How do you improve your English reading?

Reading

If you're able to read this article, it must mean that you're already pretty good at reading English. But there's always room for improvement. If you want to get better at reading and writing English, read ahead!

 

1. To become a better reader, you have to read.

That probably seems very obvious. But it's important not to forget it. The more you read, the better you become.

Since you need to spend a lot of time reading in order to get good at it, you have to do one of the following:

  • Find something that you really enjoy reading
  • Find a reason that you absolutely must read a lot of English – for example, by enrolling in a university course in English.

 

2. Increase your vocabulary

The other thing that you have to do is to learn more words and phrases. You do that by, first, finding out what they mean. The most common ways to figure out what something means are to:

  • Figure it out using context clues such as the words around it, the sentences that precede and follow, and any illustrations that you see.
  • Check a dictionary
  • Ask a teacher or friend.

Just as important as figuring out the meaning of a word is finding a way to remember it. You might do this by writing down useful words in a notebook or making flash cards.

A more natural way of reinforcing vocabulary that you've learned is to pick lots of reading material on a similar topic. For example, if you're interested in wine, you might read five articles about wine: a wine review, an article about a local couple who's trying to start their own winery, a description of the different kinds of white wine, and so on. You'll find that a lot of the same words and phrases pop up many times.

 

3. Practice various reading skills

The truth is, reading is not just one single skill. It's a variety of related skills. Here are some of them:

  • skimming a document to find information quickly
  • reading to learn something
  • enjoying an story
  • figuring out someone's true emotions based on how they wrote a message

You don't have to become a master of all of these skills if you don't want to. But remember that you need to practice each skill separately if you want to get good at them. So, for example, reading novels every day won't necessarily make it easy for you to understand your friends' messages on social media.

 

These are all pretty basic, straightforward ways to become better at reading English. There are lots and lots of other guides on the Internet, as well as entire books written on this topic. If you feel like you want more in-depth advice, I suggest that you do a web search for phrases like "improve reading comprehension" or "how to become a better reader".

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