How to improve English reading skills of Students

How to improve English reading skills of Students

Share 16 Tips to Help Students Build Better Reading Skills

You should read about your favorite topic, choose a book that is one or two steps harder than your English level, prepare a pen, notebook, and dictionary to take notes and look up.

Yuliya Geikhman is a content creator, living in Brooklyn borough, New York City, USA. From her own experience, Yuliya shares eight methods to help English learners improve their reading comprehension skills.

Reading comprehension is one of the four important skills to assess English proficiency. Many people share with me that reading a lot of English books, but the level is still not better. The reason may be that they choose books that are more difficult than their level or do not know the right method to learn to read English.

How to improve English reading skills of Students
How to improve English reading skills of Students

1 Take a special time

We can read books in our mother tongue anytime or anywhere, but when we are in noisy and crowded places, we may not be able to understand or remember the content. This means that to read English books, learners need to spend time concentrating and studying, avoiding multitasking or reading in an uncomfortable position. Here are some activities you can try during your reading time:

– Make the process of reading English books a habit.

– Find a quiet, well-lit, comfortable sitting position.

– Have a pen, notebook, dictionary ready to take notes, look up if needed and snacks if sleepy or hungry.

– Set a reading time: Before reading, you should be determined to spend at least 30 minutes reading because this is a reasonable amount of time. While reading, it will take you some time to get involved in the book’s content. So 30 minutes is not too long but also not too short to acquire a new language.

– Mute electronic devices or place electronic devices out of reach: Using a smartphone to look up a dictionary has become common practice, but I still recommend using a dictionary (preferably). English – English dictionary) to avoid distractions during reading.

2. Annotate and highlight text

Teach your students to highlight and underline valuable information as they read. Have students write notes on the pages they are reading to help them stay focused and improve comprehension. Students can also write down questions as they read to receive more explanation on a new concept or to define a new word.

3. Choose the right book

When choosing a book to read, you should keep two criteria in mind: Your topic of interest and your language level. You should read about your favorite topics, choose books that are one or two levels harder than your English level. This not only keeps you from getting bored when encountering new words, but also improves your learning ability and level.

If you don’t know where to find a book, you can refer to the book title on Goodreads, Listopia, forums for book lovers. In addition, there are two applications to find books and test 10% of book content for readers to refer to, namely Jellybooks and Thatbooks. You can also look for books in the same genre or as sequels to books you’ve read and feel are appropriate for your level.

Another suggestion for those who are just starting to learn English or have a moderate level is to read Young Adults books. This is a novel for readers from 12 to 18 years old, so the authors often use simple words, easy to understand, short and concise writing style.

Reading English books is not simply reading words, looking up new words. With this learning activity, you will quickly forget what you just read. So, before, during, and after reading, you need to prepare some accompanying activities to understand the text content more deeply and actually learn more.

4 Personalize the content

Students can increase their understanding by seeing how the material connects with their life. Have your students make personal connections with the text by writing it down on the page. You can also help students comprehend the text by helping them see an association with current events.

5. Prepare before and after reading

Before reading, you should quickly skim through the content of the text without having to read every word. This activity helps you get an overview of the content you are about to read, thereby building an initial view and approach to the text.

You can refer to some of the questions below and try to find the answers while skimming.

– Are there any words in italics or bold?

– Title or caption?

– Are there many dialogues? Average capacity of short or long segments?
When you’re done reading, leave the book temporarily. Then spend some time summarizing what you remember or visualizing the main body of the text. Write down a few sentences and keywords that describe the content of the text. Some questions you need to answer after reading such as:

– What are the important details, the main idea of ​​the text?

– What confused, surprised or impressed you?

– What part do you not understand?

Seriously thinking about what you’ve read will show you how much of the text you understand. If you don’t understand something or have any doubts, you can read it again.

6 Practice problem solving skills

Blend real-world problem solving skills into your curriculum. Have your students write out solutions to the problem and discuss their ideas as a class or in small groups.

7. Read fluently

Have you ever read every word and then stopped to look up the dictionary? This is a common language learner’s way of learning to read, but it is sure to get boring quickly. Your reading is being interrupted, interrupted, and you can’t get a general picture of the text’s content.

So, on the first reading, read the text seamlessly, without stopping at confusing words, without trying to look up words. As such, you can read the text smoothly, the words appear and flow in your head as smoothly as the way you speak.

Or you can choose lower-level text to practice. From there, even if you can’t fully understand the content, you will get the gist of the work, more importantly, develop the ability to read fluently.

8. Incorporate more senses

Add in activities that reinforce learning and comprehension by using more senses as they read. Remind students to read with a pen or pencil to annotate the text. Have your students take turns reading out loud. Use projectors to guide your lesson and write down questions for those who are visual learners.

9. Read slowly

After reading English more fluently, read slowly to start thinking about every detail and learn new words. A great way to read slowly is to read out loud. You will not only practice reading comprehension, but also learn pronunciation, listening and speaking. Focus on pronouncing each word well, even saying it over and over until you pronounce a word correctly.

If you don’t want to read aloud, you can read paragraphs at a time to really understand the content, words, and sentence usage of each paragraph. And don’t forget to take notes of difficult words, new words, idioms, proverbs or interesting use of sentences by the author.

10. Understand common themes

Ask your students to look for examples of a certain theme throughout the chapter to increase engagement. Have students share their findings with the class to help students learn a specific theme more in-depth.

11. Ask questions

As you read, try to ask as many questions as possible, the more questions you ask the more you will understand the meaning of the text. Asking questions is also a way for you to “question” yourself about your ability to concentrate, helping you better understand what you are reading. Ask questions like “What led to this detail?”, “Why did the character do that?”, “What did the character think when he did it?”…

When you ask a question, you don’t have to answer it right away, but write it down on a piece of paper or on a note, and paste in the details you’re curious about. After reading, come back and answer the questions to check how well you know the content.

12. Set reading goals

Have each student set their own reading goals. This can help them take action in building reading skills and students will be more mindful of how they are improving.

13. Read over and over again

Sometimes it only takes a reader once to understand a text, but if you have to read English texts that are more difficult than your level, it’s not possible. Therefore, you have to read and re-read until you understand almost the entire content.

Re-reading also helps you to look at the text in a new way, to find new words that may have been forgotten or ignored while reading.

14. Read in portions

Long, complex reading can be more digestible by breaking it up into pieces. Shorter segments will help students retain the information as the class discusses the materials. It can also help students build confidence in understanding a complex subject.

15. Read a variety

At the beginning, I recommend reading your favorite topic, but once you have built up your vocabulary and a certain level, try to expand on the topic of reading. Today, we not only read books, read newspapers, but also have a lot of good resources to learn such as blogs, social networks, magazines.

16. Let students guide their reading

Your students process reading material and curriculum in very different ways. As you implement reading activities to help your class learn complex materials, you will learn what works best for each student individually.

Read everything you find, everything in the language you are learning, you will surely discover a lot of interesting things about that language, not just grammar.