5 Definitions of Reading You Should Know

  • Billy Cobb
  • Nov 10, 2023
5 Definitions of Reading You Should Know

Definition 1: Decoding Words

One definition of reading is the ability to decode words. This means being able to look at written text and decipher the sounds and meanings of the words. When we read, our brain processes the letters on the page and connects them to the sounds we hear when we speak. This is why children learn to read by first learning the alphabet and then sounding out words phonetically. As they become more proficient readers, they begin to recognize more and more words automatically, without having to sound them out.

Decoding words is a critical skill for reading comprehension. If a reader struggles to sound out words, they may only be able to read individual words without understanding the overall meaning of the text. This can make reading a frustrating and demotivating experience.

One way to help develop word decoding skills is through phonics instruction. Phonics teaches readers the relationships between letters and sounds, which can help them decode unfamiliar words. Another way to improve word decoding is through regular reading practice. The more a reader encounters words in context, the more likely they are to recognize them automatically.

Overall, the ability to decode words is a foundational skill for reading. By developing this ability, readers can gain access to a world of information and ideas through written text.

Cognitive Process of Reading

Reading is a complex cognitive process that begins with decoding the symbols on a page and ends with deriving meaning from the text. The cognitive aspect of reading refers to the mental processing that occurs as we read and try to make sense of the text. This process involves several stages that work together seamlessly to allow us to comprehend the text we are reading.

The first stage of the cognitive process of reading is perception. In this stage, we use our visual system to perceive the symbols on the page and recognize them as letters, words, and sentences. Our brain then processes this information and matches the symbols to their corresponding sounds and meanings. This stage is crucial as it sets the foundation for the rest of the cognitive process of reading.

The next stage is comprehension. This stage involves the use of our working memory to process the information in the text and relate it to our existing knowledge and experiences. We use comprehension strategies such as predicting, summarizing, and making connections to help us understand the text and make meaning from it. This stage requires a great deal of cognitive effort and is essential for successful reading.

The final stage of the cognitive process of reading is retention. In this stage, we use our long-term memory to store the information we have read and recall it later. The strength of our retention depends on several factors, including the amount of attention we paid during reading, the relevance of the information to our existing knowledge and experiences, and the use of memory strategies.

Overall, the cognitive process of reading is a complex and dynamic mental process. It requires the coordinated effort of several cognitive processes, including perception, comprehension, and retention, to allow us to decode, understand and retain the information in the text. As such, developing strong cognitive processes is critical for successful reading and academic achievement.

Active Construction of Meaning

Reading is more than just identifying words and understanding their meanings. It involves an active construction of meaning where the reader combines their prior knowledge and experience with the text being read.

When reading a text, the reader constantly makes connections and engages with the material through their thought processes. They interpret the information presented, make predictions, and question what they are reading. This active construction of meaning allows the reader to better understand and retain the information they are reading.

For instance, when reading a novel, a reader would draw on their own experiences and emotions to better understand the characters and their motivations. They may also make connections between the story’s events and their own personal experiences. These connections and the reader’s interpretation of them create a unique reading experience that is personal to them.

Active construction of meaning is not limited to literary works. It is also a vital skill when reading informational texts such as textbooks or articles. A reader must understand how the concepts presented relate to their prior knowledge and experiences in order to grasp the information presented.

Developing active construction of meaning helps individuals become better readers. It allows for a more engaged and productive reading experience that leads to better retention of information. Additionally, it promotes critical thinking skills, making individuals better able to analyze information and draw informed conclusions.

Overall, active construction of meaning is a crucial part of the reading process. It allows readers to engage with the material and create a deeper understanding of what they are reading.


Reading can be defined as a form of communication between the author and the reader. When an author writes a piece of literature, they are attempting to communicate their ideas to their readers. The text that they create is their way of conveying their message, and the readers’ job is to interpret it. Through reading, the author’s thoughts and ideas become accessible to the reader.

As the reader delves into the text, they begin to decipher the author’s message. They pick up on the nuances of the language, the tone of the writing, and the emotions that the author is attempting to convey. Through careful reading, the reader is able to understand the author’s intended meaning.

In essence, reading is a two-way form of communication that requires both the author and the reader to be actively involved. The author must create a text that effectively communicates their ideas, while the reader must be able to interpret and understand those ideas.

