“Comprehension Achieved,” was the headlines from the Daily Reader. “Hmmm,” thought the detective. “I wonder if it’s finally true. After years, of developing the scaffolding for comprehension and the amount of vocabulary that went into this,” the detective said aloud. A passerby said, “Sure is, they were able to decipher the code and then they built Fluency.” Another voice chimed in, “Don’t forget the visualization that went into the project.” “Ah, yes,” said the detective. I thought as much. I’m just not convinced it’s true. The newsboy piped in, “Read all about it in today’s paper.” The detective paid the paperboy and started to read….
When a student understands the meaning of a text, that student has reached comprehension. Comprehension is a cumulative process for a reader. David Sousa (2006), defines comprehension as, “… a complex interactive process that begins with identifying words by using knowledge outside of the text, accessing word meaning in context, recognizing grammatical structures, drawing inferences, and monitoring oneself to ensure that the text is making sense” (p. 187). For a student to understand a text, several needs need to be met:
- background knowledge to build upon the scaffolding
- distinguish the meaning of words or phrases in different contexts using vocabulary skills
- Print concepts to distinguish structures in text
- sense of fluency (created from phonics and phonemic awareness)
- skill of visualization.
All of these components build towards comprehension of text.
Sousa, D. (2006). How the brain learns: Third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
A wide smile grew across the detective’s face as he finished. He neatly folding and tucked the newspaper under his arm as he walked away.