Text comprehension refers to the process from the act of reading a textual production and understanding its structure to understanding the author’s words. Thus, it involves a knowledge of the grammatical functioning of language, vocabulary and textual genres – to discern the format in which the message was produced, for example.
Already the interpretation of text, it refers to the act of perceiving what the author wanted to say and, thus, to remove senses of the textual production. This process involves a knowledge of the reader’s world and the ability to understand the text as belonging to reality – and may even create intertextualities with other productions.
In this sense, learning to understand and interpret texts is not only important for the university entrance examination, but for a lifetime! The ability to understand the most varied types of speech will help the learning of other subjects, as well as being essential for understanding the world around you. So we have prepared some tips that will help you improve your text interpretation skills considerably. Come on:
1) Read a lot and every day
Increasing your daily reading load will greatly help you improve your ability to interpret texts, as it will broaden your textual analysis drills. And when we talk about “reading”, we are referring not only to books, but also to other productions, such as news reports, blog posts and even social media publications.
In addition to written material, text interpretation also covers the production of discourses in other formats, such as audiovisual – films, music and videos – and graphic language – tables and graphics, for example. The goal is to expand your repertoire.
2) Improve your ability to concentrate
To understand and interpret a text, it is essential to focus on what you are reading! Otherwise, you can reread the same sentence 10 times and still you will not understand anything that has been said. Therefore, you need to work on concentration, improving your ability to stay focused on the same activity.
Remember that it is quite normal to have some difficulty staying focused for more than an hour on the same activity, for example. So take some breaks for coffee or take a breath every 50 minutes of reading or study.
At first it can be very difficult, and it is very likely that, in the first few minutes, you already want to open Instagram and scroll through the feed! But it is essential to persist in the actions described above! Understand that improving your ability to concentrate will help you a lot in your studies and, later, in your professional life.
3) Explain to yourself what you are reading
Try to slow down the text by breaking it down into smaller parts so you do not have to interpret everything at once in the end. Also, adopt some practices that help you understand all the phrases and do not lose parts of the speech.
4) Study grammar
Mastering the standard functioning of the Portuguese language is fundamental to improving the ability to interpret text, as well as developing reading and writing skills. That’s because grammar studies will help you understand the role each structure has in creating meaning in sentences.
While reading, always try to have a dictionary around. Each time you notice a word that you do not know the meaning, note or search. This exercise will help you not miss any important term within the text.
5) Write a lot
Reading and writing are very related processes. Therefore, writing well will help you develop a better understanding of texts, as you will be more familiar with the structures of the Portuguese language and how they organize to create meaning.
6) Interpretation of text in the vestibular
The Enem and the main vestibular of the country usually charge a series of questions that require the use of the capacity of interpretation of texts of the candidates.
It is important that you apply these tips throughout the year and try to develop more and more your ability to interpret texts and understand the meaning of statements. This knowledge will help you a lot with the learning of the subjects and with the exercises of the vestibular. Good studies!