Reading Concept

Moreilon explains that reading is an active process that requires skill and practice.[1] It relates to human capability to understand and to get information from written text. But, reading is not as simple as purposed to achieve understanding the information that appears in the text. Reading is a complex process that involves the reader’s capability in bringing their emotion, feeling, and linguistics knowledge in order to understand the information that is contained in the text.

Klingner states that reading Comprehension is a complex process that involves word reading, word knowledge and world knowledge, and reading fluency to construct meaning from a text.[2]. It means that the reader who has capability in knowing how to read words has a little value if they cannot construct the meaning from the text. Besides, the goal of reading is able to construct meaning from a written text with comprehension.

Emalia states that reading comprehension is the manner to receive and process new information of the text and the degree of relation between what is new and what is already known.[3] It can be said that in comprehending text the schemata and background knowledge of the readers is needed. Understanding the importance of background knowledge is important for the readers to build comprehension because the readers will connect the new information with what already known before integrating and organizing the new information.[4] Background knowledge is like a human shadow that cannot be separated from the human. The shadow will do whatever the human do and follow where ever the human go. In other word, both background knowledge and reading comprehension have close relationship that cannot be separated.  Therefore, to build a good comprehension of the text, the reader must be able to active and build their background knowledge properly. Besides, by connecting the prior or background knowledge of the readers with the new information, the reader will have a scheme in their mind to build their comprehension of the text.

In addition to background knowledge, the activating of background knowledge is one of reading comprehension strategies. Reading comprehension strategy is the tool that is used by the readers to resolve the comprehension problems that the readers found in the text.[5] To make a good comprehension from the text, the readers need an appropriate strategy that can be applied to build a good comprehension.

Zimmerman and Hutchins identify activating or building background knowledge, using sensory image, questioning, making prediction and inference, determining main idea, using fix-up options, synthesizing as the strategy of reading.[6] It has been stated above that building or activating background knowledge become crucial because it is like the human shadow that cannot be separated from the human. It helps the readers to integrating the new information with the prior knowledge to build a good comprehension.

In addition to building background knowledge, the writer also underlines the using of sensory images and questioning strategies. Human are born with sense. At first they learn the world by a sense.[7] Sensory experience is a significant aspect of background knowledge and when the readers think about sensory experience, the readers will make a representation of those experiences in their memory.[8] If the readers bring these sensory experiences to the text, the reader will be the text that is written in their head. The sensory experience that the reader brings to the text is called by schemata.  Therefore, the reader will be easy to build a good comprehension in reading a text.

Besides, using questioning strategy in reading a text will support an internal dialogue between the reader and the author, the illustrator, or the text itself.[9] It means that by bringing questioning strategy to the text, the reader will get a deep comprehension. It is because the questioning strategy keeps the reader to engage with the text and with the author feeling within the text.

It has been stated in the early that reading comprehension is not just reading words within the text but it is a complex process that involves many interaction between the readers and what the readers bring to the text like background knowledge and used strategy. Irwin describes comprehension process in to five processes, they are microprocesses, integrative processes, macroprocesses, elaborative processes, and metacognitive processes.[10]

Microprocesses refer to the reader’s initial chunking of an idea within a single sentence and it involves grouping words in to phrase and requires an understanding of syntax and vocabulary.[11] In microprocesses, the readers will decide which chunk of the text or which detail that is important to be remembered. When the reader reads a single sentence, it will be easy for the reader to remember the detail of the sentence. But, when the readers read all passages of the text, it will be more difficult for the reader to remember all details of the text. Therefore, microprocesses help the reader to remember which details that are important to remembered or recalled and it is known as selective recall. In other word, it can be said that by recalling the important details of the text the readers will have a good comprehension of the text.

Integrative processes refer to the understanding and inferring the relationship among clause.[12] After processing every individual sentence within the text, the readers are processing the relationship among individual sentence and meaning within the text. Bellow is the example integrative processes.

–          In the mid of the night, John quickly close his room door and shut the windows. He is afraid.

Based on the example above, the integrating process will be done by questioning to whom he in the second applies and why john closes it quickly. By integrating the relation meaning among the sentence, the readers will know that he in the second sentence is apply for John in the first sentence and the readers will also know that John close the door because he is afraid.

The ideas within the text are more easily understood and remembered when the readers are able to organize those ideas in coherent organizing.[13] Similar with the microprocessing, in macroprocessing the readers summarize the main or the key idea by selecting the most important details or information and delete the unimportant ones. When the readers read a text the reader will connect the new information with the reader’s prior knowledge. Besides, the readers will also make an inference out of the point that is described within the text. For example, in the two sentences above, the readers may not know John is afraid of what. By making an inference the readers will predict that John may afraid of ghost. When making inference the readers may draw information that is provided in the earlier text or the readers experience, and it is knows as elaborative processing.


[1] Judi Moreillon. Collaburative Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension: Maximazing Your Impact. American Library association. United State of America. 2007. p. 10

[2] Jannate K. Klingner, et.al. Teaching Reading Comprehension to Students with Learning Difficulties. The Guilfordpress. New York. 2007. P. 2

[3] Emalia Iragiliati, et.al. Reading 2. Universitas Terbuka. Jakarta. 2007. p. 4.1

[4] Judi Moreillon. Op.cit. p 19

[5] Ibid. p.10

[6] Ibid. p.11

[7] Ibid. p.39

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid. p.60

[10] Jannate K. Klingner, et.al. Op.Cit. p. 8

[11] Ibid. p.9

[12] Ibid. p.10

[13] Ibid. p.11

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