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Components of Reading Essay

Berry (2005), in his studies, reiterated that reading is a thinking activity. This process involves getting meaning from the printed word or symbol. Instructors will expect that you, as a student, will be able to read at all levels of meaning or comprehension. For many learning-disabled students, reading comprehension is a major problem.

Some causes for developing the comprehension levels is that first:, when the person has a language problem or if a child’s knowledge of English is poor, then his reading will also be poor, and naturally also his reading comprehension; second, if the foundation skills of reading have not been automatized, implying that poor reader is forced to apply all his concentration to word recognition and therefore has no concentration left to decode the written word and as a result, he will not be able to read with comprehension;

Lastly, if the reader is unable to decode the written word, then reading comprehension is impossible, (http://www.learninginfo. org/reading. comprehension. problems. htm Retrieved January 15, 2010).

The Department of Education reports that there has been a 21. 36 percent increase in NAT results from 2006 to 2009. The 2009 revealed a rise in mean percentage score (MPS) of only 66. 33 percent from 54. 66 percent in 2006, which equates to an improvement of 11. 67 percent. This progress says anything about the reading skills of our country’s students but it is not something to be happy about. A 66. 33 MPS is still a rather low score (http://www. mb. com. ph/articles/232402. htm Retrieved December 27, 2009).

In St. Mary’s College, annual National Career Assessment Examination is administered to the graduating students or Fourth Year Level students. It was found out through the examination conducted during School Year 2007-2008 that there was 50% or eighty eight (88) of the one hundred seventy six (176) total populations of the fourth year students to be on the average level in the strand of reading comprehension, trailed by 25. 5% or forty five (45) students who claimed to be on the above average level, 17% or thirty (30) students who consigned at the low average level, 5% or eight students situated their comprehension at very high level, and 0.

57% or one (1) student ranked to be on the poor level. Over the years, beyond the job market, poor reading comprehension also has implications on an individual’s level of participation in society. Those who read more tend to involve themselves more in current issues, cultural, political and public affairs. Proficient readers are also more inclined to be active in community and charity work. They engaged themselves in noble causes and make better informed decisions. In short, reading well spurs a person to do and achieve more, far beyond getting higher scores on scholastic exams.

Proficiency in reading comprehension means proficiency in other disciplines. Knowing this, the researchers were encouraged to study how components of reading influence students in their level of comprehension. Statement of the Problem This study aimed to determine whether the extent of the Components in Reading affects the Levels of Reading Comprehension of the Third Year High School Students of St. Mary’s College of Tagum City, School Year 2009-2010. Specifically, it seeks answer to the following questions: 1.

What is the extent of Components in Reading Comprehension in terms of: 1. 1 phonemic awareness; 1. 2 phonics; 1. 3 reading fluency; 1. 4 vocabulary development; and 1. 5 reading comprehension strategies? 2. What is the Level of Reading Comprehension in terms of: 2. 1 literal; 2. 2 interpretive; and 2. 3 applied? 3. Is there a significant difference on the extent of Components of Reading Comprehension when analyzed according to section? 4. Is there a significant difference on the Levels of Reading Comprehension when analyzed according to section? 5.

Is there a significant relationship between the extent of the Components in Reading and the Levels of Reading Comprehension of Third Year High School Students of St. Mary’s College of Tagum City, School Year 2009-2010? Hypotheses From the statement of the problem, null hypotheses were drawn to determine the significant difference and relationship of the variables, as follows: 1. There is no significant difference on the extent of the components of reading comprehension when analyzed according to section. 2. There is no significant difference on the level of reading comprehension when analyzed according to section. 3.

There is no significant relationship between the components of reading comprehension and the level of reading comprehension of Third Year High School Students of St. Mary’s College of Tagum City, School Year 2009-2010. Review of Related Literature This section presents various readings from published and unpublished works of other researchers which are relevant to the current study on the Components in Reading and the Comprehension Levels of Third Year High School Students of St.

