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Reading Tools for Learning Reading and Improving Reading Comprehension...

Tools that help improve reading comprehension are based on different techniques such as graphic organization, gamification and comprehension monitoring, and self-listening and highlighting. Strategies to help improve learning outcomes include summarizing, visualization, structure analysis, and questioning.


This technique is based on game thinking and encourages students to solve problems and develop new skills. Interactive visualization helps improve user engagement because of factors such as enjoyment, fun, and enhanced motivation.

Graphic Organization

Mind mapping programs make use of graphic organization to enable students to understand complex thoughts, texts, and plotlines. The idea is to break complex ideas and thoughts into components to aid reading comprehension.

Self-Listening and Highlighting

Teachers making use of this technique encourage students to pronounce words quickly and slowly as to learn letter sounds. Children first learn short sounds like a, e, i (as in fan, jet, and pig) and then proceed with sounds like c and k. Some online tools also offer quizzes, training, videos, and other resources.

Online platforms also make use of learning tools such as making non-fiction texts more approachable and story structure recognition. Texts that are too difficult or have a complicated structure discourage learning. To improve comprehension, teachers are encouraged to use more interesting texts and engaging content. Texts in different fields can be used, including law, government and economics, history, arts, etc.

Comprehension Strategies

Common comprehension strategies for learning and improving reading include summarizing, concluding, predicting, and identifying differences and similarities. Summarizing is a strategy that helps students to identify major events and main points by way of extracting information. Concluding is another tool that encourages students to search for details and facts in order to reach a conclusion. Predicting makes use of the facts of a text to identify possible outcomes. Identifying differences and similarities involves contrasting or comparing information to find out what different events, places, people, or items have in common.

Other tools that help improve reading and comprehension are sequencing, finding the main idea, finding information, and understanding words. Sequencing involves finding how different events relate or the order in which they took place. The goal is to facilitate comprehension by using time markers and other sequencing tools. Finding the main idea also improves reading as the main idea of a story helps understand other ideas conveyed by the separate paragraphs. Finding information is another strategy that involves re-reading certain paragraphs or parts of a text to identify keywords. Finding how phrases and words are used in a context also aids the learning process, with meaning being the main focus.

Inferring is yet another technique that teaches students to examine facts and identify whether they are true or not. This technique is based on visual and written contextual information. Three additional tools are also used by educators – point of view, fact or opinion, and cause and effect. Fact or opinion is a technique that encourages critical thinking by teaching students how to identify opinions and facts. Cause and effect helps identify how causes result in outcomes or effects while point of view allows children to better understand the author’s opinion and why he wrote the text. Ultimately, by using comprehension strategies, teachers help students to improve their reading skills and understand more complex texts.

Financial Literacy in Canada

Financially literate Canadians make informed decisions about debt and money and save for the unexpected. Having skills and knowledge helps avoid money worries and falling prey to predatory lenders and abusive practices. People who have basic understanding of investing, banking, inflation, and consumer protection are better at managing their personal finances.

How Canadians Fare

According to the Managing Money and Planning for the Future Survey, just 46 percent of Canadians have a budget. The majority of people or 69 percent manage to keep up with payments and bills. However, figures are significantly lower for persons with low incomes (62 percent) and aboriginal people (50 percent). Just 40 percent of Canadians know how much they have to save for comfortable retirement. Again figures are lower for aboriginal and low-income persons and newcomers. The main sources of income they rely on include occupational pension plans and government pension benefits.

Another report, Financial Literacy and Retirement Well-Being in Canada shows that 59.6 percent of Canadians do not know how much they need for retirement. According to the report, 43 percent will be forced to resort to credit if they have to cover an unexpected expense of $500. The figure increases to 69 percent for expenses of $5,000. The main types of debt that Canadians use include lines of credit, credit cards, and mortgages.

A third study conducted in 2019, Canadians and Their Money reveals that more than 1/3 of Canadians (31 percent) feel they have a lot of debt. Some 40 percent of borrowers hold a mortgage, with the average amount standing at $200,000. Common types of debt that Canadians pay off also include student loans (11 percent), personal lines of credit (20 percent), car loans and leases (28 percent), and cards (29 percent). Some 8 percent of respondents share that they tend to fall behind on payments and bills.

