Five Critical Reading Processes Supported by Computer Technology

Computer reading software programs are becoming integral components of many public, private, and homeschooling lessons designed to teach children to learn to read. As such, they now incorporate many critical aspects of a stand-alone reading program, meaning they do not need print materials to support them. Increasing developments in reading instructional software now means that they can address five major components of teaching efforts directed towards children who are learning to read. These components are comprehension, idea generation, analysis, reflection, and composition.


Reading comprehension is the interactive process between writer and reader that allows the reader to decode the meaning of the writer's words. The ultimate goal of reading instruction is comprehension. There are several factors that affect reading comprehension, including word identification, the quality of the reading material, the ability of the student, language skill development, and the type of instruction a student receives.

Idea Generation

Students learn to think, to generate ideas, by reading. By being continuously presented with subject matter that makes them ask questions such as "who, what, when, where, and why", students learn new concepts and brainstorm for new ideas.


Students learn to analyze reading materials after they learn to comprehend what they have read. Analysis enhances comprehension and is a step that many students fail to take. Computer reading software helps students learn to analyze what they have read, giving them to ability to connect with what they have read at a deeper level than the student who merely comprehends. Students can be asked to analyze reading material based solely on their own conclusions or can be required to participate in group discussions that require them to articulate their thoughts to other students and classify their own position on the material being discussed.


Much like analysis, reflection is a step that students take the enables them to connect with what they have read at more than just a basic level. Actively reflecting on what they have read also enables students to share their thoughts with other students. Reflection on reading topics and critically analyzing those topics are skills that work together to enhance comprehension. Computer technology creates activities and environments for students to explore such tasks as electronic journals in a teaching platform that can be limited to individual students or widened to include entire classes, grade levels, districts, and even classrooms throughout the world.


Composition requires that students visit the other side of the reading coin. Students spend so much time on the reading side of the coin, they fail to realize what a truly interactive process reading is. As mentioned earlier, reading is an interactive process between writer and reader. For students to be able to truly appreciate and understand the process, they should spend time reading as well as writing. Computer reading software helps students explore such reading and writing activities as writing essays and other papers as well as using the most up to date methods of communication such as email and instant messaging. As more classrooms go online, these basic communication activities enhance students' composition skills as they learn to interact with others.

Unfortunately, these five critical reading processes are seldom incorporated into every software package aimed at children who about to learn to read. Keeping these processes in mind when comparing reading software may help parents and educators make better purchasing decisions.

Michael Levy is a teacher who has published more than 250 articles about learning. His latest project is Reading Buddy 2.0, software for teaching children to learn to read basic English using an innovative syllabics methodology. Would you like to know for sure if your child is really ready to learn to read? Claim your free copy of Reading Buddy 2.0.

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