Reading comprehension is essential to real reading success: to read is to put sound and meaning to the written word. A child begins reading by sounding out each syllable and combining the syllables into a word. Reading comprehension is understanding what you have read. The National Reading Panel (2000) listed reading comprehension as one of the five basic skills important in reading instruction, noting that it is "essential not only to academic learning in all subject areas but to lifelong learning as well. However, there is no one specific skill that allows someone to fully understand the text. Instead, reading comprehension is a combination of a number of skills. Some of the skills needed for reading comprehension are recall, inference, vocabulary, summarizing and much more. Good readers are able to determine what types of reading strategies to use in order to understand the text. For example, a reader may use their knowledge of vocabulary to help determine the meaning of a new word or can use surrounding text to help comprehend the meaning of a sentence. Readers who do not know how to work through different strategies struggle more in reading. Student can increase his ability to understand the text or story by implementing reading strategies as they are reading when he has a hard time with reading comprehension.

Improving reading comprehension in students with dyslexia

Students can determine if they have a clear understanding of what they have read or if they need to reread the section or use additional strategies to aid in their comprehension by summarizing the information after each section or chapter, or even after every couple of paragraphs. A great way to make information come to life is drawing a picture or using other multisensory activities. to depict what is happening in the story. Using content maps can help organize the information, for example, when reading social studies, students can create a time line or map the relationships of the people, places and events that occurred even when reading informational text. Some questions a student can ask when making an illustration are: Who was involved?  What happened? Where did the event occur? When? Why did the characters or historical figures act in this way? Answering questions about the information can help in developing inferences and making predictions about what will happen next as well as reinforcing the information. Either before reading by briefly looking through the material first or after they have read or by writing down questions for another student, then trading questions they can be generated by the teacher or the student can create their own questions. Questions can be answered during reading or after reading has been completed. Encouraging class or group discussions helps to increase comprehension. Listening to the opinions and sharing their own helps to build understanding when students talk about what they have read. Small group discussions also offer the opportunity for students that feel uncomfortable asking questions aloud to ask questions in a smaller, more informal setting. Reading comprehension can and is taught even before a child begins to read.