Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text or message. This understanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text or message. Proficient reading depends on the ability to recognize words quickly and effortlessly. If word recognition is difficult, students use too much of their processing capacity to read individual words, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what is read.
A reader can understand what she or he reads by involving three competencies:
1. Knowledge about contextual background, which consists of the knowledge of probabilities of occurrence and contextual pragmatic knowledge;
2. Linguistic competence, knowledge about the language that is used in the text, which covers the visual clues for spelling, syntactic and semantic competence;
3. Reading strategies or techniques used by the reader in his trial get a meaningful interpretation on the text.
The involvement of background knowledge in reading can be traced by realizing that to a certain extents, reading is a process in which the presented messages are interacted with the reader’s knowledge. The more familiar the topic of a text to the reader, the easier it is from him to comprehend the text.
Reading is a process of communication, between writer and reader mediated through text, parts of its success depend on the reader’s familiarity with the elements of the medium, the language. Most common language skills and effective have to involve are vocabulary, recognition, sentence comprehension, paragraph understanding, passage understanding, and illustration understanding. It is naturally true that reading will not take place without reader’s familiarity with the grapheme, the meaning of the words, and their patterns of relationship. A reader’s effectiveness also depends greatly on his choosing the correct reading strategies when he faces a reading material.