Reading Comprehension Software Programs

An Individualized Reading Comprehension Program For All Ages

Reading comprehension is a complex skill, where a lot of cognitive, language and thinking skills need to be functioning well.  Our reading comprehension software program works on all these skills, step by step. Some students use our reading comprehension program to fill in gaps, while others require a more intensive intervention.  Here is what is required to meet current 8th grade reading comprehension standards:

  1. Understand the main idea
  2. Comprehend the sequence, context and/or characters
  3. Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
  4. Connect the text to prior knowledge or experience

The ultimate goal is reading comprehension with metacognition, the ability to read text, process it, understand its meaning in context and to think critically and self-correct while reading (the metacognition part). This process is described most authoritatively by Reed Lyon as part of an NIH research paper.  Make no mistake, this is not an easy skill to master.  Reading comprehension with metacognition is a level of reading competence that many individuals do not reach.  It is however a crucial and difference-making college-level learning skill.

Essential Reading Comprehension Skills

reading comprehension program for any ageReading comprehension requires mastery of fundamentals, language and higher level thinking skills.  There is a lot going on while you are reading.  Our individualized sequence of software exercises builds the following broader skills, considered essential for reading comprehension proficiency:

Familiarity with Language

Reading comprehension requires a range of language skills:

  • Phonology — an ability to hear and process the sounds, the phonemes, that make up words
  • Syntax – the rules that govern the structure of sentences, including grammar
  • Semantics – attributing meaning to words
  • Pragmatics — understanding how context impacts meaning

While most children pick up these linguistic skills by listening, struggling readers tend to have processing delays that impede language familiarity and dexterity. Our adaptive, online exercises help improve language, feeding directly into better reading comprehension.

Thinking While Reading (Shallow and Deep Processing)

There are two levels of reading comprehension that require two levels of processing.  Shallow processing is literal reading comprehension, being able to recognize words and sentence structure to extract basic understanding.  Deep processing refers to a higher level of understanding, where the literal meaning of words is connected to other words and then put in context.

Putting words in context, drawing inferences, thinking critically about the text — these tasks require deep processing skills, the ability to think while reading. Accomplished readers do this intuitively — while reading, they constantly compare the text to their understanding of the world.

For most struggling readers, occupied with decoding, this is difficult. Our reading comprehension software develops thinking while reading using sentence completion and other reading puzzles where students learn to decode subconsciously while the mind focuses on an analytical task.

Reading Stamina

Practice makes perfect, and so children need to be able to read for long periods.  Our reading comprehension software for kids and adults develops reading stamina by:

  • Making reading easier. Our programs automate decoding so that it does not require concentration — this makes reading less exhausting.
  • Improving reading comprehension. An ability to comprehend the text makes it more interesting and engaging, even enjoyable.
  • Building reading speed. Our programs improve focus, reducing the need to re-read text, and improve vocabulary — recognizable words — creating fewer reasons to pause while reading. Better progress through the text makes engagement easier.

reading comprehension software for kidsFast ForWord also helps selective attention, important for reading stamina. We aim to make our students more avid readers, so that they will keep reading and keep improving reading comprehension through practice.  We support this reading practice habit with Reading Assistant, a nonjudgmental reading software that uses speed recognition software to correct and guide.


The final step to mastering reading is metacognition, the ability to read critically and self-correct as you go. Metacognitive reading comprehension strategies require years of practice, which can only start once a student is reading with comprehension. This is a reason to improve reading skills sooner rather than later.

More On Our Reading Comprehension Software

Gemm Learning develops protocols drawing exercises from reading comprehension computer software programs Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant.  These two programs target the exact skills identified by the National Reading Panel (formed by the NIHCD) as critical, namely: phonemic awareness, phonics, oral reading practice and comprehension strategy instruction.

All students start with cognitive and reading fundamentals, the goal being to make sure your child has the fully developed cognitive and language skills required for reading comprehension.  Our program is adaptive, meaning if your child has mastery of the fundamentals, he will fly through this initial phase.

The second phase of our program focuses on reading comprehension specifically, building each of the skills laid out above, one by one.  Our program can accelerate reading at any age,  Early on the target is sentence-level comprehension, whereas in later grades it is reading comprehension with context, and then finally, with metacognition, To find out which reading comprehension software protocol is right for your child, watch this video or call one our specialists for a free consult.