Simple 5 Steps
The whole process of improving the English reading skills circles round the following useful tactics which served first me and then my students a lot.
Yes, I am back with my quality English. On the previous pages, I told you about the four essentials of the English language and their importance in learning quality English. I hope that most of you must have got the basic concept of these essentials very much clear after reading those pages. Now that when you have got it clear in your mind what to do to learn the quality English, the question arises how to do so, how to become an expert in English reading, writing, listening and speaking at one and the same time.
I assure you that all this is not too difficult for a learner to do if he or she follows the directions set by me wholeheartedly. I have tried all this on a number of learners for many years now with marvelous results.
Here are detailed the steps necessary for the learners to become experts in English Reading.
1. Fix a Special Time for English Reading
English reading is actually of two types: Reading for fun and the reading to improve your comprehension.
You can do English reading for fun anywhere, anytime and in almost all kinds of surroundings whatsoever, but the reading to improve your comprehension requires your focus and study and a befitting environment as well. It means that you will not only have to fix a special time but also create a peaceful environment for your focused reading. A quiet, comfortable and well-lit spot with all the surrounding electronics on the silent mode and having everything you may need during your English reading makes an ideal environment.
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How long you can read is relative but 30 minutes daily is a good minimum time for reading.
When I myself used to be a student, I would always spare at least one hour daily for English reading a variety of material to enhance my pick in comprehension.
2. Select the Right Text
Although you may read whatever comes before your eyes but reading what you are interested in and what is as per your own level of English will do you immense good.
If you select too low or too high a level to meet your requirements, you will waste a lot of your time and energy just for no good.
I do remember a number of my students coming to me with the wrong selection of text on their part and with a lot of consequent confusions in their mind about the actual meaning of that very text. Then I always used to advise them to select a level just above the one they were most comfortable with because they must challenge themselves just enough to learn new things, but not enough to make them frustrated with their English reading.
The same I would advise you, people, here. Just no need to worry about the selection of the right text, for there are many places online which may guide you what to read at your level. Moreover, a good dictionary will guide you how to pronounce different difficult words in a natural accent.
3. Improve Your Fluency at the First Priority
Reading long sentences without a flow in the form of broken words makes it very hard to understand the meanings of what you are reading. That is why it is right to say that fluency improves your understanding. You should be as fluent in English as you read your mother tongue. English reading fluently will make you feel more fun and natural. Fluency can be improved easily by choosing comparatively easier text in the beginning and making it tougher bit by bit with the passage of time.
A much better technique to read a little hard-to-read text is to look up the difficult words beforehand and give them a good practice so that they may not trouble you when it comes to reading the text fluently. I recommended the same technique to a lot of beginners in English and it did the trick to their utter surprise.
Anyways, improving the fluency in reading is surely a gradual process depending upon the amount of practice you give it. This habit of fluent reading goes a long way towards improving your fluency while speaking.
4. Ask Yourself a Lot of Questions
Reading never means just speaking the words orally, but it does involve understanding them thoroughly so that you may respond to a writing up to the mark.
In order to understand the given text comprehensively, you can do certain things before, during and after the reading. Look over the text casually and quickly before you actually read it thoroughly. After browsing the whole text with your eyes once or twice, try to describe what you have got after reading it casually. It will make you aware of what you have actually understood about it.
Before you actually start reading the text comprehensively, ask yourself
Whether there are words in bold or italics, any titles or subtitles, any references of names, a lot of dialogues or smooth sentences and long or short paragraphs. Many of my juniors followed the same and got its fruit in a remarkably short period of time.
In order to check whether or not you have understood the text properly, you may ask yourself the questions about the theme, the most important things mentioned there, anything confusing, something surprising and what you did not understand at all. There might be some other questions as well depending upon what type of text you are reading, but these are the basic ones to start with.
In the end, check yourself how many questions you are able to answer and try to reread the portion about which you were not able to suggest a suitable answer.
5. Enhance Your Range of Topics
This is the world of versatility. Apart from books, magazines, and newspapers, you often have to come across blogs, emails, tweets, and other texts as well. So, you should broaden your range to select different topics from.
The more you read the diversity in English, the better you will get at the language.
If you find any trouble discovering new things to read, visit a number of websites that take news and interesting articles and put them together for you to look through. Reading different types of topics will not only increase your abilities to read fluently but also enhance your abilities to comprehend the actual theme of the writer.
I myself observed that my English reading and comprehending abilities widened themselves a lot when I started reading a broad range of topics.
So, you can see that if you read different sorts of text at least for 30 minutes daily while following the above-said techniques, you will improve your ability to read the quality English quite readily and appreciably.