It is necessary for the students of Senior High School to master reading comprehension. Cooper (1986:11) stated that Comprehension is a process in which the reader may construct meaning by interacting with the text. In reading comprehension, a reader should have knowledge about understanding the reading passage. The common questions on the passages are primarily about the main ideas, details, and an inference that can be drawn from the passages.
According to Singer (1985) reading comprehension has been defined as an interpretation of written symbols, the apprehending of meaning, the assimilation of ideas presented by the written, and the process of thinking while deciphering symbols. Further, reading comprehension is related closely to the cognitive competence of the readers, because this will produce comprehension. This idea also supported by Parera in Kahayanto (2005:9), he states as follows:
“Memahami adalah memperhatikan naskah tertulis dengan maksud memahami isinya. Proses ini dilakukan dengan mata diam atau membaca dalam hati. Hasil pemahaman disebut pemahaman bacaan. Cara membaca yang demikian disebut cara membaca pemahaman”.
In comprehending a topic, the readers interacts with the text relates to the pre-questioning of the text to prior experiences of construct meaning which can be found in the text. Skimming and scanning are two very useful techniques that will help the reader become a better reader.
- 1. Skimming
Skimming is a technique used to look for the “gist” of what the author is saying without a lot of detail (Kustaryo, 1988:5). This reading technique is used if one wants to get a general impression of a book, essay, article and determine whether or not to read it more carefully. Moreover, Yorkey (134) defines that there are two purposes of skimming: to locate a specific word, fact, or idea quickly, and to get a rapid general impression of the material. Azies & Alwasilah (1996:114) said “Aktifitas skimming melibatkan proses membaca, sekalipun dengan kecepatan melebihi kecepatan membaca pada umumnya”.
Thus, in skimming the text, a reader needs to practice in order he or she can learn the key words and phrases which can cover all the material he or she is reading. To do the skimming, the reader should go through a passage quickly, jumping over parts of it, in order to get a general idea of what it is about.
- 2. Scanning
Scanning is quickly reading to find the specific information Brown (2001:308) stated that, scanning is quickly searching for some particular piece or pieces of information in a text.
By scanning, a reader mean glancing rapidly through a text either a text either to search a specific piece of information (e.g. name, date) or to get an initial impression of whether the text is suitable for a given purpose”, Nuttall in Kahayanto (2005:11). When scanning the reader lets his or her eyes wander over the text until he or she is looking for, whether it is a place, a kind of food, a kind of verb, or a specific information. To enable the student to scan effectively, he or she should know what kinds of information he or she needs, also, he or she should have the strong belief where he or she will find such information needed from the text.