In today’s hi-tech life, reading is one of the skills which is getting difficult to keep alive. Many of people facing really a big challenge to read, understand, summarize articles, books etc. Whether you are preparing for IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or any linguistic test or simply want to improve your Reading Skills, we have got some important reading skills for you.
Let’s start by having a close look at the seven reading skills.
Previewing a text means looking at things like the heading and layout of a text to get an idea of what the text is about before starting to read. For instance, before reading an article in a newspaper, we look at the headline and/or the picture so we have an idea of what it’s about, and can decide whether we want to read it. We know, for instance, that it is a newspaper article rather than an advert by the way it looks.
Previewing is an important skill because it helps us to anticipate the content and this makes it easier to understand the text.
Predicting content and structure involves using your knowledge of the topic of the text to guess what it’s going to be about. For instance, if you see an advert for a car, you can guess that the purpose of the text will be to sell the car and that there is likely to be vocabulary related to cars.
Predicting is an important reading skill because we can make more sense of a text if we use what we know already about the topic.
Skimming for main ideas means reading a text quite quickly for a general idea of the overall topic. When we do this, we are looking for main ideas rather than specific details. For instance, we might skim a review of a film to get a general idea of what it’s about before deciding whether to go and see it.
Skimming is an important skill because if our purpose is to get a general idea about something, we don’t need to read the text carefully. In life we often don’t have time to read everything in detail!
Scanning to find key information also involves reading a text quite quickly, but we use this reading skill when we want to find a particular fact. For instance, we might scan a TV guide to find out what time a particular programme is on.
Scanning is an important skill that we use every day to find out facts such as times, dates or places.
Intensive reading or reading for detail means careful study of a text or part of a text. We do this when all the content is important. For instance, if you bought a new computer and you wanted to know how it worked, you would need to read the instructions carefully.
We also read a text intensively when we need to understand exactly what the writer means, or to find out more details. For instance, having skimmed a film review for a general idea of what it’s about, you might read the review again, this time intensively, to find out details of the plot.
Intensive reading is an important skill because we often have to read things very carefully to understand exactly what the writer is saying.
Guessing words from context – A good reader will sometimes be able to work out the meaning of a word by using the context provided by the text and their knowledge of the world, rather than having to look the word up in a dictionary. For instance, if you were reading a car manual and you came across a part of the engine you didn’t know, you might be able to work out what it is from the description of what it does.
Guessing words from context is not always easy for learners, but it is an important skill that can sometimes help us to understand a text even if it contains unknown words.
Understanding opinion and attitude means understanding what the writer is thinking or feeling, even when this is not directly stated. For instance, if someone on holiday wrote in an email, ‘I wish didn’t have to leave tomorrow,’ you would understand that the person was having a good time.
Understanding attitude and opinion is an important reading skill because writers often do not state directly what they are thinking or feeling.
Good Luck & Happy Reading!