Why Is Financial Literacy Important

In light of the results from recent surveys, it is evident that some Canadians fail to manage their cash flows, with 27 percent of respondents borrowing to cover daily expenses or to buy groceries. Many of them fall in vulnerable groups such as lone parents, divorced and separated persons, low-income workers, and those under the age of 65.

In contrast, financially literate persons live within their means and know how to keep track of expenses and money in general. They also know how to comparison shop and choose from different financial products ( with competitive terms. With regard to skills, financially competent persons keep updated on relevant topics and tend to seek advice on savings and investment products. They also stick to a budget, plan for retirement, and rarely fall victim of abusive practices. According to experts, basic knowledge boils down to good understanding of key terms, real and nominal value, and interest. Being financially literate also means using information, applying concepts learned, and being able to plan for the long and short term – visit People who make informed judgments and decisions are aware of the consequences, whether saving, borrowing, or investing. Those who manage their personal finances well are good at risk diversification as they know how money works. Literacy education focuses on topics such as tax planning, budgeting, paying for college, real estate, insurance, and more. It helps Canadians to avoid high interest rates, subprime mortgages, and predatory lenders, all of which often lead to foreclosure, bankruptcy, and poor credit. Persons with good understanding of money matters know how to reconcile accounts, negotiate competitive rates, make timely payments, and avoid the debt spiral.

Distance Learning Solutions in Canada

E-learning solutions have become increasingly popular in Canada during COVID, including classes, courses and career training programs.

Northern Distance Learning

The NDL program was developed to address problems that students in the Northwest Territories face. These are mainly associated with small high school student populations scattered across a large territory. In general, schooling is a combination of regular and online classes whereby a learning management system and videoconferencing are used. All materials are available online. The course offerings in 2019/2020 include math, physics, science, biology, art, and English language arts.

About 95 percent of high school students in the program are members of Indigenous communities. NDL enables them to graduate and pursue postsecondary education without leaving their communities. Children successfully passed 67 percent of all courses. A number of communities participate in the program, among which Fort Good Hope, Fort McPherson, Paulatuk, and Fort Simpson.

Distance Learning Tools Introduced by Provincial Governments

Online learning portals have been launched in some provinces and territories. Learn from Home is a website offering courses and activities to help students in Ontario learn from home. The online portal features a variety of resources for students, parents, and teachers, including wellbeing, mental health, writing, reading, and math resources. Visitors are offered access to activities, podcasts, and videos to enable independent study. Featured resources also include virtual exhibits, practice questions, creative activities, interactive games and puzzles, articles, tutorials, and a lot more. Open School is also an online portal launched by the government of Quebec, featuring resources for secondary, elementary, and preschool students and adult vocational training and education. Preschool activities are included in categories such as memorization and logic, puzzles, colors and shapes, letters and alphabet, and stories and nursery rhymes. Secondary school students are offered access to resources across a number of categories, including history and citizenship education, geography, and science and technology. There is a choice of additional activities such as relaxing, having fun, and socializing.

CBC Kids is another online portal to explore activities, games, and videos. Children learn about meteors, animals, bugs, festivals, and even sugar cookies.


The Canadian Commission for UNESCO introduced the Teacher’s Toolkit, which offers access to a number of thematic resources related to climate action, sustainable development, and global citizenship. Thematic areas also include intercultural learning, non-violence, and human rights. Teachers have access to a variety of resources such as videos, manuals, booklets, and sample book titles. Covered subjects include language and literature, history, geography, and civics. UNESCO also encourages teachers to organize activities to mark days such as the International Day for Tolerance and International Day of Peace.

Other Resources

There is a host of online portals featuring resources in areas such as science, literacy, digital skills, and culture and land. Science websites include Exploring the Seat of Your Pants, Kids Boost Immunity, and Ingenium. Exploring the Seat of Your Pants is one online portal that offers access to virtual trips, lessons, and guest speakers. The list of covered countries is quite long and includes Brazil, Kenya, Portugal, the U.S, Canada, and many others. Students learn about coral reefs, dolphins, lemur forests, and toucan rescue ranches, among other topics.