Reading Strategies in Language Learning

Reading doesn’t pose as many difficulties as listening or speaking, because we generally have the time to read through and digest ideas and to reread when necessary or look words up in a dictionary – even if this sometimes leads to even more confusion !

You can use some of the ideas we saw previously in listening strategies to be able to place what you read clearly in context.

You can find learning materials in categories according to level and vocabulary word count to use in Self Managed Learning (SML), even if you still may encounter some words or structures that you are unsure of.

When working with reading in SML, look to see if there any images to help you to second guess the contents. Is there a preface or a summary that helps to get you started or even to decide whether the material is interesting for you – you need to enjoy what you do in learning as much as possible and Reading Strategies in Language Learning will help you get the most out of this.

Start from the global and then go to the detail and not the opposite.

Work on whole passages before cutting it up into more manageable slices to work on.

We call this « Skimming » or « Gist Understanding ».

Think about why you are reading :

  • For pleasure
  • To learn new ideas
  • For your job
  • To get specific information
  • For your own curiosity

Before looking up words in a dictionary, try to read around the word and guess what it may mean, if you feel that you must look the word up then ensure that you choose the right meaning of the word, look for synonyms or antonyms etc.

In this way you can start understanding a lot more and actually building your vocabulary. Use your imagination again and note words / expressions etc. as we have seen previously.

Avoid over-using a dictionary as this will definitely mar any enjoyment that you could expect to get from reading and you will lose the thread very quickly.

Try to work on the Reading Strategies in Language Learning that work the best for you, as the former tips and ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.

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