Reading comprehension is affected by factors which come from the students, the instructors, and the text.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE READING COMPREHENSION
Students which have good reading comprehension can read accurately and efficiently. By reading the text, they can get the maximum information from the text with the minimum of misunderstanding. However, not all students have good reading comprehension. There are some factors which influence their comprehension in reading. The factors can be described below.
The first factor is the purpose of reading. Donoghue (2009) states that the purpose of reading can focus the students’ attention, and it can help them in understanding the text. He also states, “Comprehension in reading is stronger when the purpose is specific.” It means that the purpose of reading influences the students in comprehending a text. When the students have a purpose for reading the text, they will focus their attention to the text and they will try to comprehend the text. It is obvious that the purpose of reading must be constructed before reading. The teachers should be able to help the students in constructing their purpose for reading.
The second factor is students’ interest in reading. When the students are curious about a subject, they will have high interest in reading the text to seek information and discover answers to satisfy that curiosity (Donoghue, 2009, p. 176). It is obvious that reading interest will influence the students’ comprehension in reading the text. Their interest in reading is strong enough to qualify them as avid readers.
The third factor is the quality of the reading material. Lenz (2005) states that the students’ reading comprehension can be influenced by the quality of the reading material. If the text is well organized, the students will understand the text easily. In other hand, the students will find many difficulties, if the text is poorly organized.
The fourth factor is the students’ background knowledge. Readers who do not have background knowledge about the topic of the text or the text type will have more difficulty in comprehending the text (Lenz, 2005, p.1). It means that the students’ background knowledge can influence their reading comprehension. Therefore, the students should be introduced to the text types early and review them as often as possible. Activating their background knowledge is also needed before reading the text.
The fifth factor is the quality of the instruction. Donoghue (2009) states that the quality of instruction can influence the students’ reading comprehension. The quality of the instruction is determined by the instructors themselves. An effective instructor engages the students productively on the reading tasks. They can motivate the students in the reading lesson. The types of their instruction also can encourage the students to be active readers. Those will give positive impact to the students’ reading comprehension.