Inferential comprehension is the ability to process written information and understand the underlying meaning of the text. This information is then used to infer or determine deeper meaning that is not explicitly stated. Inferential comprehension requires readers to:
- combine ideas
- draw conclusions
- interpret and evaluate information
- identify tone and voice.
A higher and more complex level of comprehension involves critical analysis which requires readers to:
- be critical
- form opinions
- identify authors' points of view and attitudes
- identify and consider the authority of texts and their messages
- infer motives of characters and themes.
Critical analysis can be introduced in very early reading. The use of the 'Six Thinking Hats' strategy is one effective way of developing critical thinking skills.