How to Improve Reading Skills

How to improve reading skills


After reading and reading comprehension this lesson you will be in a position to know the reading process, identify the purpose of reading, inefficient and efficient reading, active and passive reading, techniques of improving reading speed, techniques of reading material


Reading makes a man perfect, Academic performance depends on the quality and quantity of reading. Reading words are a communicative process of receiving and interpreting the written words. It helps in identifying main and subsidiary points as well as links between them.

Reading Process

Decoding information, comprehending, Text analysis, and response. Reading is done with an overall purpose. The purpose can be:

  • Get an introductory idea
  • understanding the subject
  • understanding theories, themes, and principles
  • Get specific information
  • understand new concepts, changes, and developments
  • Broaden outlook
  • Confirmation of own point of view Efficient and inefficient reading

The language of the text is comprehensible, is accessible, has background material, can concentrate on important points, can clear specific purpose, can use different strategies for reading and can read fast. Just the opposite is the case in inefficient reading.

Active and Passive reading

The inactive reading reader pays attention, interprets and analyses what is being read, can be predicted and responded, understood the writer’s intension, ideas, opinions, can infer the meaning of unfamiliar words, can identify the writer’s attitude, readers can draw inference and conclusions

Reading Speed Reading speed Casual Reading Academic and professional reading Very fast 400 wpm 350wpm fast 300-400wpm 200-350wpm Average 200-300 wpm 150-200 wpm Slow Less than200 wpm Less than 150 wpm

Reading skills

The skills include vocabulary skills, visual perceptual skills, prediction techniques, scanning skills, skimming skills and reading skills (recognizing main ideas, identifying writing patterns), intensive reading skills, distinguishing between facts and conclusions, and drawing inferences and conclusions.

Vocabulary skills.

  • We should understand a written message, perceive the words and phrases used, and recognize their definitions to follow what we read. We should develop word meaning recognition skills i.e. sight recognition skill, recall the meaning of the word, continue reading till the meaning is clear, consult a dictionary, and guess the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  • Analysis of word Structure. Guess the meaning of a word from its structure. The example of a few prefix or suffix are given as follows:

Prefix Meaning Example Suffix Meaning Example

A, an, ll, in, dis, im, un not a disorder, unfair Able, able Able to, can be done Readable, lovable anti against antisocial Ance, once, on State of being residence auto self autograph An, ent person resident bi Two, twice Bi-monthly, ly Similar to, related to Legal, mental, diplomacy de away deflate Cy, crazy condition diplomacy ex former Ex-student Er, or Person, degree Writer, hotter hetero different heterogeneous ess feminine waitress homo similar homogeneous if Make, do beautify inter between internet ful Full of useful intra within intravenous less not is wrong misunderstood ship being friendship micro-small microcomputer mono one monologue multi many multinational over the more overhead post after Postgraduate pseudo false Pseudo-secular pro In support of Pro party re repeat redo semi half Semi-final sub under submarine super above superpower trans across transverse

Analysis of context clue. Men who are always grumbling about their poverty, complaining of t towards it. Difficulties, whining over their troubles, and thinking that their lot in this world is mean and poor will never get any happiness out of life or achieve any success. However mean our life maybe, if we face it bravely and honestly and try to make the best of it, we shall find that after all, it is not as bad as we thought: and we may have our times of happiness and joy of success. There is nothing common or unclean until we make it so by the wrong attitude we adopt

  • The context can also give a clue to the meaning of the word. Eye reading and visual perception
  • Visual perception is a basic requirement for reading effectiveness because we recognize a word through sight. Efficient reading involves reading with fast eye movement. Develop faster eye fixation, read in word-groups/thought units instead of word-by-word, improve accurate visual perception of words and phrases, avoid vocalization, rapidly recognizing word meaning, concentrate while reading.

Prediction Techniques

Prediction is a rapid reading technique. It is an ability to guess the information that the text contains, to predict the central theme, the scope of context, and use linguistic clues.

Scanning skills

It refers to the ability to locate specific information or facts as quickly as possible. Always know what you want to find, do not read everything, use guides and aids, know the organization of the material to be read and concentrate while scanning.

Skimming Skills

It refers to the process of reading a text or passage to get a rough idea of what the text or passage is all about and understands the central idea and purpose of the text.

Intensive reading skills.

It is a detailed reading. It needs better concentration and motivation. The three rapid reading techniques of prediction, scanning, and skimming prepare for intensive reading.

Drawing inferences and conclusions. Drawing inference is the process of knowing the unknown from the known. Inferences and conclusions can be drawn from facts, specific details, examples and illustrations, factual observations, and contextual clues.

What do you think?

How to Improve Listening and Listening Comprehension Skills

Factors That Affect Economic Growth