When we think of literacy and reading issues, we often associate them with not being able to read. However, comprehension is an essential part of reading and something that many students, as well as adults, struggle with.

In this article, we’re exploring several ways to improve your reading comprehension and how Bookly can help. Let’s begin. 

What is reading comprehension?

Simply put, reading comprehension is the ability to understand what you’re reading. By comprehending a text, you can extract meaning from it and grasp what the author is trying to convey. 

Reading comprehension has two components: vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension. Vocabulary knowledge refers to understanding the language being used – the literal interpretation of a text. 

On the other hand, text comprehension refers to understanding the subtleties of a text (such as sarcasm, for example).

To read a text, it’s not enough to process only the literal words. Instead, you need to also have a grasp on their relationship with one another, the context, how subtle language and vocabulary usage can impact emotion and meaning behind the text, and how the text comes together as a larger, coherent whole.

Without practice, nuances become lost. And so you might find yourself reading, but not truly comprehending the full meaning of the text.

Why is reading comprehension important?

Being able to read effectively has a positive impact on both your personal and professional life, as understanding a text helps you boost your knowledge in certain areas and help you learn new skills.

Additionally, the benefits of good reading comprehension include:

  • Reading, understanding, and analyzing literature, as well as other subjects such as science;
  • Understanding and engaging with other pieces of written text such as newspapers or blog articles;
  • Understanding and responding to office correspondence;
  • An improved ability to write clearly;
  • Finding reading pleasurable as a leisure activity. 

Now, all this is great, but the truth is that proper reading comprehension is difficult. However, the good news is that it can be improved, just like any other skill. Read on to find out how.

How to improve reading comprehension

The more you practice, the better you become at understanding what you’re reading. Here are a few strategies you can apply:

1. Improve your vocabulary

The ability to understand a text is closely related to knowing the words you’re reading. That’s why improving your vocabulary is one of the best ways to improve reading comprehension. 

At Bookly, we’ve realized this early on, which is why we’ve added the “Add word” feature. Each time you open the app, you see one of the words you’ve previously saved, making memorizing them easier. 

But don’t stop here, though – make a point to use newly learned words both in verbal and written communication. Only then will you be able to retain information. 

2. Keep notes

Another thing you can do to improve your reading comprehension is to keep reading notes. If you own the book, you can use the margins on the side. If you borrowed the book or if you prefer e-books instead, you can use Bookly.

Although keeping notes of what you read is not the most enjoyable task, jotting down what you remember about each chapter, section, or even paragraph is really helpful. And, if your reading comprehension is decent, you’ll only need to take notes occasionally.  

3. Summarize what you read

Summarizing requires you to decide what’s important in the text and then put it in your own words. Because of this, it’s a great exercise to improve your reading comprehension. Additionally, it also helps you better remember what you read in the long term.

4. Read aloud

Distractions of any kind negatively impact your ability to comprehend what you’re reading. So, if you’re the type whose mind wanders while reading, this strategy will help you focus. 

Reading aloud is especially helpful because it incorporates both visual and audio learning. It will also prevent you from thinking about something else while reading. And last but not least, it forces you to slow down and process what you read. 

Do you have any other tips & tricks that have helped you improve your reading comprehension? Share them with other #BooklyReaders below 👇

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