Mary’s College of Tagum. Components of Reading Comprehension Components of reading are the several sub skills of fluent reading ability (http://nifl.gov/readingprofiles/glossary. htm Retrieved January 15 2010). Reading with children and helping them practice specific reading components can dramatically improve their ability to read, (http://www. ask. com/bar? q=readingcomponents. html. com Retrieved September 6, 2010).

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or NICHD (2000) summarized several decades of scientific research that clearly shows effective reading instruction addresses five critical areas such as phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

These five areas were incorporated into the No Child Left Behind Act and the Reading First Initiative as essential components of effective reading instruction. There are many approaches to teaching these five essential components. These approaches differ in how much guidance or direction teachers provide as their students are learning new skills, how clearly and directly teachers explain new skills, whether they demonstrate exactly how to use a specific skill, and whether the skills are taught in a thoughtful sequence, (http://www. learningpt. org/pdfs/literacy/components. pdf Retrieved October 1, 2010).

Proficient readers experience reading as a seamless process—-almost as if the text is “talking” to them. However, teachers who work with struggling readers find it helpful to deconstruct the reading process into its component parts.

The components of reading can be divided into two groups which are the Print Skills or the Alphabetics that was composed of Phonemic Awareness, Word Analysis, Word Recognition, Spelling, Fluency while the second group is the Meaning Skills that was composed of Vocabulary Development, Word Meaning, Background Knowledge and Silent Reading Comprehension.

(http://www.nifl. gov/ MC_Reading_Components. htm Retrieved January 16, 2010). According to the video posted by kpav596 last April 9, 2010, it is an overview of the components of reading comprehension in what educators can do before, during and after reading to ensure that students make improvements. Reading is creating meaning from print. It requires word recognition, comprehension, and fluency.

Tasks of reading comprehension includes (literal) identifying main idea, attending to facts and details, sequencing events, (interpretive) understanding cause and effect, making predictions, deducing word meaning in context, interpreting figurative language, drawing conclusions or inferences, distinguishing between fact and fiction, identifying author’s purpose, (applied) making sense of story structure and genre. Unfortunately, these skills do not come naturally for all readers.

Strategies that improve text comprehension: making connections to background knowledge, summarizing the most important information, creating mental images, self-questioning before, during and after reading, (http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=lwfietbo24y Retrieved October 9, 2010). According to Anderson (2009), reading is a basic life skill. Thus, it is a cornerstone for a child’s success in school, and, indeed throughout life. Without the ability to read well, opportunities for personal fulfillment and job success inevitably will be lost.

In addition, it is a process of constructing meaning from written texts. The five essential components of effective reading instruction represent ingredients that must be present in order for children to learn to read. Effective teachers know how to blend these ingredients in the right proportions to meet the unique needs of each child. They understand the roles of phonemic awareness and phonics in building word-recognition skills, and they know how to identify and correct students’ weaknesses in these areas.

They also know that these two foundational components will receive less emphasis as students gain competence as readers. Effective teachers know how fluency facilitates comprehension, and they know how to use research-based strategies for helping students become fluent readers. These teachers are continually building each student’s vocabulary and the ability to learn the meanings of new words through a variety of word-learning strategies.

Finally, they know that comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading instruction, and they are adept at helping students learn to apply appropriate comprehension strategies as they read. Those who accept the responsibility for teaching children to read understand that it includes a commitment to continually search for more effective ways to help children gain competence in this very important skill. This paper is intended to provide teachers with a clear description of these components, how they influence reading and reading achievement, and how they can be taught effectively.

An in-depth understanding of these components will enable teachers to plan an effective program of reading instruction, diagnose reading difficulties and provide instruction that targets those difficulties effectively, evaluate reading materials and instructional practices, and help others become more effective teachers of reading, (Beck and McKeown, 2001). Phonemic Awareness. Phonemic awareness is the knowledge and manipulation of sounds in spoken words. It is the recognition and usage of individual sounds to create words.

It refers to the students’ ability to focus on and manipulate these phonemes in spoken words. According to the National Reading Panel, teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly improves their reading skills and their reading performance(http://www. readnaturally. com/approach. readcmpts. htm Retrieved December 30, 2009). It is commonly defined as the understanding that spoken words are made up of separate units of sound that are blended together when words are pronounced.

