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Levels of Comprehension

I. Literal Comprehension

 Literal comprehension involves what the author is actually saying.

 It is understanding of the written meaning of a passage.
 Some of this information is in the form of recognizing and recalling facts, identifying the main idea,
supporting details, categorizing, outlining, and summarizing.
 The reader is also locating information, using context clues to supply meaning, following
specific directions, following a sequence, identifying stated conclusion, and identifying explicitly
stated relationships and organizational patterns.
 For example, some questions and activities may include:
1. What words state the main idea of the story?
2. Outlining the first paragraph of the story.
3. What happened first, second and last?
4. How are these things alike? How are they different?
5. What things belong together?

II. Inferential Comprehension

 Inferential comprehension deals with what the author means by what is said.
 Comprehension is often described simply as the ability to read between the lines.
 It requires a reader to combine pieces of information in order to make inferences about the author’s
intent and message.
 Inferential comprehension could also involve interpreting figurative language, drawing conclusions,
predicting outcomes, determining the mood, and judging the author’s point of view.
 The following questions are usually asked:
1. What does the author value?
2. What is the theme?
3. What effect does this character/event have on the story?
4. How do you think this story will end?

III. Applied Comprehension

 Applied comprehension concerns itself with why the author says what he or she says.
 In this level we are analyzing or synthesizing information and applying it to other information.
 The reader will react emotionally and intellectually with the material.
 Because everyone's life experiences are varied, answers to some of the following questions will vary:
1. Could this possibly happen?
2. Is this argument logical?
3. What alternatives are there?
4. Is this a fact or an opinion?
5. Do you agree or disagree with the author?
6. What is the best solution to this problem?

To conclude, literal, inferential and applied comprehension is what makes a skilled, strong
reader. This skill must be learned and developed. It does not just happen. With that thought in mind, it has
also been shown that strong readers make good writers.
Question-Answer Relationships (QAR)

What is QAR?

• QAR is a questioning strategy that emphasizes that a relationship exists between the question, the
text, and the background of the reader.
• QAR gives students practice questioning the text and identifying literal and inferential questions.
Students learn to find different types of evidence and to rely on their own interpretation when doing
close reading.

Why use question–answer relationship?

• It can improve students' reading comprehension.

• It teaches students how to ask questions about their reading and where to find the answers to them.
• It helps students to think about the text they are reading and beyond it, too.
• It inspires them to think creatively and work cooperatively while challenging them to use higher-
level thinking skills.

QAR provides four levels of questions to indicate how the question is related to the text.

1. Right There Questions

• Literal questions whose answers can be found in the text.
• Often the words used in the question are the same words found in the text.
• Can usually be answered by quickly scanning or rereading.
• The information is found in one place.

2. Think and Search,

• The answer is in the selection, but students need to put together different pieces of
• Questions can also be answered by the text but are more demanding of students and require
them to carefully reread the text in order to determine and then be able to explain what it
• The answer is found in more than one place.

3. The Author and You

• The answer is not explicitly stated in the text.
• These questions are based on information provided in the text but the student is required to
relate it to their own experience.
• The author gives clues that are combined with what you know to figure out the answer.

4. On Your Own
• The answer is not text-based.
• Questions require students to rely only on their interpretation, experience and understanding
of the author’s perspective.
• These questions do not require the student to have read the passage but he/she must use
their background or prior knowledge to answer the question.
How to use question–answer relationship?

1. Explain to students that there are four types of questions they will encounter. Define each type
of question and give an example.
2. Read a short passage aloud to your students.
3. Have predetermined questions you will ask after you stop reading. When you have finished
reading, read the questions aloud to students and model how you decide which type of
question you have been asked to answer.
4. Show students how find information to answer the question (i.e., in the text, from your own
experiences, etc.).

QAR empowers students to think about the text they are reading and beyond it, too. It inspires them
to think creatively and work cooperatively while challenging them to use literal and higher-level thinking


• http://www.australianliteracyacademy.com.au/ala-newssuccess-blog/-what-does-it-mean-by-literal-

• http://www.adlit.org/strategies/19802/

• https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/teaching-strategies/close-and-critical-

• https://fcit.usf.edu/fcat10r/home/references/additional-reading-strategies/qar.html

• https://www.nbss.ie/sites/default/files/publications/qar_strategy_handout.pdf

• https://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/question_answer_relationship

Prepared by:

Jezza T. Dela Cruz

BEEd - 4