For a reading strategy to be effective, it should enhance a learner’s comprehensive ability i.e. the student should be able to pay attention to details, understand the reading material and retain it. Reading is an active process of making links, understanding opinions, researching, developing knowledge and applying what has been learned.
Listed below are some strategies to help students become effective readers and retain what they read:
- Previewing: The first thing to do is to preview the material to be read without delving into the body of the text. This helps the reader get a general idea of what to expect in the content and pinpoint important sections.
- Stimulate Previous Knowledge: To make the process of reading stimulating and engaging, a reader should figure out whether he has any previous knowledge about the topic. This will help in building the connection with the current topic and lead to better comprehension.
- Skimming: Skimming refers to the process of reading small chunks of information from the entire text in order to identify key ideas. It is a good strategy if you want to get a gist of the text to be read and decide whether it is relevant or not.
- Scanning: This helps to look for specific information/details related to a topic by scanning the contents page, reading chapter headings, searching the index for keywords or topics of relevance, reading footnotes and endnotes, etc.
- Questions: Students should be encouraged to frame questions before and after reading, to improve comprehension. They should frame questions about the essence of the material to be read and what they have learnt. These question help them probe further into the topic.
- Analyze Text Structure: Analyzing and comprehending text structure improves comprehension of a topic and helps students understand the writer’s approach towards organizing the material i.e. cause and effect patterns, web/matrix pattern, descriptive pattern or problem-solution pattern. For a better understanding of text structure, students should use labels, subheadings, tables, captions, graphs, etc.
- Visualize: Forming visual images (structural images and diagrams) while reading, improves comprehension as the brain retains such images better than mere text.
- Note Taking: Students can try methods of note-taking such as glossing and outlining. Glossing involves writing a summary of the text in your own words on a sticky note, notebook or margins. Outlining involves using phrases and abbreviations to write key ideas.
- Summarize: The process of summarizing what has been read enhances comprehension by deleting irrelevant details, combining similar ideas, making concise statements by connecting major themes, etc. The material can be summarized in the form of flowcharts (visually or in writing).
See-n-Read Reading Tools offer a variety of effective reading products and tools. Our reading tools are designed for improving reading skills and deficiencies in people. For further details on an effective reading strategy, visit 2533 Sutton Lane | Aurora, IL – 60502. You can also call (630) 236 – 5592.