Improving reading skills is vital for every learner. Good reading skills can help us gain information and knowledge more effectively. There are many methods to improve reading skills, reading frequently, learning various reading methods, note-taking techniques and so on. But the most important factor in improving reading skills is setting clear reading goals.
Why is it?
Maybe you have had one of those moments when you have read a long article and finish it only to realize that you haven’t grasped anything at all from it. This happens to a lot of people and it happens more often than you think. The lack of reading goals is the cause of most of these situations. A car can’t arrive anywhere without a destination. Without goals, reading is just a killing time activity.
Why we read greatly influences how we read. Not every word in an article is useful to us, so we should use different methods in deferent types of readings. For example, we tend to skim quickly through an advertisement but carefully read an article of interest in a book. Of course there are other important factors in improving reading skills. Such as, reading daily which can improve our vocabulary and help us develop a habit of reading. But without clear reading goals, it will be quite hard to improve comprehensive reading skills.
How to use it to improve our reading skills?
Every time we do serious reading, set a clear reading goal first. It may be:
- Reading an essay and determine its central idea.
- Reading some articles for a math problem.
- Reading some pages of a novel just for fun.
Depending on different reading purposes, choose different strategies and arrange different places. There are four main types of reading strategies:
- Skimming: Get the main idea and concentrate on the main points when look through the text. This involves speedy reading.
- Scanning: Find a particular piece of information when look through the text. This involves speedy reading too.
- Intensive Reading: This technique focuses on 100% understanding of information and is accuracy orientated. The tempo of reading is slow. The length is short, but the text is still complicated enough.
- Extensive Reading: Reading of long texts for pleasure. Fluency orientated and involves global understanding, although some details can be left unnoticed.
For example, when we are going to read an important article about a mathematical formula we should choose intensively reading method and find somewhere quiet. When our reading goal is a comic novel, we can use extensive reading method and do it in a bus. By reading with clear purposes, we will be able to practice all kinds of reading techniques effectively.
We can find some newspapers to read if our skimming skill is shortcoming. We also can grasp some science books if our intensive reading skills need to be improved. When setting reading goals become a habit, we will be able to improve reading skills considerably.
Yes, improving reading skills takes a lot of time. We always say there is no time to read. But look around, there are so many people wasting their time on social media. Find time to read and don’t forget to set clear reading goals! You will see all efforts are worthy.