Clever Reading Skills to Improve your English (Part 2)
If you are poor at reading, then perhaps it’s because you use only one style ‒ intensive reading.
In part 1, we looked at how skimming can help you understand the gist, i.e. the general meaning, of a text. Here are two more sub-skills that are widely used in reading.
This method is useful in identifying factual information in no time, e.g. names, dates, numbers, address, etc. Scanning involves moving your eyes quickly down a page in order to find a specific fact or piece of information without reading the entire text. While scanning, the reader:
- understands the way the text is structured before beginning to ‘read.’ For instance, is information arranged from A to Z (e.g. a dictionary, where items appear in alphabetical order) or by category (e.g. a catalogue)?
- sometimes uses their finger or hand to focus on what they are reading.
- does not make an attempt to understand the whole text; instead they read relevant parts around keyword
Many of us use this skill in our daily lives without realising it. For example, when we look for someone’s number in a telephone book, or football scores in the newspaper, we are, in fact, scanning.
As the name suggests, this sub-skill is used to get a thorough understanding of a text by reading it closely and carefully. Here, the reader:
- focuses more on the language (grammar and unfamiliar vocabulary) than the text.
- sometimes deals with grammar and vocabulary that is beyond their existing language ability.
- reads the same piece of text again and again to ensure that they have understood words correctly.
If you are poor at reading, then it is perhaps because you use only one style ‒ intensive reading. Obviously, this will slow you down, apart from making you too dependent on every single word you read to increase your understanding. Instead, train yourself to use sub-skills effectively so that you are able to read fast and understand better.
Remember, a good reader always uses different styles to read effectively!
|Meaning||:||relating to facts|
|Example||:||The newspaper article about the incident had a lot of factual errors.|
|in no time|
|Example||:||Since there was no traffic, so we reached the restaurant in no time at all.|
|Meaning||:||a list of items, usually with details, that people can look at or buy|
|Example||:||The library catalogue lists many rare books amongst its collection.|
|Meaning||:||an important word|
|Example||:||When giving a speech, Bob keeps a list of keywords to remind him of what to talk about.|
|Meaning||:||defines something done completely, with great attention given to every detail|
|Example||:||Detective Stinson has a thorough understanding of how crimes are committed.|