The importance of reading comprehension in non-linguistic subjects cannot really be undermined. What differs here from the conventional strategies in comprehending linguistic passages is the emphasis on visualization. Non-linguistic representations enhance student’s ability to use mental images to represent and elaborate on knowledge. To elaborate, knowledge is stored in two forms-
1. Linguistic form (as language)
and 2. Non-lingualistic form (as mental images ad physical sensations)
The more individuals use both types of representations, the better they are able to reflect on and recall knowledge. Teachers usually present new knowledge in linguastic form, i.e. they either talk to students about new content or ask them to read about new content.
When teachers branch out of help students use non-lingualistic representations as well, the effects on achievement are strong because they tap into student’s natural tendency for visual image processing, helping them to construct meaning of content and skills being learned and to recall it better late. For example, diagrams and models are used in mathematics and science to help represent phenomena that students cannot observe, such as the arrangement of atoms in molecule and how that arrangement changes during an interaction. In other subjects, students can use non-lingualistic representations such as graphic organisers to organize information into a conceptual framework. The ultimate goal for using these strategies is to produce non-lingualistic representations in the minds of students, so they are better able to process, organize and retrive information from memory.