There was a time, not so long ago, when students were taught to read and comprehend what they read. They were expected to read slowly and thoughtfully, to savor the language and the ideas in the text. They were encouraged to read widely, to explore different genres and authors, and to develop a rich vocabulary.

Then something happened. Students were no longer expected to read and comprehend. They were expected to read quickly and to skim texts for information. They were encouraged to read only what was assigned, and to focus on facts and details rather than on ideas. Their vocabulary development was no longer a priority.

What happened to reading comprehension? It didn’t just go away. It was deliberately pushed aside in favor of other skills that were deemed more important. And while there are some benefits to being able to read quickly and to find information quickly, there are also some serious drawbacks.

When students are only focused on skimming and speed-reading, they are not developing the critical thinking and analysis skills that come from close reading. They are not developing the ability to see multiple interpretations of a text, or to appreciate different points of view. They are not learning to question what they read, or to think deeply about the ideas in a text.

In short, they are not developing the skills that they need to be critical readers and thinkers. And that is a problem.

Other related questions:

What is the problem of reading comprehension?

There is no one answer to this question as different people may have different difficulties with reading comprehension for different reasons. Some potential difficulties could include not being able to read quickly enough to keep up with the pace of the text, not being able to understand the vocabulary being used, or not being able to follow the argument or story being presented. If someone is struggling with reading comprehension, it is important to identify the specific issue that is causing the difficulty so that it can be addressed.

Why do students struggle with reading comprehension?

There are a number of reasons why students might struggle with reading comprehension. Some students might have difficulty decoding words, which can make it hard to understand the text. Others might have difficulty making inferences or understanding implicit meaning. Additionally, some students might have difficulty remembering information from what they read, which can make it difficult to follow the plot or keep track of characters.

What are the causes of poor comprehension?

There are many potential causes of poor comprehension, including difficulty with decoding words, difficulty with understanding the main idea of a text, and difficulty with making inferences. Additionally, poor comprehension can be caused by a lack of prior knowledge about a topic, poor listening skills, or a lack of motivation.


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