Header Ads

What do you mean by reading for global and local comprehension?

What do you mean by reading for global and local comprehension?

In this section, we move on to two other reading skills or techniques that are termed as global comprehension and local comprehension. The term global comprehension is associated with extensive reading whereas the term local comprehension is associated with intensive reading. It would be useful to elaborate on the two concepts of reading with greater detail.

Global Comprehension

Global comprehension is the understanding of a longer text, a story or a novel for example, for pleasure and not necessarily for minute details. It is a fluency activity, mainly involving the reader to be able to respond to a piece of text in a general sense.

For example a reader is reading the short story titled “The Martyrs Corner” by R K Narayan. He reads the story extensively for the pleasure of it. At this stage he is not concerned with specific details but with the overall plot of the story.

He follows up the daily life of Rama, the central character of the story nothing how he rose is business till the fateful firing incident when he found his fortunes taking such a turn that ultimately he had to close down his business as a career and start life all over again as a waiter in a restaurant.

At the end of the reading you may like to respond to the text in its global context. For example you may like to know why the author had given the title “Martyrs Corner” to this story.

You may like to react to the relevance of the title of the story. In order to find an answer to this question, you do not try to locate information from the text. On the contrary you try to look at the whole story globally.

You will mentally go through the circumstances that had prompted Rama to shift his business to another location as a result of which his old customer his sales dropped and he had to close down his business. What you had done here is to take a global view of the story and would now like to say something like this.

The title for the story appears to the appropriate because the martyr’s monument that was set up at the place where Rama had his business played an important part in the fall of fortunes of Rama resulting of his loss of business and his starting life all over again as a waiter. This is precisely a global comprehension of the story.

Global comprehension skill can also be exemplified from poetry on any other written text. Let us take “Ozymandias of Egypt” a poem by P.B. Shelley.

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunk less legs of stone?

Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand

Half sunk, shuttered visage lies, whose frown

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed

And on the pedestal, these words appear

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings.

Look on my work e mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains round the decay

Of what colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch an away.

What exactly does the poet intends to say in this poem? When we ask this question we are actually inviting the listener to look at the poem globally. It is a matter of local comprehension.

You understand from the poem that the poem is developed around the theme that human achievements cannot survival ravages of time. We find Ozymandias as the symbol of human achievement. Nothing of his achievements had remained.

What do you mean by reading for global and local comprehension?

Local Comprehension

Local comprehension is the skill of reading a piece of text closely or intensely for the purpose of extracting specific information from the text. This skill is referred to as intensive reading skill.

As an example let us refer back to the story “The Martyrs Corner” appended to this unit and concentrate our attention in the first four paragraph. Earlier you had read the story for extensive reading skills. Now we go back to a part of the story for intensive reading skills.

In this case you do not like to miss out the details of the passage that you are reading both at the levels of form and content.

Let us illustrate how local comprehension works. As you read the first four paragraphs you may like to ask yours self a series of specific questions, some of them could include:

  •  Why does Rama consider the compliments as “glib remarks”?
  • At what time did Rama get up?
  • At what time did he arrive at his place of business?

These are only three of a host of questions that form in your mind that aid to the comprehension of the text. You may have to go back to the passage to locate the specific information.

For example when we focus our attention on the words “glib remarks”, we connect them with the lines: “what these folks do not see is that I sit before the oven practically all day frying at this stuff……….” We now know why Rama considers the specific information from the text for an understanding of a specific point.

Such an approach to a reading activity is referred to as intensive reading. Since the reader is locating information, it is also referred to as local comprehension.

Similarly the other two questions would require us to locate the specific information from the text. The information is there very overly in the passage. All that you do is to locate it. As a reading activity it can be seen as an activity of reading for accuracy involving a detailed understanding of the text not only in terms of ‘what” it says but also “how” it says it.

An intensive reading activity is primarily concerned with developing reading strategies – judgments, reasoning, interpretation, appreciation etc. in the reader.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.