What is Comprehension?
As understanding the action of understanding is known. In this sense, understanding is the faculty of intelligence through which we can understand or penetrate things to understand their reasons or to get a clear idea of them. The word as such derives from comprehension .
Likewise, understanding is also the attitude of someone who is understanding and tolerant towards the reasons or motivations of another person. We show understanding when, for example, we are not so harsh in judging someone who has made a mistake that anyone could have made.
On the other hand, understanding is essential among a person’s language skills. Hence, in order to enter the university, the verbal comprehension of the applicants is evaluated in many educational systems .
Similarly, oral comprehension is considered very important for those who are in the process of acquiring a foreign language, since it implies that people are able to understand what is said to them or the meaning of a conversation.
It’s called reading comprehension or reading the capacity of people to understand and interpret what they read. As such, it is considered a linguistic skill that allows the interpretation of written discourse.
Reading comprehension involves understanding, at first, the meaning of the words, considered as minimum units of the text, and then moving on to the largest units, that is, sentences, phrases and paragraphs.
The sum of all these elements, that is, of all the ideas and information that the text contains in each word, sentence or paragraph, the way they are arranged and the way they interrelate, is what allows us to extract the global message of the text, its meaning and intention.
In this sense, reading comprehension ranges from the mere decoding of a text and its linguistic understanding, to the interpretation and personal assessment that each one can contribute. Hence, a good reading comprehension allows us to answer three fundamental questions about the text: what we read, what we read for and how we read.
Understanding in Philosophy
According to Philosophy, as understanding we know the way in which we apprehend the objects of the human sciences, such as Philosophy or Psychology. As such, it is opposed to explanation, which is the way in which the natural sciences, such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics, proceed to apprehend their objects of study.