How can I improve my child’s English Reading comprehension?

Enhancing a child’s reading comprehension skills is not a one-off task, but a progressive effort that requires consistent practice and guidance. Each level of primary school education represents a unique phase in your child’s cognitive and linguistic development, so it’s crucial to employ age-appropriate strategies to foster their reading comprehension abilities.

Primary 1: At this initial stage, your child’s reading journey should be centered around fostering a love for reading. Begin with simple picture books that narrate engaging stories. Here, the focus is on understanding the gist of the story rather than its detailed components. Use expressive voices and gestures to bring the story alive and to increase your child’s engagement.

Primary 2: As your child’s ability to read independently develops, introduce them to books with more text and fewer pictures. Encourage them to guess the meanings of new words from the context. After reading, ask simple questions to check their understanding and stimulate thinking.

Primary 3: By this stage, your child should be comfortable reading longer passages. Incorporate books from different genres to broaden their comprehension skills. Teach them to identify the main idea and supporting details of a story. Introduce simple literary devices and guide them in understanding how these devices contribute to the story.

Primary 4: As your child’s cognitive abilities grow, encourage them to read more complex texts. Start teaching strategies for understanding non-literal language, like idioms and metaphors. Promote active reading by asking them to take notes, underline key points, and write summaries.

Primary 5: With the PSLE approaching, it’s crucial to equip your child with the necessary skills to answer comprehension questions effectively. Practice with past examination papers to expose them to a variety of question types. Teach them techniques like looking for clue words in questions and scanning texts for relevant information.

Primary 6: This is a critical year where your child needs to consolidate all their reading comprehension skills for the PSLE. Continue practicing with past papers, but also engage them in discussions about texts to deepen their understanding. By now, they should be equipped to infer meaning, deduce conclusions, compare and contrast ideas, and evaluate arguments within a text.

Remember, the objective of enhancing reading comprehension isn’t just about scoring well in exams. It’s about developing a lifelong learner who appreciates the power of the written word and can navigate the world of text with ease and understanding. And as they progress through each primary level, the aim is not just to improve their reading comprehension skills, but to instill in them a love for reading that goes beyond the classroom.