How To Enhance Reading Comprehension And Academic Performance Among College Students

Donald LUKMAN
3 min readDec 4, 2022

Reading comprehension is the process by which we understand the texts we read. It is the purpose of reading, why we teach it, and why we care about it. It is also the prerequisite for meaningful learning from text.

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Reading comprehension does not develop in a vacuum, in isolation from other language and literacy processes, so this entry should be read in conjunction with the others in this section on reading comprehension, and with those in other sections.

READING COMPREHENSION

Reading comprehension is the application of a skill that evolved for other purposes (listening or oral comprehension) to a new form of input (text). Unlike listening comprehension, reading comprehension is not something for which our brains have evolved. Whereas oral comprehension seems to develop “naturally” with minimal deliberate intervention, reading comprehension is more challenging and requires deliberate instruction. Humans have been accomplished in oral comprehension for 100,000 years or more, and virtually all humans do it; reading comprehension has only been practiced for 5,000 years, and for most of that time the majority of humans did not do it. It should not be surprising that reading comprehension is difficult. The application of comprehension to text amplifies our mental capacities. It is fundamental to full participation in society, now and for the foreseeable future.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Academic performance has always been associated to the evaluation tests results , which are those corresponding to student’s IQ, and leaving aside other personal characteristics. Among such characteristics, the importance of emotional intelligence is worth highlighting (management, facilitation, understanding and perception), dimensions associated to personality traits (emotional impulsiveness, respect for others, sociability, negotiating skills, openness to experience, self-confidence) and, of course, the meaning of life, since the creation of meaning is related to each person’s individual development, in hand with other processes such as identity, relationships and life goals.

Academic instruction is arguably the primary business of education. To this end, schools are expected to influence students’ learning, socialisation, and even vocational preparedness. Despite the attention paid to a broad definition of educational outcomes, however, academic performance remains central. Students’ academic performance is a term that appears frequently married in higher education discourse. Academic performance is a multidimensional construct composed of the skills, attitudes, and behaviors of a learner that contribute to academic success in the classroom. It is a satisfactory and superior level of performance of students as they progress through and complete their school experience. The implication of this definition is underscored by research which repeatedly demonstrates that the vast majority of students who withdraw from school do so for no reason other than poor academic performance. Although the importance of academic achievement is rarely questioned, reaching unanimity regarding its measurement has been elusive. The measurement of students’ academic performance continues to be a controversial topic among policymakers, measurement experts, and educators. Researchers have used a variety of ways to measure academic achievement such as report card grades, grade point averages, standardized test scores, teacher ratings, other cognitive test scores, grade retention, and dropout rates. However, for the purposes of this study, student academic performance is defined by the degree to which a student is able to accomplish a given class work in the school setting.

READING COMPREHENSION AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Reading comprehension can be defined as the level of understanding of a text or message. The word ‘comprehension’ is likened to ‘understanding’, hence, the comprehension and explanation of what is written in the passage and how it is written. If one master the skills of understanding the meaning, structure and organization of words, sentences and paragraphs, one will understand whatever is being read and improve their performance academically. In the same vein, the reading ability and comprehension levels of students in varies from one to the other.

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