Being able to read a word problem and understand what it is asking you is a very important skill to have. When we test students, we test them with word problems.
Last year, we found that a lot of students couldn't answer the test questions, but it wasn't because they didn't have the knowledge or skill. They didn't understand what the question wanted them to do.
We talk about maths language a lot, and I have a display on my classroom wall with synonyms for maths words (e.g. plus, add, count on, altogether, how much etc) and example questions. Students can refer to this to help them decipher the wording of questions, and hence help them figure out what the question wants them to do.