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How To Improve Reading Skills: 7 Strategies To Follow

Do you want to read faster, more consistently, and with more comprehension? Follow these seven strategies.
by Rob Gillham | Dec 5 2022

Reading comprehension is only one of the many skills that can be applied to all aspects of work, study, and daily life. When you have strong reading abilities, you can interpret and find meaning in all that you read, and when you continue to improve these skills, you can effectively communicate through writing.

Having a good understanding of literacy is a crucial skill to possess, both in your personal and professional lives. This article discusses reading skills, the role reading comprehension plays in developing literacy skills, and steps you can take to improve your reading skills.

How Do You Define Reading Skills?

An individual’s reading skills refer to their ability to read, comprehend, interpret, and decode written language and texts. Exceptional reading skills can be extremely useful for assimilating and responding to written communications like emails, messages, letters, and other written communications.

Additionally, reading skills can contribute to effective written communication in the workplace, resulting in fewer misunderstandings and miscommunications. Additionally, reading skills include several key aspects that work together to develop overall literacy skills, such as comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, and strategies that help readers interpret and make sense of texts.

How Does Reading Comprehension Work?

The ability to comprehend what you read is what reading comprehension is all about. In order to interpret and identify meanings within a text, one needs a variety of literacy skills.

Fluency, the ability to decode unfamiliar vocabulary, and using context clues from the reading can all contribute to effective reading comprehension. In general, those who possess a high level of reading comprehension are proficient in the following skills: 

  • They have a high retention rate

The key to reading comprehension is retaining what we read. Information retention is the key to comprehension. Your reading comprehension can be further improved by practicing your summarizing skills and remembering what you have read.

  • The ability to make assumptions

Reading comprehension also requires inference. Inferences help us understand what we read by connecting information from texts to our own ideas and opinions.

When reading an article about plastics in the oceans, you might infer that recycling can reduce the amount of plastic waste. We infer meaning from a text when its purpose and meaning are not explicitly stated.

It is also possible to increase retention by making connections between ideas and making inferences.

  • An extensive vocabulary

You can also improve your reading comprehension by decoding or determining the meaning of new words. By quickly interpreting new meanings and identifying relationships between new vocabulary and familiar terms, you can make better assumptions, form ideas, and generally understand texts better.

  • High level of fluency

There are many factors that contribute to fluency. Firstly, it focuses on your ability to read clearly and smoothly.

You also need to be able to decode new vocabulary quickly while reading in order to maintain fluency. Reading fluency has a direct impact on your ability to comprehend what you read.

By becoming more fluent in reading, a child will be able to quickly comprehend what they read, which contributes to understanding the text.

  • The ability to define words

Defining words is a skill that depends on your ability to sound out words you’ve heard but never seen written out. Phonemic awareness, which is the ability to recognize individual sounds in words and connect those sounds to letters, is required.

Connecting a letter or group of letters to the sounds they make is crucial to “sounding out” or decoding words.

How To Improve Reading Skills

It is possible to improve your reading skills in a number of ways. Make notes each time you encounter unfamiliar vocabulary or practice speed reading to improve your fluency. Listed below are some strategies you can use to improve and improve your reading skills.

1. Summarize what you read.

Reading skills can be improved by summarizing what you read. Taking notes in your own words and through your own unique perspective forces you to remember specific details and central topics about what you read.

In order to retain and comprehend what you read, you might want to share information with a friend or write a short summary.

2. While reading, take notes.

Taking notes while reading is another highly effective method for improving your reading skills. You might take notes while reading a fiction novel to gain a deeper understanding of the author’s language choices, or you might write down new vocabulary while reading a science journal.

You can ask questions about what you read and make connections when you take notes effectively. Likewise, charts, tables, and diagrams can clarify themes and ideas and help you draw inferences from your reading.

As well as comprehension exercises like summarizing, note-taking can be highly beneficial.

3. Use key reading strategies.

You can increase your comprehension by applying several key strategies as you read different texts. If you preview a text, you may identify its structure as informative, persuasive, or instructional.

You might also identify key features of different texts, such as the central themes, problems, and solutions, or comparative ideas. You can improve your reading skills by identifying text features, determining the purpose, and taking notes.

4. The purpose should be determined.

Practice determining the purpose of different texts as you read them. Take a moment to consider why different texts were written and what meanings or themes can be derived from them.

Additionally, you might identify the purpose of reading, such as finding information, following instructions in a manual, or enjoying a story. When you know why you are reading a text, you can look for key ideas and details that support that purpose.

5. Read the texts in advance.

Another way to improve your reading skills is to preview and scan over texts. Using this strategy, you can preview titles, captions, headlines, and other text features to get an idea of what you will read.

This can help you formulate the fundamental ideas that are behind a text before diving into the full piece.

6. Goals should be set for reading.

It is possible to set reading goals for yourself in order to develop a wider vocabulary, gain a deeper understanding of different texts, and improve your ability to connect what you read with your own perspectives.

If you are interested in business management, technology, or another subject that interests you, you might set a goal of learning different vocabulary related to that subject. As you read, you can discover meanings for unfamiliar words that help you build your vocabulary.

Your vocabulary will grow as you become familiar with higher-level words and phrases.

7. Every day, make time to read.

Practice is one of the best ways to improve your skills. Practice will ultimately help you develop your reading skills, and you can set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to read.

If you practice your reading skills, you can read news articles, fiction, magazine issues, or any other type of text.

Final thoughts

By developing your reading skills, you will be able to communicate better, perform better in your career, and interact with others more effectively.

Do you want to improve other aspects of your life? Learn here how to improve your social skills, short-term memory, and time management

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