Back in 1968 a man called Barrett argued the case for a taxonomy of ideas on comprehension. What he was trying to do was describe different types of comprehension. He presented five main types:
Literal comprehension: this is where your child will answer questions by direct reference to the text.
Re-organisational comprehension: here your child will try to classify or group information from within a passage.
Evaluative Comprehension: an attempt is made to interpret and evaluate assumptions and intentions.
Inferential Comprehension: this is thinking and making deductions beyond what appears in the text.
Appreciative Comprehension: where your child is expected to show awareness of language or emotion.
When your child is working through verbal reasoning questions – then reading comprehension is a high order skill. Sometimes you will be just plain grateful for a response even if it is the wrong one – because you then are presented with the opportunity to urge:
“Have you read the question again?”
“We could look for key words together.”
“Do you remember how you approached a similar example?”
“Why not have a go at eliminating answers which simply can not be correct?”
You could now add some rather more formal language:
“Have you considered that this verbal reasoning question requires a literal answer?”
“We could try and re-organise the sentence.”
“What do you think the question is trying to achieve?”