"Reading is an extremely important skill. It is by reading that you learn much of
what you need to know for your different school subjects."
How to Understand More ofWhat You Read
1. Know your reading purpose - How you read depends on why you read. So it is important for you to know your reading purpose. If you know your reading purpose - perhaps by lookingfirst at the questions you must answer after reading - you can choose the best reading method. If your teacher gives you something to read and doesn't tell you what you need to find out from the text orwhat you will do after the reading, ask her or him!
2. Choose the appropriate reading speed
Skimming - read a text quickly to find out what information it contains. Look at
the first (and last)sentences in each paragraph.
Scanning - read quickly to find a specific piece of information.
Get background information - Find something out about the topic you have to read. The morebackground information you have, the easier it will be to understand the text.
Use all the information in the book - The topic sentence, usually the first sentence in a paragraph, contains the main idea ofthe paragraph. If you understand the topic sentence, this may help you to understand what comes next.
Increase your vocabulary - Of course, reading itself is an excellent way to improve yourvocabulary, but there are many other things you can do: talking with people, listening to music, watching movies, etc.
Use your dictionary sensibly - A common mistake of ESL students is to look up eachunknown word in the texts. Occasionally this is necessary, but it takes a long time and can be very boring. It can even make understanding more difficult because by the time you reach the end of theparagraph you have forgotten what you read at the beginning!
Learn the important words that organize text - Transition words connect different parts of the text and help writers express their...