What is the Most Important Factor in Improving Reading Skills?
Reading skills are the foundation for intellectual growth and an essential part of cognitive development. While reading is routine for most adults, there are still people who have trouble with the speed they are reading at or their reading ability as a whole.
In most of the cases, problems with reading appear due to the lack of practice, and late cognitive development.
Dyslexia is one of the most common conditions related to reading problems and it affects millions of people around the world. Still, there is no reason to give up just yet as dyslexia is treatable with the right approach and practice.
There are people who can read and speak written words normally but aren't satisfied with the pace they are doing it at. Whatever the problem is, there are ways to effectively address and improve your reading skills.
As you might know, there are two critical points that affect the ability to read faster - eye movement and focus. While eye movement can be practiced by following the pointer/pen and reading at the desired pace, maintaining focus is more complex and is affected by other related factors.
The most important thing in maintaining focus is to make the reading process enjoyment instead of a burden. If you turn it into something that is fun and relaxing, it will be much easier to read and concentrate for a longer span of time, no matter if you are reading study books or fiction novels.
Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to improve your reading skills, as well as what the most important factor is that affects your reading skills.
The Most Important Factor in Improving Reading Skills
Without any doubt, the most important factor in acquiring better reading skills is practice. Still, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all age groups, as techniques like re-reading are quite beneficial for children, while it may slow down an average adult reader.
The Children Learning Reading Program has a number of different tips on how to approach and support your child’s interest in reading. When it comes to relevant practice, in most of the cases it will include reading more in quantity and for a longer time. Still, you shouldn’t expect magic to happen overnight – instead, start with small steps and move on to more complex literature when you feel ready for it.
What you should know is that your vocabulary plays a critical role in faster reading and comprehending more complex texts. Start by reading simpler writing styles on subjects that interest you, whether it is history, fiction, or something in your area of work. Notice new words and try to familiarize yourself with them or connect them with something that you already know. A rich vocabulary will allow you to read by phrases instead of reading each written word by itself.
Another great tip is to join a book club or a library. By becoming a member, you will have unlimited access to various genres and different literature pieces which you can use to practice in your free time. You should stay strict with your decision and have a well-organized schedule for your reading (such as one hour a day). By making the reading process a fun and relaxing activity, you will look forward to it and be able to focus for a longer time as a positive consequence of a calming environment.
Read Intensively and Extensively
Practice is the No. 1 factor in obtaining good reading skills. However, there are other points that play an important role as well such as implementing certain techniques in order to improve your pace and vocabulary.
By reading intensively, you will focus more on the smaller details and unknown words which will allow you to develop a better recognition for your further reading tasks. Extensive reading focuses on the main plot and meaning of what you read.
A great thing to combine with an extensive reading technique is writing down your opinions or insights using the bullet point method. This way you will know what the plot is about and what your thoughts were on it when you first read it. By practicing extensive reading, you will be able to identify certain words and concepts by familiarizing with what you found out and analyzed in the previous text.
Don'ts of Reading Skills
While reading practice is something you should always focus on, along with the recommended techniques of extensive and intensive reading, there are things that you should try to avoid. Most of these are applicable only for adult readers. However, children could benefit from avoiding these don’ts as well.
If you are an adult and you have problems with slow reading, we would suggest that you avoid subvocalizing. It is a habit that many people do, thinking that it benefits their reading skill and comprehension. Unfortunately, it has a contradictory effect and can do nothing but slow you down and confuse you on the meaning of the text. Another technique that you should avoid is reading word by word. Instead of that, we recommend that you improve your vocabulary and try to read phrases or sentences at a time.
Lastly, a great tip on improving your speed and pace of reading is to skim and scan the text before you officially read it. By noticing important points and separating the main plot from details that aren't as important, you will be able to read faster and effectively comprehend the given text. Our recommendation is to also take a look at the Children Learning Reading Program and clear yourself of any doubts about the right approach.
Maintaining proper reading skills is important for further development and education. A good reader and a good writer are always respected and a great result of being well practiced in reading is your enriched vocabulary, which you will use to impress those around you. Also remember that the most important factor in improving reading skills is practice, practice, and more practice.