However, it can also be thought of as skill at hearing and producing the separate sounds in words, dividing or segmenting words into their component sounds, blending separate sounds into words, and recognizing words that sounds alike or different, (http://www. learningpt. org/pdfs/literacy/components. pdf Retrieved October 1, 2010). It is also defined by reading experts as the ability to “focus on and manipulate phonemes in spoken words”. For example, hearing and saying that the word cat has three sounds, or phonemes /k/ /a/ /t/ is an example of phonemic awareness skill.

As an essential part of learning to read and a strong predictor of reading success, phonemic awareness is a concept every reading teacher should understand and be able to teach proficiently, (Lundberg, et. al. , 1998). It overlaps and is often confused with phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to distinguish distinct sounds. Children without phonological understanding might not have learned to hear the difference between three or free, lice or rice, meat or neat. Phonological is another important pre- reading skill which also must be learned and practiced.

Children build phonemic awareness and other pre- reading skills by practicing nursery rhymes and playing sound and word games. Common exercises to develop phonemic awareness include games with rhymed words, games based on recognizing initial consonance. As phonemic awareness is developed, children should become interested in how words are portrayed in print. They recommended that daily reading sessions with the children following along should help develop their understanding of print concept and feed their curiosity.

This interest in decoding the words is the fuel for the children learning the alphabet and phonics decoding skills (Adams, et.al. , 1998). Phonemic awareness is a strong predictor of children who experience early reading success. It is essential to learning to read in an alphabetic writing system, because letters represent sounds or phonemes.

Without phonemic awareness, phonics makes little sense. It is a fundamental to mapping speech to print. If a child cannot hear that “man” and “moon” begin with the same sound or cannot blend the sounds /rrrrruuuuuuunnn/ into the word “run”, he or she may have great difficulty connecting sounds with their written symbols or blending sounds to make a word, (http://reading.uoregon. edu/big_ideas/pa/pa_what. php Retrieved September 6, 2010).

Phonemic awareness helps young children use more advanced ways of learning new words. Learning a new word involves forming a connection between visual information about the world as it appears in print and its meaning, pronunciation, and other information that is stored in the child’s oral vocabulary. This connection is what enables the reader to access information about the word stored in the brain when the word is encountered in print. Faster, stronger connections help produce more proficient reading.

In the more advanced phases of learning new words, phonemic awareness plays an important role in making these connections, (Carver and Liebert, 1995). According to Kame ‘enui, et. al (1997), children lacking phonemic awareness skills cannot: group words with similar and dissimilar sounds; blend and split syllables; blend sounds into words; segment a word as a sequence of sounds; detect and manipulate sounds within words. Shaywitz (2003) mentioned that the effects of training phonological awareness and learning to read are mutually supportive. He added that reading and phonemic awareness are mutually reinforcing.

Phonemic awareness is necessary for reading, and reading, in turn, improves phonemic awareness skill further. According to Fitzpatrick (1997), phonemic awareness is important for it requires readers to notice how letters represent sounds. It primes readers for print. It gives readers a way to approach sounding out and reading new words. It helps readers understand the alphabetic principle that the letters in words are systematically represented by sounds. To understand the significant role phonemic awareness plays, we have to understand a little about what is going on when a child reads.

Reading and writing are really nothing more than the codification of spoken language. When we write, we take spoken language, break it into small sounds units called phonemes then turn those phonemes into the correct written symbols. When we read, we do just the opposite: we take written symbols and convert them into phonemes. Phonemic awareness represents the skills we use to do the piecing back together. Without it, a reader might be able to decipher the intended sounds, but would be unable to build understandable words and sentences with them, (http://www.readingisgood. com/2008/05/phonemic-awareness-a-definition/ Retrieved September 8, 2010).

Antunez (2002) cited that phonemes are the smallest units making up spoken language. English consists of about 41 phonemes. Phonemes combine to form syllables and words. For example, the word stop has four phonemes (s-t-o-p), while shop has three phonemes (sh-o-p). She added that phonemic awareness refers to the ability to identify and manipulate these phonemes in spoken words. It is also the understanding that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words.

