Using effective strategies to improve student's reading comprehension

Teaching reading comprehension is not easy, we needs strategies (Cris Tovani, 2002). Many teachers only use reading text and questions provided in the text book (Sunggingwati, 2013), They come to classroom and do as usual they do, teaching reading comprehension. They are easy to do that, only give students instruction to read and answer the question in the text, then the classroom become quiet, no students are allowed to talk with their partners, and after they finished reading the text, they have to answer the questions provided in the book. No brainstorm, no self-question, no interaction among the students. How can our education will develop?, teachers must do research about this condition at least classroom action research (CAR). Questioning before giving the text is useful for students' preparing their prior knowledge, ask students about something that relevant to the text, ask students about their experience, and don't forget to make own questions that do not state in the text. Most of the questions provided in the text is in low level of knowledge,  remember bloom taxonomy. We try to ask students with complex questions, ask them about applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.
According to Nell K. Duke and P. David Pearson (2002, p. 6) there are some strategies that can be applied in the classroom:
  1. Prediction. Learner use information from graphics, text and experiences to anticipate what will be read/viewed/heard and to actively adjust comprehension while reading/viewing/listening. We can ask students: What do I/you think will happen next?, what words/image do I/you expect to see or hear in this text?.
  2. Making connections. learners make personal connections from the text with: something in their own life (text to self), another text (text to text), something occurring in the world (text to world). Example questions/statements: This story remind me of a holiday to my grandfather's farm.
  3. Questioning. learners pose and answer questions that clarify meaning and promote deeper understanding of the text. Questions can be generated by the learner, a peer or the teacher. Example questions/statements: What in the text helped me/you know that?, how is this text making me/you feel? why is that?
  4. Monitoring. learners stop and think about the text and know what to do when meaning is disrupted. Example questions/statements: Is that making sense?, What have I/you learned?
  5. Visualizing. learners create a mental image from a text to life, engages the imagination and uses all of the senses. Example questions/statements: what are the pictures I/you have in my/your head as I/you read/view/listen to this text?, can I/you describe the pictures in my/your head help me/you to understand the text?
  6. Summarizing. learners identify and accumulate the most important ideas and restate them in their own words. Example questions/statements: What things will help you/me summarize this text - list, mind map, note-taking, annotations, etc?, what are the main ideas and significant details from the reading/viewing/listening?.
The "super six" comprehension strategies can be applied in our classroom. It needs a lot of practices, and also it is never ending process. We can do it everyday in reading comprehension class.

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