This form of communication is not limited to traditional literature but is also present in everyday life. We read signs, labels, instructions, and messages from others daily. It is through our reading that we are able to communicate effectively with others, and it is an essential part of our lives.

In conclusion, reading is a form of communication that enables authors to share their ideas and readers to interpret and understand those ideas. It is a two-way process that is essential for effective communication in both traditional literature and everyday life.

Lifelong Learning

Reading is considered a lifelong learning activity because it provides an opportunity for people to gain knowledge, learn about different cultures, enhance their imagination, and grow intellectually. Lifelong learners engage in reading activities for personal growth and development. Reading allows individuals to explore the world beyond their personal experiences, broaden their understanding of different subjects, and increase their awareness of diverse perspectives. It also promotes a desire for continuous learning and a curiosity to explore new topics, which helps to enhance personal and professional growth.

Lifelong learning can be achieved through different types of reading materials, including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, newspapers, magazines, and online articles. The availability of reading materials is almost limitless, which makes it possible for individuals to have access to a vast amount of information to keep learning throughout life.

Reading can also provide a sense of enrichment in personal lives and career opportunities. It develops a habit of critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities. These skills are essential to succeed in any profession and personal life. Lifelong learners are more adaptable and open-minded, which helps them stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Early Reading Development

Early reading development is essential to establish a strong foundation in reading skills. Children who are introduced to reading at an early age are more likely to develop good reading habits, concentration, and comprehension skills leading to a lifelong love for reading. Early reading development is not just about learning to read; it is also about developing cognitive, language, and social skills that will help children in their future academic and personal life.

Early reading development should include exposure to reading materials, such as picture books, rhymes, and storybooks, which will help children develop positive attitudes towards reading. Children should be given freedom to explore the world of literature in a safe and comfortable environment, where reading is a fun and enjoyable experience. Early reading development should also incorporate discussions with parents to help the child understand the story and develop language and communication skills. This combination of exposure and interaction will help children develop strong reading skills that will impact their whole life ahead.

Speed Reading

Speed reading is a popular method of reading, which enables individuals to read texts quickly and efficiently. The technique is used to increase reading speed without sacrificing comprehension. A speed reader can read at a rate of 300 words per minute or more, compared to a non-speed reader who reads at an average rate of 200 words per minute.

Speed reading can be learned through different methods. One technique is to train the eye to track groups of words, rather than reading each word individually. By keeping the eyes moving, each sentence is read as a whole, increasing reading speed. Speed reading also requires reducing subvocalization, which is the voice inside your head that reads every word. Skimming and scanning techniques are extensively used in speed reading, which involves quickly identifying the main points, headings, subheadings, and conclusions.

Speed reading has many benefits, such as improving productivity, enhancing memory retention, and increasing knowledge. However, it is important to note that speed reading does not work with all types of text, and it is essential to understand the context before applying the technique.

Close Reading

Close reading is a reading strategy that involves analyzing and interpreting a text in great detail. In close reading, the reader examines various elements of the text, such as the author’s choice of words, the imagery, the structure, and the underlying meaning. Close reading helps individuals develop a deeper understanding of the text, enabling them to have a broader interpretation and develop critical thinking skills.

Close reading can be applied to various types of text, such as literature, poetry, historical documents, and scientific articles. By closely examining a text, individuals can identify themes and explore the context of the text, which can lead to a greater appreciation of the work. Close reading also encourages critical reflection, allowing the reader to identify inconsistencies or gaps in the text and make connections outside the text.

Close reading is a valuable skill that can be applied to everyday life, as it helps individuals develop analytical and critical thinking abilities. It is also essential in academic and professional contexts, as it helps individuals evaluate an argument, identify bias, and articulate complex ideas.

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is the ability to understand and interpret written information. It involves not only reading the words but also comprehending what they mean and how they relate to each other. Reading comprehension is an essential skill that enables individuals to access and analyze information, form opinions, and communicate effectively.

Improving reading comprehension can be achieved through various techniques. One technique is to read actively, which means engaging with the text, asking questions, and making connections. Another technique is to use visualization, which involves creating a mental image of the information in the text. Summarization is another effective technique that involves summarizing the key points of a text in a concise and clear way.

Reading comprehension is essential in everyday life, professional and academic contexts. It helps individuals understand and analyze complex information, evaluate arguments, construct opinions, and make informed decisions. Improving reading comprehension skills should be an ongoing process and should begin at an early age.

Originally posted 2023-06-15 05:40:43.

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