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Six Steps to Improve Your English Reading Skills29 Mar, 2018 3229
Do you read English books or magazines? How much of it are you able to you comprehend?
Reading ten books per week may not help you to improve your reading skills if you are not able to actually understand them. Not only international students, but native English speakers also suffer from this problem of ‘not grasping what is written’ called ‘reading comprehension.’ There may be varied reasons for this, such as poor English vocabulary, interruptions through halfway, boring or difficult text, etc. As a student, you are always told by your teachers to practice reading, but it gets really frustrating when you fail to take in all that you read. To deal with such situations, you need to work on your other things first, such as try reading slower, easier, and smaller and then increase the difficulty level gradually.
Here are the tips that can help you to build up English reading comprehension skills. Read these points to understand a lot more of what you read.
Make time to read
Reading can be fun anywhere be it bus, office, the free time between lectures, etc. However, if your main motive is to work on your reading capabilities, then you should be focused and make special time for it. You must try to find a quiet place where you spend a minimum of 30 minutes every day without any distraction or interruption. You can follow these steps:
- Find yourself a comfortable and peaceful spot with bright lights.
- Make sure you have everything you might need such as pen, notebook, dictionary.
- Put your mobile phone on silent mode.
Select the right books
While selecting books for yourself, you need to consider two points, i.e., your interest, and your reading level. Suppose, if you are not fond of science fiction, then you might not want to read a book about a man stuck on Mars. Always read those books that you enjoy and are easy for you to understand. In case you challenge yourself to read something alien to you just because you want to learn new things; you might end up being frustrated with the whole process. You can try the following tips:
- Go through online recommendations such as Listopia on Goodreads.
- Your Next Read helps you to search for books similar to the ones you have already read or liked.
- Through Jellybooks, you can discover new books and read 10% sample.
- In Whichbook, you have to mention what you are looking for like happy or sad, and it will suggest you books based on that.
Read various kinds of texts
Nowadays, there is a lot more than just books and newspaper, such as blogs, online journals, tweets, etc. The more you read all of these, the better your reading skills will become. Try to include everything and anything in your reading material. Follow interesting people on Facebook or Twitter and read their articles and blogs, find magazines that you enjoy reading, visit different websites.
You can try these websites for news and articles from around the world:
One important point that you must remember to improve your English is: The more you practice, the better you’ll get.
Reading is more about understanding and grasping every word that you come across rather than just going through it roughly. You need to ask yourself questions before, during, and after reading any text. Browse the whole document and try to summarize whatever you can remember. Describe everything that you have read in one or two lines; this will show how much of it you have really understood and if there are still any queries unanswered. For example:
- Names or dialogues that you can remember.
- Highlights of the text.
- The part you didn’t understand.
- What might the character be thinking?
Keep post-it notes and note down any question that crosses your mind while reading.
Improve fluency first
If you stop after every single word of an article, then you won’t be able to understand much of it. So it’s important to work on your fluency first to improve your reading comprehension. While reading, there should be a certain rhythm in your head so that the words flow smoothly and naturally, same as talking. It will take some time and practice to be fluent, but once you master it, reading will be fun and enjoyable.
Read again and again
Whether you are reading something difficult or not, once is not enough. When you find words or lines which made no sense to you, it is better to re-read them. Also, there might be a chance that you have missed an important text for the first time. Going through the same text more than once will make sure that you remember all the significant and new words. Try this:
- Prefer a short article which would take no more than 10 minutes.
- Read it at your own pace, and jot down all that you can remember even the tiniest detail.
- Repeat it.
You will notice that every time you re-read the article, you will understand more about it. The first time, your main focus should be on understanding every word. The second time, concentrate on the meaning, and after that, you can start finding answers to the complex questions like ‘how particular news can affect the whole world?’ or ‘ what is the author actually trying to say?’
These tips would help you to master reading comprehension skills for not only English but any other language. A bit of patience, time, and practice, would ensure that you read and understand the language better and faster.
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