According to Ylvisaker (2006), phonological awareness refers to the awareness of the sound system of the language. This includes awareness of words that rhyme or end the same and alliterate or start the same. It is the ability to break words into component syllables: for example, blackboard = black + board; and component sounds: for instance the word mat = m+a+t. The latter is known as phonemic awareness. Improving the ability to read, one of the components to be developed is recognizing and using individual sounds to create words, or phonemic awareness.

Children need to be taught to hear sounds in words and those words are made up of the smallest parts of sounds or phonemes, (http://www. ask. com/bar? q=phonemicawareness. html. com Retrieved September 6, 2010). The words have parts and that changes in the parts make change in the words, these concepts are often referred to as phonemic awareness. In formal reading instruction, children learn that the words and letters of written language stand for spoken words and sounds with which they are already familiar (Grolier International Encyclopedia). Phonics. Phonics is the understanding of how letter combine to make sounds and words.

Phonics curriculum usually starts with teaching letters, slowly creating a working knowledge of the alphabet. Children learn the sounds of each letter by associating it with the word that starts with that sound. Phonic skills grow through reading activities, and students learn to distinguish between vowels and consonants and understand letter combinations such as blends and digraphs.

While a phonics curriculum is a critical step in learning to read, many parents and educators forget that before you can succeed with a phonics curriculum, you must teach your children or learners the phonemic and phonological awareness first (http://www.time4learning. com/readingpyramid/phonics. htm Retrieved December 30, 2009).

According to Peregoy and Boyle (2000), phonics is the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes or the sounds of spoken language and graphemes or the letters and spelling that represent those sounds in written language. Readers use these relationships to recognize familiar words and to decode unfamiliar ones. The letters b, c, d, f, l, m, n, p, q, s and t represent sounds that are similar enough to English that they may transfer readily to English reading for many students.

Consequently, many students need minimal phonics instruction for these consonants. This sample represents not simply the challenges in teaching English Language Learners to read in English, but also illustrate that teachers can effectively teach phonics and all of the Reading Components if they are armed with knowledge about their students and their native language. Phonics is the understanding of relationships between written letters and spoken sounds. Knowing the relationships between letters and sounds helps children to recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, and decode new words (Department of Education, 2008).

Printed words may look like a jumble of scratches to the beginning reader. But many of those words are already in his vocabulary. Some he uses in his own speech. Others, he may not use regularly, but he understands them when he hears them. So his first problem is to connect the sounds of words he knows with the printed forms of those words. He must learn to identify printed words quickly and easily to recognize those words the next time he sees them. To do this, he needs a number of skills. One set of these skills is called phonics (Compton’s Encyclopedia, 1996).

Understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds describes phonics. Children need to be taught the sounds of individual printed letters and groups of letters made. Phonics makes use of the code which is the sound-symbol relationships to recognize words, (http://www. ask. com/bar? q=phonics. html. com Retrieved August 31, 2010). According to Harris and Hodges (2010), phonics is a way of teaching reading and spelling that stresses symbol-sound relationship, used especially in beginning instruction. Although phonics helps students gain independence and reliance in reading, it is only one aspect of the reading process.

Phonics instruction may be delivered in many forms, for example: explicit phonics, which conveys that each sound is associated with a letter in the word and individual letter sounds are pronounced in isolation; implicit phonics does not present sounds associated with letters in isolation, (http://www. bridgew. edu/Library/CAGSProjects/JLINEHAN/web%20page/definition_of_terms. htm Retrieved September 3, 2010). As determined by National Reading Panel, phonics instruction helps early elementary students to develop proficiency in decoding, spelling, and understanding words (National Institute of Child and Human Development, 2000).

Understanding phonics and the purpose of phonics instruction involves thinking about how written language was created. Spoken language had existed for a very long time before the need for written communication brought about the invention of various alphabets. When people began inventing the letters of an alphabet to represent the sounds of their spoken language, they eventually saw the need for a set of rules to make spelling consistent from word to word. That is, they understood it would be important for the same letter or letters to be used each time a particular sound was represented.

