The Comprehension Skills Framework distills comprehension into five skills that research suggests are core and essential to good understanding of text. These skills are broadly the same at all reading levels with the text itself creating the degree of challenge and with some skills being more significant at one level than another.

Most books provide opportunity to practise all the five skills to a greater or lesser extent, and quizzes have been designed to offer as balanced a coverage of skills as possible. By the end of an Oxford Reading Level, students will have good experience of each one, as appropriate to that level.

Finding informationRetrieving literal information from the text or pictures about characters, settings, overtly expressed feelings.
Making connections and inferencesReading between the lines of the text, finding clues and building meaning where information isn’t explicitly stated. Includes ‘global coherence inferences’ at a whole text level (for example, cause and effect, reasons for actions and point of view), as well as ‘local cohesion’ at a sentence level (for example, matching pronouns to nouns).
Understanding vocabularyIdentifying the meaning of words and phrases, synonyms and antonyms, activating related words and concepts, and understanding the effect of word choices.
Using structure and organization to make meaningMaking sense of a text by understanding the ‘gist’, ordering events, identifying and summarising main ideas, and drawing on knowledge of text conventions, forms, and features.
Understanding and appreciating author toolkitUnderstanding and evaluating how the author uses language and punctuation to create effects, awareness of the author’s intent, and expressing opinions on a text.