Open-Ended Comprehension – Part 1

In the previous article, we discussed Comprehension Cloze. In this edition, we are going to discuss the Open-Ended Comprehension component of the exams.

These two sections are actually very closely related to each other. It is no surprise that a student weak in one will find doing the other difficult as well. Like Comprehension Cloze, it assesses the overall English skill level.

Active Reading

What is ‘active reading’? Active reading is basically good reading. That means, your child should not just ‘hear’ the words inside their head, but they must be constantly be constructing meanings from the words they read.

Many teachers prefer to teach it only at the Secondary level, but we can assure you that applying some simple elements of it will benefit your child in terms of Comprehension. It will also help the child in his writing – though it will take some time for that improvement to be seen. Active Reading will also not take up too much time – something your child will not have in abundance during an examination.

How do you do it?

Instead of just focusing on the different types of questions, we are going to focus on understanding the passage. After all, if your child can understand the passage, then answering the questions will be easier, regardless of what type of question it is.

  1. Read all the questions for the Open-ended Comprehension
  2. Read the first sentence of the first paragraph
  3. After reading the first sentence, formulate and jot down a question. That question is usually something that is hinted in that sentence, but not elaborated. For example, the sentence might be, ‘As the summer approached all of this changed.’ The question can then be, ‘What changed?’ You can even use the questions in the Open-ended Comprehension if they are relevant!
  4. Repeat the same for each first sentence of each paragraph until the end of the passage is reached
  5. Read the whole passage in whole

Your child does not have to think of a question for every paragraph. And there is often no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ question to ask. What matters is that your child has some questions in their head so that their brain is searching for answers. When their brain is doing this, it is much more likely to understand than if they are reading aimlessly.

Practise this tip with your child until they get the method. It will not take another 2-3 minutes time, but the amount of understanding of the passage they gain is so much more than just simply reading the passage for another 2-3 minutes time.

How we do it

At RG Channel we have worksheets that are used to guide our students through the thought process. If you would like to see how we do it as reference, we ask that you help us share this with your friends by clicking the share link below.

Proceed to part 2.