The rules they created to establish consistency in how speech sounds are represented in print are what we now call phonics rules. Therefore, we define phonics as a set of rules that specify the relationship between letters in the spelling of words and the sounds of spoken language. For the English language, these relationships are predictable, but not completely consistent. However, they are consistent enough to be very useful to young children in helping them learn to decode unfamiliar words, (Foorman et al. , 1998). According to Schmitt (2005), reading recovery encourages purposeful decoding.

Teachers recognize that the alphabetic principle and orthographic knowledge are important factors in beginning reading and writing. They guide children to hear sounds in words, associate letters with those sounds, recognize and use spelling patterns, and apply this knowledge in both reading and writing. One of the techniques used to identify new words is phonics. Phonics is the association of speech sounds with the letter or letters that indicate these sounds. With knowledge of consonants and vowels and how they function in words, the reader can pronounce a large number of unfamiliar words.

He learns to recognize the guides or cues to speech sounds that certain letters indicate. As he meets larger words, he learns how to divide them into syllables and how to pronounce each syllable, (Rodell, 1994). With the letter sound approach, the emphasis in the first two or three grades is on learning the relationship between print and speech. In some particularly strong code — emphasis programs the words in the stories are phonically regular, (Grolier Encyclopedia, 2003). Reading Fluency. According to Allington (1998), reading fluency is the ability to read with accuracy, and with appropriate rate, expression, and phrasing.

If a reader had this capability, then he has mastery of basic processes to the point where they are automatic so that attention is freed for the analysis of meaning. Comprehension is to understand what has been read. Fluency is a set of skills that allows readers to rapidly decode text while maintaining high comprehension. A first benchmark for fluency is being able to “sight read” some words. The idea is that children will recognize at sight the most common words in written English and that instant reading of these words will allow them to read and understand text more quickly.

Also, since there are many common English words that are so irregular according to the rules of phonics, its best to get children to just memorize them from the start (http://time4learning. com/readingpyramid/Readingfluency. htm Retrieved January 5, 2010). According to Rasinski (1990) as reiterated by Hooks and Jones (2002), years ago, fluency was understood to mean rapid word recognition that freed up space in the reader’s working memory for use in comprehending the message of the text. That is, fluent readers need to put less effort into word recognition and therefore have more available for comprehension.

Later studies of fluency expanded this understanding by clarifying that fluency can also involve grouping words within a sentence into phrases that make what is read easier to comprehend. Grouping words into meaningful phrases and reading with expression helps the reader understand the text by making what is being read resemble natural speech. Therefore, we now understand that fluency is recognizing the words in a text rapidly and accurately and using phrasing and emphasis in a way that makes what is read sound like spoken language.

Pinnel, et. al. (1995) mentioned that in a large-scale study of fluency, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that almost half of the fourth graders tested were unable to read fluently. That same study identified a close relationship between fluency and comprehension. That is, students who were low in fluency also showed difficulty comprehending what they read. This relationship between fluency and comprehension is explained in this way: Why do problems with reading accuracy, speed, and expression interfere with comprehension?

To answer this question, we need to examine the reading process in terms of two basic cognitive tasks. The reader must recognize the printed words (decoding) and construct meaning from the recognized words (comprehension). Both decoding and comprehension require cognitive resources. At any given moment, the amount of cognitive resources available for these two tasks is restricted by the limits of memory. If the word recognition task is difficult, all available cognitive resources may be consumed by the decoding task, leaving little or nothing for use in interpretation.

Consequently, for the non-fluent reader, difficulty with word recognition slows down the process and takes up valuable resources that are necessary for comprehension. Reading becomes a slow, labor-intensive process that only fitfully results in understanding. According to Carver and Liebert (1995) in their statement on the question how can teachers help students develop greater fluency? Because of the benefits of fluent reading, it is important to look carefully at how fluency is developed.

While practice is a key component of acquiring any type of automatic behavior, the question of what types of practice are most effective in developing reading fluency has a somewhat surprising answer. So, to ensure that students continue to develop fluency, other forms of practice should be included.

Two forms that have shown evidence of improving fluency are repeated reading and guided repeated oral reading. A good analogy for understanding reading fluency comes from public speaking. Fluent public speakers embed in their voices those same elements that are associated with reading fluency – accuracy in speech, appropriate speed, and phrasing and expression.

