Reading Tips & Tricks
Think about the process of reading. Remember that there are different ways of reading. You skim articles in a newspaper when you are deciding whether you want to read them in detail later. When you skim, you just get a general idea about the content. If you are looking for something particular, for example the name of your team on the sports pages, you scan the text. You are trying to find a specific piece of information.
Reading for pleasure is an example of extensive reading. You don’t worry too much about every word. You get involved in the story in a novel, for instance, and are eager to find out what happens. In contrast, if you are reading a text intensively. You are focusing on the details and the exact meaning. You might need to do this with instructions for a new computer or a school or university textbook, for example.
When you do any reading, you need to make it an active process. Predict what the text is going to be about from the title or the pictures. After you have read a text, do something with the new information you have.
With every article from a newspaper or magazine you read, think about these questions:
– Who is the article about?
– Where and when is the article talking about?
– What are the main points of the article?
– What kind of people would find the article interesting to read?
– What is your opinion of/reaction to the article?
If someone you know has read the same article, talk about it with them. What do they think? Do you agree with them?
Read the same material in English as you would in your language. If you enjoy reading about fashion in your language, read about fashion in English too. You will already understand some of the vocabulary and ideas and have a good background knowledge. Conversely, if you hate films and never go to the cinema, reading an English-language film review will probably not be a useful exercise for you because you won’t enjoy it.
If you have access to the same material in your language and in English, compare the two versions. How has the translator expressed the same idea in the new language? Is it a good translation? What would you change? Are the texts exactly the same?
Set yourself a reading target. Reading one article every day is better than reading whole paper only once a fortnight. Ask your teacher to recommend suitable materials.