8 Ways to Improve your Reading Skills
- Feb 04, 2015
Jessica literally waited for Mrs. Johnson’s classes in her school. For, my little five-year-old cousin was quite fond of reading sessions! She loved listening to stories like ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’, etc. that her mother read out to her every night, before she was tucked into bed. This inspired her to start reading, even as she stammered with some words. However, Jessica embraced it as one of her hobbies and tried reading at least two pages every day.
Unlike Jessica, most children are averse to reading since a tender age. They tend to stumble against certain words and mispronounce them. Then, there are some students who are incapable of reading a difficult term, thereby getting stuck in a particular sentence. So naturally, they develop a phobia about reading. If unchecked, such an inability to read properly can trigger serious learning disorders!
I am familiar with several schools that have incorporated reading as a compulsory part of their education. An hour of reading every day goes a long way in encouraging students to read appropriately. And, confidently. It is one of the best techniques to improve your communication skills. A good reader learns faster and is more knowledgeable than his competitors. Now let us have a look at eight ways to improve your reading skills:
- Collect reading materials: First of all, collect something that you can read. A small tip for amateur readers: to start with, choose something interesting that appeals to you. This would make your first reading experience an enjoyable one. Pick up a newspaper, a children’s book or even a comic. Visit a library and opt for the subject that thrills you. You’ll find numerous books on it. Just go for one of them and start reading. But, don’t ignore other kinds of books, for instance autobiographies of famous personalities.
- Select place and time: Ready with your collection friends? Now, it’s time to select a cozy corner where you can read without any interruptions. It can be your home, the reading room of your library or your study-room, where you can concentrate. But you also need to make reading a daily habit. So, schedule your reading sessions. Keep aside a minimum of thirty minutes every day for reading. It helps build your vocabulary. Why not read a book when you are travelling to school? You’ll be educated while being entertained.
- Reading systematically: How do you begin reading? Do so by glancing at the photograph provided alongside the story. You can start the process by reading the names, titles or bold letters that are catchier than the rest of the content. Make sure that you go through every letter and word of the page you are reading. You need not rush through the words, relax and read carefully. Skimming as you read is not a good idea at all, dear readers. Understand every sentence and context of every paragraph.
- Understand comfort levels: Don’t pressurize yourself to complete reading a lengthy news article or story at one go. On the contrary, follow your comfort levels while reading. For instance, you might feel like taking a short break after an hour of reading. Instead of forcing yourself to continue reading, go ahead and gift yourself that break. When you return to your reading material, you would discover that you can read faster. Then, read the chapter or article all over again. It also helps you remember what you read.
- Use clues of context: Sometimes when you are halfway through a sentence, you might stumble against certain redundant terms. At this moment, you can try finding out it’s meaning by noticing how it has been employed in a particular sentence. This is exactly what is meant by following the context of a word. I would suggest you do it, especially when you don’t possess a dictionary close to you. Moreover, making attempts to follow the context also saves you time and energy that would’ve been spent in looking up a dictionary.
- Re-read write-ups: At times, you might not able to comprehend the text that you are reading. It might be a single word, group of words or a paragraph that might not make sense to you – leaving you puzzled. Be patient. And, re-read the entire sentence or paragraph that you didn’t understand. Read it aloud to yourself. It really helps you become an effective learner. If you’re still unable to grasp it, ask anybody to assist you. Or, simply move on to a book or topic that is simpler.
- Engage a tutor: Still facing issues during your reading sessions? Are your reading problems refusing to leave you, dear friends? Keep calm, and don’t lose heart. The understanding levels of every students is never the same. Identify your difficulties and jot them down on a sheet of paper. Now, start looking for a tutor who can guide you about how to emerge into a perfect reader! Teachers can motivate students in various ways. Confide your problems to your potential tutor, so that he can help you overcome them.
- Continue reading: Knowledge is something that’s infinite. They say you continue learning till the day you bid farewell to your life. Friends, it’s true. You must try reading as much as you can. Invest your time reading a classic, or a great poem by Keats. If you’re a beginner, you can try out comics or short stories. When I was a student, my English teacher always advised me to read up the editorial columns in newspapers. Make reading a regular practice for achieving the best results.
The renowned English playwright and essayist Joseph Addison had once stated that reading is as beneficial to one’s mind as physical exercise is to the body. When you read, you open the doors of your mind to new elements of knowledge and welcome wisdom. Your concentration improves, and so does your ability to focus! Reading helps develop your power of reason and think critically. And believe me friends, books can be your best friends too. So, I hope all of you would start reading and enjoy your reading sessions!
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