What better to do than, share your English knowledge with other people
In order to read, we should decode the printed words and comprehend the texting in order to find out the making of sense and meaning of the printed word. Students in the classroom vary with a
wide range of backgrounds and literacy skills. Some students have good reading skills thus they can understand the material very well, while other students may have difficulties. Thus, assessing the students reading comprehension is a must to do by the teacher.
This article will focus on the principles of reading comprehension in terms of reading aspects or skills to be measured in reading. Further, the reading types and kinds of reading tasks that can be used in the reading assessment are also presented in this article.
There are many reading types that can be used in reading assessment. Brown (2004, p.189) mentioned three kinds of genres of reading, namely:
Brown (2004, p.187) said that the genre of a text enables the students to apply certain schemata that will assist them in extracting appropriate meaning. For example, if students know that a text is a recipe, they will expect a certain arrangement of information (ingredients) and will know to search for sequential order directions.
In designing the assessment, the teacher should make adjustments in formulating the questions or tasks for the students. If the competencies to be achieved by the students’ concern with short functional texts and monologue of long functional texts, the area to be measured can be vocabulary, grammar interpretation, punctuation interpretation, the purpose of the author or social function of the text, organization of ideas or generic structure, and so forth. Thus, it is important to understand the aspect or skill in reading assessment.
Harris (1996) provides some aspects to be measured in reading comprehension assessment as follows:
In a more detailed explanation, Brown (2004) divides the aspects of reading assessment into micro and macro skills. Micro skills in reading comprehension are as follows:
In a broad sense, micro-skills of reading comprehension include understanding micro components of languages such as phonemes, morphemes, syllables, words, phrases, and sentences.
Meanwhile, macro skill in reading comprehension is:
Macro skills include more major reading skills, including getting specific information, general information, textual meaning, textual references, and even understanding beyond textual meaning.
|Heaton (1991, p.105)||Word matching, sentence matching, pictures and sentences are matching tests for the initial stages of reading. Matching tests for intermediate and advanced stages; true/false reading tests, multiple-choice items, completion, rearrangement, cloze procedure, open-ended and miscellaneous items, and cursory reading.|
|Brown (2004, p.190)||reading aloud, written response, multiple choice, picture-cued items, matching test, editing, gap filling test, cloze test, C-test, cloze-elide test, short-answer test, ordering and summarizing test.|
|Alderson (2000, p.202)||Multiple-choice, cloze test, gap-filling test, matching, ordering, editing, cloze-elide, short-answer, free-recall, summary, gapped summary, information-transfer.|
From the table above, reading assessment task types could be cloze test, gap-ﬁlling formats (rational cloze formats), C-tests (retain initial letters of words removed), cloze elide (remove extra word), text segment ordering, text gap, choosing from a “heading bank” for identiﬁed paragraphs multiple-choice, sentence completion, matching (and multiple matching) techniques, classiﬁcation into groups, dichotomous items (T / F / not stated, Y / N), editing, short answer, free recall, summary (1 sentence, 2 sentences, 5–6 sentences), information transfer (graphs, tables, ﬂow charts, outlines, maps), project performance, skimming, scanning, sequencing of events/ordering task, reading aloud, and picture cued. More details will be explained in the next article.