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Reading Strategies

Here are some strategies for improving your comprehension skills.

  • Skim: read for the brief idea or overview.

  • Scan: read for specific details or a specific reason.

  • KWL: determine what you Know about the topic, what you Want to know, and what you Learned.

  • Skip: if you don't understand a word or section, keep reading ahead. Come back to the section or word again and try to figure out the meaning. Use a dictionary if necessary.

  • Look for headings, subtitles and keywords.

  • Read out loud: children read out loud when they first start reading. You can too. Get comfortable hearing your English voice.

  • Create timelines or charts: reorganize what you read in a different format.

  • Rewrite in a different tense.

  • Rewrite in a different format: for example, rewrite an article in letter or list form.

  • Illustrate: if you think you’re a visual learner, sketch images or an infographic related to what you read.

  • Write the questions: as you read, think about which questions you might find on a test or quiz. Write them down and answer them, or quiz a friend.

  • Summarize or retell: you can do this by writing a letter to a friend, writing a blog post, making a web cam video, or just starting a conversation on this topic.

  • Learn affixes: prefixes and suffixes. This will increase your word recognition.

  • Keep a vocabulary journal.

  • Get a vocabulary partner.

  • Use a pen or ruler. Some people find it is easier to read with a pacer. A pen, ruler or fingertip can help you keep your place and prevent your eyes from wandering off. This may not be suitable if you are reading on a computer or mobile device. Adjust the screen to a larger size if necessary.

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