Secondary English Comprehension Tips!
The Secondary English Comprehension section assesses a student’s ability to understand the passages and answer the questions based on their understanding and interpretation of the text. The O Level English comprehension comprises of three passages and one visual text , followed by a set of questions. The source of these passages could be derived from a myraid of genres such as literary works, opinion pieces and articles. Many students find it daunting when they are challenged with reading a passage. They find that the passage contains too many alien words, masked expressions, and ambiguous shadowy imagery. Thus, it is paramount for students to practice for this component through reading and analyzing a variety of texts. In addition to this, they could also practice answering comprehension questions. Now without further ado, here are some Secondary English Comprehension tips to boost your grades!
Remember that The KEY to reading, is to find STEPS that you can FOLLOW whenever you start reading a new passage or text. Like everything else in life, we need STEPS whenever we enter the world of the written word.
Time travel…space travel…or going into somebody’s head and reading their thoughts: this is the essence of reading. We are travelling transcending into another dimension. When you travel overseas for a holiday, how do you move about?
Do you wonder what that unfamiliar word or phrase means? Circle or highlight it. Ask Google or a trusty dictionary.
Do you get surprised when a certain topic is discussed, or an event mentioned? What does it make you feel, or what kind of thoughts arise?
Use the 5W1H: who, what, where, when, how, why – to explore a topic or even a phrase.
There are big ideas in every story or passage you read. For example, if the title of a book is, “Covid-19 and Zombies,” we would expect the main ideas to cover: –
1. The effects of Covid-19 on all of us
2. Could it turn us into Zombies, one day?
3. How did we resolve it?
Use a highlighter and make summary points beside the passage about the important things the author is saying.
Look for conjunctions like, “Firstly…” (order) or “Suddenly…” (time) or “Shockingly…” (emotion) – all these words signal that something important may be coming up next.
As with every different country you enter, you would want to know how to read the signposts that are there. Perhaps signs such as “Toilet”, “Café”, or “Get A Ride”. The symbols of these signs differ in each country we land in. Similarly, in a story about Vampires, we wouldn’t expect the main idea of the story to be about math. Instead, we expect blood, biting, fighting and lots of death.
Now you try to think about! Imagine you are reading a story about the neighbourhood’s fiercest bully…
What kind of characters might be in it?
Extortion of money ?
Ready to use these handrails? 3, 2, 1… Do it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Teacher Benedict graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (Honors), along with a certificate in Teaching English to Second Language Learners (TESOL) from London Teachers’ Training College (LTTC) and has a unique blend of teaching and managerial experience in the private education sector. He was an Asst. Supervisor at a language preparatory school where he supervised teachers’ training sessions, curriculum design and students’ rubrics. Having taught a broad spectrum of students, elementary and advance learners alike, as well as both local and overseas students, Teacher Benedict has developed a learner-centric teaching style.
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