The Nature of Reading Abilities
This chapter describes reading comprehension processes that highlight the seemingly miraculous nature of reading comprehension. It provides an exploratory map of reading by providing the following: description of the miracle of reading, initial definition of reading, purposes for reading, definition of fluent reading comprehension, explanation of how reading works, and miracle of reading. The ability to read fluently is extraordinary; in fact, it is miraculous. Reading silently and individually became possible only about 500 years ago for a large number of people in Europe. A common way to begin a discussion of reading is to provide a definition of the concept. Reading to learn typically occurs in academic and professional contexts in which a person needs to learn a considerable amount of information from a text. Reading to search for simple information is a common reading ability, though some researchers see it as a relatively independent cognitive process.