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Reading strategies to improve reading skills

 

Reading stategies for adults

Improve reading comprehension 

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There are many ways to implement reading strategies that will improve your reading comprehension. The key to improving your reading skills is to read regularly and you will be more to read more often if you enjoy the experience. So lets start by making the reading experience as enjoyable as possible.

Improve reading comprehension by setting up a quiet, comfortable place

Step one is to set up a quiet reading place. Take a little time to make your reading place comfortable. You will need adequate lighting, so a lamp beside you is a good idea. Select a comfortable chair or lounge and have some cushions and somewhere you can tuck your feet up. Being relaxed when you are reading is the key. Before starting to read get yourself a drink and a snack so you can satisfy any hunger pains without having to get up.

Pick a time to read when you are not too tired. Your mind needs to be alert so you can concentrate on the text. Often when we are tired, our mind tends to wander and you can get to the end of a paragraph and not recall anything you have read.

Improve reading comprehension by reviewing the book before your read

Step two is to look through the book or article before reading it. Read through the chapter headings, read the title and any blurb provided about the reading material. This will help set the context of what you are about to read. If there are any illustrations, have a close look at them and try and determine what the reading is going to be about.

Improve reading comprehension by re-reading the introduction before reading

Step three is to begin reading. Remember that it does take a little time to become comfortable with the author's writing style and to get into any story or article. If you are reading a novel the beginning chapters are often about setting the scene, and introducing the characters, so usually it will not be until the third or fourth chapter that you get to the actual story. If you are reading a text book or article, the first section will be the introduction, it is a good idea to re-read introductions to ensure comprehension as this will provide a summary of the whole document.

Improve reading comprehension by monitoring yourself

Step four is about monitoring your own comprehension as you read. Be aware of what sections are not making sense. Re-read the section once. If it is still unclear, look back to the text that lead up to the confusing section and then read forward to check if the next section adds clarity to what you have read.

Don't let a confusing section of text stop you from reading further. If you have tried re-reading, looking back and reading forward and the section still does not make sense, just keep reading. Sometimes as you read things become clearer as the author is able to give more context.

Improve reading comprehension by not worrying about speed

Take your time. It is much better to read slowly and comprehend what your are reading than to rush through, complete the book but be unable to recall or understand what you have read. Have a note pad by your side to take notes about important information, key characters or things you need to remember. Taking notes helps you review what you have read to ensure understanding.

Improve reading comprehension through practice, practice, practice

The key to reading well, is to read more often. Reading a little everyday is better than reading for longer but less often. The more you read, the better reader you will become.

Improve reading comprehension by summarising

After reading, summarise what you have read in that session. Read through any notes you have taken to ensure they are comprehensive. This will make it easier for you to understand your notes when you refer back to them at a later date. Ask yourself some basic questions about the reading to reinforce any learning.

Improve reading comprehension by joining a book club

Sharing a reading experience with others is a great way to expand learning and improve reading comprehension. Join a local book club or an online book club and read and share with others. Here is a link to a good online bookclub.

Summary of reading strategies

By actively thinking about what you are reading, you will develop good reading comprehension habits. Don't just read, think about the words while you read and look for meaning at every opportunity. Making sense of the written word is the key. When you can read, understand and think further about the reading experience you will enjoy reading, and when you enjoy the reading experience you are more likely to read more often.


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