Before we start, let’s agree that the lack of time can’t be the main reason why you somehow try to stay away from reading in English regularly. Sorry, but that’s a weak excuse. Hope you weren’t going to make it up.
Good. Now we’ll think about only three reasons why reading in English can be so vital for your success, not only in studying but in your whole life. But please, put aside those cliches about globalization and massive expansion of the English language, which takes place in every sphere of human activity. We should go more personal.
Okay, I must be able to read in English when I write my essay for an exam or do some research into the products of the company I work for. That’s exactly what you need to motivate yourself.
- You need good English reading skills for your successful studies. Besides, universities of English-speaking and some other countries require international students to provide TOEFL or IELTS certificates. These exams feature reading and writing assignments, so you should prepare well.
- Reading fast can appear very helpful in your job. Even if your employer doesn’t require the certificates mentioned above, even if you can speak English with customers perfectly, good reading skills will help you process big amounts of information you might need to do quality research and analyze the market or consumers’ intentions.
- Reading in English will add to your self-development and erudition. Of course, the best movies and books can be translated into your mother tongue. But what about scientific journal articles you could refer to in your research paper or thesis? What about blogs? One day you might get fed up with using Google Translate.
This is not the full list of reasons why reading skills can be essential. If you have some other ideas, let them encourage you to follow these tips on improving your reading comprehension skills.
Pay Attention to the Title and Headings
They will give you a general idea of what you are going to read about. Therefore, you can determine whether this piece of info is necessary for your work or not. However, you should note that it’s a good strategy for selecting materials and researching, but not for completing English exam tasks.
Look Through the Intro and Scroll down to Conclusion
Yes, it looks like a trick, but it’s helpful when you don’t have much time to read lengthy articles. Reading an introduction allows you to understand what the paper is focused on. A conclusion, in its turn, usually offers a short review of the evidence provided, the results of the work done as well as the entire meaning of this work.
Skim and/or Scan the Text but Don’t Hurry up
If you skim, you look through the whole text quickly, trying to grasp the overall idea. That’s what you can do first, before paying attention to details.
When you need to find a particular piece of info, like a date or name, you scan the text.
Both strategies imply fast, but not thoughtless reading. Careful skimming gives you almost immediate understanding of author’s thoughts and findings. Scanning is helpful when you want to find a clear answer to a clearly posed question. Combining these strategies is probably an ideal technique to read any text.
Take Notes (or Draw Pics)
No matter what you choose and how you do it, it’s just important that you can make out what you write or draw. There are no rules for it: your own notes or pictures can introduce general concepts or contain many details that will help you continue your work.
If you have enough time to check unfamiliar words (if your time is limited, ask Google Translate to help you), or if it’s allowed by exam regulations (but in this case Google won’t work) – try using dictionaries.
Experience shows that we memorize new words better when we look them up in dictionaries and not when we use translation tools. Besides, dictionaries can offer you more equivalents of definitions, and other interesting prompts.