8 tips to improve reading and understanding of the English language

Did you know that reading helps a lot in learning a language? Learn how to improve your English reading and comprehension skills

Do you read books in English but feel that you are not learning enough? Here are 8 steps to improve your English reading and comprehension skills.

I know the courses to prepare the TOEFL and the GRE that we have for you. Reading comprehension helps a lot in learning a language. Sometimes even the native speakers of a language suffer from poor reading comprehension. This may be because they do not have enough vocabulary to understand a particular text, or perhaps because it is difficult and / or boring text.

To improve reading comprehension, you must choose appropriate books for the level of English you have. It should be started in an easy and slow way to gradually increase the difficulty.


1. Make a special time for reading

Reading for fun can be done anywhere, but reading to improve understanding of the language will be necessary in a place where you can concentrate, read quietly, without distractions and without being interrupted. It will be necessary to read at least 30 minutes a day for the results to be good. Anyway, the more you read the more you'll improve.
It will be good:

Find a quiet place, comfortable and with good lighting
Get everything you need before you sit, so we avoid interruptions
Decide how much time we are going to read (30 minutes is a good minimum amount of time)

Place all electronic devices in silent mode or turn them off

2. Read the right books

When choosing a book, one should keep in mind what interests you and the level of reading you have. It is important to read about things you like but also that you are within the level of English you have, that is, to test you enough to learn new things but not enough to feel frustrated with reading.

3. Ask questions during reading and after reading

Before, during and after reading you can do some things that will help you better understand the text. Before reading, one option is to navigate the text, that is, to look at the text quickly without reading each word (look for words in bold, italics, titles, subtitles, names, dialogues, paragraphs, etc.).

During the text, it will be good to think about what one is reading. After reading, you can navigate again through the text and summarize what you remember. This is to say quickly what are the most important things that happened in the text or write a couple of sentences that describe the text.

4. Improve fluency

Reading comprehension becomes more difficult when reading word for word, so to improve understanding it is important to improve fluency and read complete sentences. Fluency is the ease with which it can be read. When reading, words must have a certain rhythm and should flow naturally, as when someone is speaking. Improved fluency can be achieved by choosing texts that are easier to read. Many times, when it improves fluency, it improves reading and also speaks. Also, fluency will make reading seem more fun and natural.

5. Once you have learned to accelerate, decrease.

After you have learned to read more fluently, you can stop worrying about reading speed and start thinking about the text and its meaning. When you can read quickly, it's time to start reading slowly and take some time to think about the text you are reading. One way to slow down is to read aloud. In this way, you are not only practicing reading and comprehension, but also pronunciation.

6. Ask a lot of questions

The more you question what you read, the deeper the meaning. Asking yourself questions is a good way to make sure you understand what you read.

It will be good: Write down all the questions as you read the text. When you finish reading, go back and look at how many of those questions now you can answer them. If there are any questions that you still do not know the answer, read that part of the text again and try to find the answer.

7. Read again

Sometimes reading a text only once is not enough to understand it. Read more than once the same text can help understanding. The rereading is ideal to find things that perhaps in a first reading had been overlooked or that we had been lost. For example, if there are new words in the text, the rereading will help to remember them and to incorporate them in our vocabulary.

So when you want to get the most out of reading, try reading the text three or more times. Usually the first reading focuses on the understanding of words, the second on meaning and the third can help you ask deeper questions like what is the author really trying to tell us?

8. Read different types of texts

Do not just read books and news. I read anything in English. If you find a magazine, a website, a Facebook page, or a blog you like, welcome. Anything you can read in English will do, because the more you practice, the better results you will get.

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