The speaker’s use of these aspects of fluency facilitates the listener’s comprehension. Speaking in appropriate phrases, emphasizing certain words, raising and lowering volume, and varying intonation help the listener understand what the speaker is trying to communicate. The ability to measure students’ level of achievement in fluency and monitor their progress is key to successful fluency teaching. Teachers need to be able to gauge the effectiveness of their instruction in fluency; to do this; they need ways to assess student fluency validly and efficiently, (http://www. prel. org/products/re_/assessing-fluency.

htm Retrieved October 9, 2010). Reading fluency including oral reading skills is the ability to read words accurately and quickly. Fluent readers recognize words and comprehend them simultaneously. Reading fluency is a critical factor necessary for reading comprehension. If children read out loud with speed, accuracy, and proper expression, they are more likely to comprehend and remember the material than if they read with difficulty and in an inefficient way. Fluency should not be confused with accent. Many English Language Learners will read and speak English with an accent as they are beginning to learn English.

Students can read fluently in English with a native language accent (http://www. readingrockets. org/article/341? &depth=1&order=1&sortby=2&render=flat Retrieved January 8, 2010). Decoding fluently is critical for effective comprehension. Students who do not decode fluently exhaust their limited cognitive resources on decoding and are therefore unlikely to comprehend effectively what they read(http://www. palomar. edu/readingfluency/R110Hybrid/Module%201/mod1. 1ReadingProcess. htm Retrieved January 9, 2010). Fluency is the ability to read as well as we speak and to make sense of the text without having to stop and decode each word.

Children must learn to read words rapidly and accurately in order to understand what is read. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. When fluent readers read aloud, they read effortlessly and with expression. Readers who are weak in fluency read slowly, word by word, focusing on decoding words instead of comprehending meaning. The National Reading Panel’s research findings concluded that guided, repeated oral reading significantly improves word recognition, reading fluency, and comprehension in students of all ages.

Students have opportunities for sustained reading orally and silently every day to increase fluency and vocabulary (National Reading Panel, 2000). Pikulski and Chard (2009) reiterated that reading fluency refers to rapid, efficient, accurate word recognition skills that permit a reader to construct the meaning of text. Fluency is also manifested in accurate, rapid, expressive oral reading and is applied during, and makes possible, silent reading comprehension. As said by Samuels (2002), fluency in reading is a freedom from word identification problems that might hinder comprehension.

He cites the alteration and enlargement of the construct of fluency to include reading comprehension as a major force in elevating the importance of the construct in the field of reading. He notes that to experience good reading comprehension, the reader must be able to identify words quickly and easily. Vocabulary Development. Vocabulary development refers to the knowledge of stored information about the meanings and pronunciations of words necessary for communication.

They commented that vocabulary development is important for beginning reading in that when a student comes to a word and sounds it out, he or she is also determining if the word makes sense based on his or her understanding of the word. If a student does not know the meaning of the word, there is no way to check if the word fits, or to make meaning from the sentence. They added that vocabulary development is also a primary determinant of reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand the content of what they are reading unless they understand the meaning of the majority of words in the text.

According to them, vocabulary development is one of the greatest challenges to reading instruction for English language learners, because in order to read fluently and comprehend what is written, students need to use not just phonics, but context. It is possible for students to read completely phonetically and not comprehend what they have read because they do not have the vocabulary. Therefore, vocabulary needs to be taught explicitly and be a part of the daily curriculum in addition to learning to read (http://www. readingrockets. org/atoz/vocabulary Retrieved January 11, 2010).

Vocabulary development is closely connected to comprehension. According to the National Reading Panel, students need to hear, read, understand, and use new vocabulary words in various contexts to build their comprehension levels. Repetition, aided by quizzes, glossaries, and crossword puzzles, is paramount to building vocabulary (http://www. readnaturally. com/approach/vocabularydevelopment. htm Retrieved January 12, 2010). Nagy and Scott (2000) stated that the term vocabulary refers to words we need to know to communicate with others.


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