Ways To Build Your Reading Skills From Scratch

Reading comprehension is a fundamental skill that all humans need, yet most lack in the present world. According to surveys, almost 50% of American adults cannot read an eighth-grade level book. Additionally, most high-schoolers and college students seem to depend on an essay proofreader due to their inability to comprehend texts correctly.

This alarming statistic is evidence enough that there’s nothing like the present time to work on polishing your reading skills.

What Are Reading Skills?

Woman Sitting On Window Reading Book

Reading skills refers to the ability to read a book and comprehend its meaning. An excellent grasp of this ability can help you understand contexts, connect with texts, make proper judgements and communicate more effectively.

However, this skill is something that you need to develop in children from a young age to ensure a successful and smooth life at both school and work in the future.

What Skills Should You Have To Maximise Reading Ability?

Selective Focus Photo of Woman Reading Book

Reading skills do not mean only the ability to read alphabets and words as some people might think. While recognising alphabets is an essential requirement, you should also have a good grasp on:

  • Decoding – This refers to the ability to sound out words that you have never seen before. Most young children are familiar with certain terms but have no clue how the word looks when someone writes it. Thus, making the connection between how a word sounds and how it looks in written form is decoding.
  • Vocabulary – The ability to interpret and understand the meaning of new words also dramatically influences your reading skills. Reading more helps you to become familiar with more unknown words and improves your word stock immensely. 
  • Phonics – Phonetical skills help you to relate sounds to letters. It is a process where you map the sounds into words and then connect them to the written form.
  • Cohesive sentence construction – The ability to come up with proper sentences that connect meaningfully helps you work on your reading skills. It shows how well you can combine ideas in sentences.
  • Reasoning and general knowledge – It is impossible to comprehend what you read without knowledge and reasoning skills. Therefore, this skill is vital to understand the meaning behind any text.
  • Retention – The ability to absorb information and retain them is an essential skill to master. You can develop your reading skills much faster if you remember the tips and rules.

These skills combine and make it possible to interpret texts and identify meanings that the author doesn’t state explicitly.  

6 Simple Yet Effective Methods To Build Reading Skills

Person Reading A Book

Developing reading skills is not as challenging as it might seem. However, it does require patience. If you plan to teach such skills to a child, you should remember that their abilities to master things are not as developed as yours. On the other hand, if you’re an adult working on polishing your abilities, you should take your time instead of rushing.

On that note, let’s go through some tips that can be helpful in both cases.

1. Read for at least half an hour every day

There’s nothing more helpful than reading something every day to practice your reading skills. Even if you’re a working individual who cannot spare much time, try to keep aside at least 15 minutes for going through the daily newspaper or magazine articles. If you have a long journey to commute every day, grab a copy of the latest bestseller and spend your time going through the work at your pace.

2. Break up the text into short portions

Unlike a word counter tool that you can depend on to help you with your assignments, there’s no easy resource to rush you through a complex book. If you have to read a complex text with many chapters, it can be daunting at first. But don’t give up without trying. Break up the whole text into smaller segments and try to read each diligently. This will help you with retention and ensure that you don’t become daunted by the reading task.

3. Skim through the book before reading

Reading becomes much easier when you have an idea of what you’re getting into. Therefore, try to skim through the chapter titles, headings, summaries and captions to determine what you can expect from the text. 

4. Try to find some personal connections

The ability to relate to a particular situation in a text can work wonders in improving your reading skills. You must have noticed how teachers usually help improve a student’s comprehension by providing real-life examples. Similarly, you can try the same method when you read a text. Relating the words to current events is also another viable option.

5. Understand the purpose

Sometimes, when you know what the author of a book intends to convey through their writing, it helps you put the text into the proper perspective. Additionally, identifying why you’re reading can help you re-focus and find the correct information to help you out.

6. Jot down notes when you read

Taking notes while reading a text is an excellent way to keep track of any information that might be crucial to your understanding. For example, you can write down any new vocabulary you encounter, recurring themes, or connections that you feel are crucial in the text. You can also use graphs, flow charts, and other graphical representations to comprehend the text better.

Summing it up,

Developing reading skills takes a lot of time and effort. It’s not something that you can master in two days. As a result, parents and educational institutions try to imbibe this skill in students at a young age. However, as long as you dedicate yourself to learning and focus on following the six tips in this blog, you’ll see a significant improvement in no time.

Author bio:

Anne Gill is a professional educational consultant currently employed at a reputed university in the UK. She has years of experience helping students through their hardships. Rivers loves to play basketball and has won various competitions in university.

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