Friday, September 19, 2008


English-language learners can improve their reading skills by reading regularly,
especially university textbooks or other materials that cover a variety of subject
areas (e.g., sciences, social sciences, arts, business, etc.) and are written in an
academic style. A wide variety of academic texts are available on the Internet
as well as in magazines and journals.
Reading to Find Information
Scan passages to fi nd and highlight key facts (dates, numbers, terms)
and information.
Practice frequently to increase reading rate and fl uency.
Reading for Basic Comprehension
Increase vocabulary. Flashcards can help.
Practice skimming a passage quickly to get a general impression of the
main idea, instead of carefully reading each word and each sentence.
Develop the ability to skim quickly and identify major points.
After skimming a passage, read it again more carefully and write down
the main idea, major points, and important facts.
Choose some unfamiliar words in the passage and guess the meaning
from the context (surrounding sentences). Then, look them up to
determine their meaning.
Underline all pronouns (e.g., he, him, they, them, etc.) and identify the
nouns to which they refer in the passage.
Practice making inferences and drawing conclusions based on what is
implied in the passage as a whole.

Reading to Learn
Identify the passage type (e.g., classifi cation, cause/effect, compare/
contrast, problem/solution, description, narration, etc.) and its
Organize the information in the passage:
– Create an outline of the passage to distinguish between major and
minor points.
– If the passage categorizes information, create a chart and place the
information in appropriate categories.

Create an oral or written summary of the passage using the charts and
Paraphrase individual sentences in a passage. Then, paraphrase entire

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