Learning how to read is an important part of learning English. It expands your vocabulary and gives you fluency. If you are in a country where English is the main language, you will not get by without learning how to read. Also, reading is substantially easier than speaking and writing, or even listening.
● Remember to always read a book that is of your level. Do not get ambitious and read a book above your level because that would involve words that you will not understand.
Reading English can get downright weird! Why? ‘Read’ and ‘read’ have the same spelling but different meanings as well as pronunciations. ‘Read’ is pronounced as ‘reed’, which is in present tense while ‘read’ is pronounced as ‘red’, which is in the past tense.
A few steps for you to start improving your reading skills are explained below.
Decide what you want to read
Preferably, you should stick to reading a book that is your level. Do not decide to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. You can do that when you have successfully mastered the language. That novel will not disappoint! You can read children’s books, newspapers, comics, or anything else. Once you have decided, go pick up the books
from the library or bookshop.
Take it slow
Reading takes patience. Do not try rushing through the book or newspaper. Concentrate on every word that you read. If you do not understand a particular word or phrase, look it up in a dictionary or on Google. Do not proceed without understanding it completely.
Rereading is a good exercise. You know how when you watch a movie for the second time, you pick out all that bits of information that you missed out on the first time you watched it? Rereading does the exact same thing. At times, while reading, a person fazes out. That means he or she is reading but not really concentrating or understanding.
A second read makes everything clearer.
A list of unfamiliar words
Make a list of all the new words you come across with their meaning. After you finish reading the text, go through this list and try using the words in your daily life.
Read every few sentences or paragraphs out loud. Concentrate on your pronunciation.
This will help in developing fluency while reading. Fluency in speech is not the only thing that is important!
Once you are done reading, summarize everything you read by either writing it down, or by speaking out in front of friends and family. You could also do this by yourself in front of the mirror. Remember to do this in English.
“Do it Right Now”: Steps to start improving instantly
Step 1: Pick an English book or topic over the internet of your interest
Step 2: Keep a dictionary, pen and a paper alongside
Step 3: Scan, skim and start reading the text out loud in a subtle speech
Step 4: Break the words that are difficult to pronounce at one go into sounds and speak in a connecting flow. In you don’t know how that particular word sounds, refer to an audio dictionary and follow. Eg: Anticipation = An – tee — see — pay — shun.
Step 5: Note down new phrases, words and expressions you come across while reading and simultaneously take meaning from the dictionary.
Step 6: On completion, review the topic in your head.
Step 7: Note the estimated time you took to read the text, number of words read and as a trend, try and speed up with every third time you read.