ABSTRACT Understanding the overall meaning of a passage is a task distinct from the identification of the individual composite words. The purpose of this article is to suggest classroom techniques that strengthen reader strategies for discourse comprehension. Reading is conceived as a complex skill involving a number of general skills. Comprehension is viewed as taking place at a number of levels. Because of the unfamiliar linguistic forms and structures inevitably encountered in second language reading, the student is encouraged to exercise flexibility in approaching a text. The usefulness of drawing upon a knowledge of world events is highlighted through classroom practice.