English Essay Comprehension

Many conflicts of this world are believed to be the result of misunderstandings. But where better to begin the process of understanding than in the well springs of communication -- of language, of speech ? Unless we understand what another is saying, how can we approach even the fringes of consensus ? Even where people speak the same language, grave difficulties of semantics still often arise. How much more then in the case of people ruled by fears and suspicions of other people who speak an alien tongue ?

Each language has grown out of the deep cultural aspirations of a people. By understanding the language we begin to understand how they think, and more significantly how they feel. Out of such understanding will come a greater measure of mutual respect, and out of this respect greater love, and out of such love, and such love alone, will come a lasting peace.

There are many occasions in the modern world which provide opportunities for fostering greater contact with foreigners. In the past, when travel was extremely hazardous and nearly impossible, people hardly ever heard another language spoken. In this age of jet transport and highly organized tourism, it is impossible not to hear several languages regularly. Movements of people in search of employment across the globe, for short and long terms, expose themselves and their families to quite diverse ethnic groups and cultures. They thus absorb quite naturally at least some of the basic elements of speech in those countries.

The United Nations and its myriad service organizations have done immeasurable good in bringing together nations of the world. There are also many "friendship societies" which enable people who wish to appreciate another culture to do so in a most congenial manner. Foreign missions of most countries, except perhaps the Chinese and some East European countries, hold classes to teach their language to people of host countries. International schools are also great nurseries of international friendship.

At the school where my wife teaches, the Overseas Children's School just outside Colombo, children of about 35 nations attend, and it is always a deeply moving sight to see them on United Nations Day, or on their big occasions, carrying the flags of their nations. It represents an El Dorado in microcosm, a brave vision of peace in the future.

My wife recalls that when the US-Libyan confrontation was at its peak, she saw a Libyan diplomat's daughter walk hand in hand with an American child. They had a language in common. Indeed, unless we become as little children in the matter of learning one another's language, as children do, we will not enter the kingdom of a heaven of harmony on earth.

Essay on Reading Comprehension

1328 Words6 Pages

Reading Comprehension In any interaction with a text, the text is pretty much useless unless the reader can comprehend the meaning of that text. Since narrative, expository, and poetic texts all have different reasons for being written, and different forms of presenting the text, different strategies are needed to comprehend these texts. There are also many reading strategies that can be used for all of these types of text. In order to describe strategies to help develop activities that facilitate comprehension of narrative, expository, and poetic texts one must first have an understanding of what comprehension means, they then need a better understanding of how the human brain works. “Comprehension is a creative, multifaceted…show more content…

If there are no changes in long-term memory, nothing has been understood or learned.” (Sweller, 2005) The competent comprehender is a skilled reader. “Skilled readers are those who actively and automatically construct meaning as they read; they are self-motivated and self-directed; they monitor their own comprehension by questioning, reviewing, revising, and rereading to enhance their overall comprehension.” (Douglas Fisher, 2011) One other skill that is crucial to being a skilled reader and comprehending text is the fluency with which a student reads. Teaching fluency skills is a very important aspect of helping a student comprehend what they are reading. If a student is using all of the short term memory decoding words and sentence stucture, there is very little left to work on the process for gaining meaning from the text. The most common strategies used to improve fluency are; adding vocabulary to the students long-term memory, activating background knowledge (schema), modeling, and having the student read.
So what are other strategies that can be used to help the non-skilled student comprehend what they are reading? “The most important comprehension strategies for struggling readers are activating background knowledge, determing importance, summarizing, questioning, visualizing and monitoring.” (Tompkins, 2010, p. 267)
Background knowledge helps the student with both fluency and the understanding

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