisai believe that everyone has equal value and should have access to high quality education around the world. It is their mission to give traditional and non-traditional learners the skills to flourish through innovative education and by influencing positive institutional change. they provide an inclusive, social and student-focused environment that welcomes learners of all backgrounds.
About The Institute of Productivity
The Institute of Productivity is a think-tank, publishing house and strategic consultancy focusing on the trade and business benefits of addressing all of Social, Environmental and Economic Productivities and thus of creating long-term, sustainable organisations and economies.
We recognise, of course, that all businesses have to be financially successful but we also understand that total concentration on financial success often leads to short-term thinking and sub-optimal behaviour.
Of the 3 SEE productivities, we feel that social productivity has been the most neglected and we aim to help redress the balance by focusing on ways in which the benefits of productivity growth can be realised and shared in ways which meet the needs and aspirations of a range of stakeholders.
The Institute has a particular interest in the impact of education and training on organisational and national performance and has developed a range of accredited educational opportunities at different levels to further the development of attitudes, knowledge and skills that lead to improved productivity