Turning the Page – Great Tips to Improve Your Reading Skills
We all know that reading is an essential part of our lives. Reading is an effective way to educate yourself about things that are unfamiliar to you. It is a helpful activity to enrich our lives. Even renowned American children’s book author and illustrator Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” In addition, there are studies that show reading habits can lead to good mental health.
However, there are times when you probably find yourself at a loss at what exactly you’re reading about, whether it’s a chapter on your textbook, a passage on an eBook, or a story in the newspaper. As a result, reading becomes challenging and you approach it like it’s a chore. Don’t fret because this situation is perfectly normal, and there are ways around it. Like most everything else, to develop better reading skills, it takes practice, so below are tips on how to get you on the right track to feel more at home with page-turners.
It may be intimidating at first, especially if you’re not used to it, but reading aloud can definitely help you improve your reading abilities. Take it step by step. Maybe one paragraph today, two paragraphs tomorrow, and so on. The more you do this, the more you’ll feel comfortable and you’ll have better comprehension of the subject. If you want to make it more fun, pair up with a classmate or a friend to be your reading buddy and make reading both of your after-school activity. Take turns in reading a textbook or a fiction or non-fiction book you’re both interested in. Encourage each other to share their thoughts and opinions of what they’ve just read and get a discussion going about the subject.
List down words or phrases that you don’t know.
No one is born knowing every word that exists in the dictionary. We’ve all had our fair share of reading something and coming across a word we haven’t encountered before. If this happens to you, an effective trick is to list them down and look up their meanings. This way, you get a better understanding of the context of what you’re reading, and what’s more, you expand your vocabulary. Of course, lugging a thick dictionary on a daily basis can be a hassle, so the best solution is to have a dictionary app on your smart phones. Both Oxford and Merriam-Webster have free apps available for download which makes looking up a word much more convenient and quicker.
List down questions you have about something you’ve read.
This is somehow related to the previous one, but more for understanding the overall theme or message of what you’ve read. There are texts we come across that we grapple the point of, and it’s a typical scenario. Seek clarification from your teacher or instructor about these questions, but if they’re not available, ask your peers or someone on a higher level. Gathering information from someone else’s perspective will truly help you grasp the ideas that the author wanted to convey. If possible, you can even start a group study platform to further discuss the text.
Pick up something you like to read.
It is admirable if you make an effort to improve your reading skills by turning to the usual suspects—your textbooks! Doing so can propel your success in your academic subjects. But remember, reading doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Give yourself a break once in a while, and pick up a book that you’re genuinely curious about, whether it’s an adventure, romance, mystery, thriller, or non-fiction. Don’t confine your entire reading time to just textbooks, so you can truly discover the pleasure of reading.