Improve Your Reading Skills As A Student – Many students are having a hard time reading and assimilating. While some students find it difficult to read and understand others see reading as a difficult task. Reading can be enjoyable if you develop a passion for it. Just like every other skill like writing, listening and speaking, reading also is a skill. It is a skill to be mastered by students.
As a student, an effective reading skill will go a long way in improving your academic performance and ensuring your success. For you to be effective in reading, you have to practice and have patience.
Reading is interesting if you discover the purpose of your reading. This purpose tends to become a motivation and drive towards putting your best.
If you are finding it difficult to read and assimilate or you don’t even have this zeal to read or easily get tired when reading, then you saw this article just at the right time.
We have carefully highlighted some ways you can improve your reading skills as a student and excel in your academics. You have to make reading a habit and an everyday routine.
Most successful people in the world today (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet) still read books. Reading helps you develop both as a student and as an individual. It broadens your horizon ad opens you up to new knowledge.
For your reading skill to improve, you have to first see the importance or reasons for reading.
So in this article, you are going to be exposed to some of the importance of reading. We have divided this article into three segments:
- What is reading skill?
- Importance of reading
- How to improve your reading skill as a student
Let’s get started…
WHAT IS READING SKILL?
Everyone knows the meaning of reading or at least we all know what it means to read. When you ask students why they are in school, they say “they are there to learn to read and write”
Without further ado, let’s look at the meaning of reading skill.
Reading skill is your ability and capacity to read a written language or text, understands, assimilate, interpret, decode and respond to the text.
This skill entails fluency, comprehension, assimilation, decoding, interpreting and organization. It is a natural and essential part of our everyday life.
Why is reading a skill?
We all know that reading is very essential in learning. It is a building block for learning and it is very important in our everyday life. Without reading, you will not have knowledge. Reading goes a long way to strengthen the brain and improves your ability to comprehend.
Reading is a skill because it is very essential and also the foundation of our learning. It is important that every student regardless of age develop an effective reading ability to help them excel academically and also develop as an individual.
Your ability to read effectively and fluently has a way of boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem.
It is a very important skill to develop and improve on.
IMPORTANCE OF READING TO STUDENTS
The importance of reading to every student regardless of age cannot be understated. This skill is the basis of learning. Your ability to read and comprehend helps to improve learning ability.
Effective reading skill is very useful to comprehend and respond to written text and information.
Let’s look at some importance of reading to students.
- Reading is the basis of foundation of learning
When a child starts learning, the first thing he or she is being taught to do is how to read. Reading is a foundation on which learning is built and grows. An effective reading skill makes learning easy and faster.
- Reading allows your mind to expand
It has been said that reading keeps the mind fresh and young. It also allows your mind to expand and broadens your horizons. It allows you to think and develop new ideas.
As reading expands the minds, it keeps the mind healthy, sharp and also ready to learn. Reading has a cognitive effect and study has shown that it can help prevent the Alzheimer disease (a progressive disease that destroys the memory and causes cognitive and behavioral disabilities).
As a student, it allows your mind to explore.
- Reading sharpens the brain and improves your memory
Reading has a super charm of sharpening the brain and making you a sharp and smart student. Where other students face difficulty, a student with an effective and efficient reading skill, who is being exposed to a vast knowledge, will see solution where others see problem.
It goes a long way to improve you memory as you tend to remember things easily.
- Reading increases your ability to concentrate
An effective reading skill has a way of training your mind to focus and avoid distractions. Reading is an activity that requires you to focus in order to get a result or understand what you are reading.
Constant practice on reading will teach you to properly concentrate on a single task. It will help train your mind and train you to sit at a place quietly and study for a long period of time.
With reading, you tend to put away multitasking. When reading, your mind is fixed on that book and you do your best to wade off noise and distractions so as to concentrate better and comprehend better too.
- Reading improves your vocabulary and speaking skill
A student that reads a lot will definitely know how to speak fluently and be sound with his or her vocabulary. When we read, we come across new words and writing these words down and memorizing them makes them become part of our daily vocabulary.
When you read on a regular basis, you have a greater chance of speaking fluently and these set of people are usually considered to be intelligent and they tend to be sound academically.
- Reading allows you to be creative
Reading opens you up to a vast knowledge and will help to push you to be creative when you encounter problems. With reading, you tend to think outside the box or normal to come up with solution to a problem.
Reading has a way of inspiring you to think creatively. It boosts your brain ability and makes you develop ideas without looking too far.
- Reading makes you good at starting conversations
This is very true. Have you ever met someone you don’t know before but you guys got along pretty well because you’ve read the same book. It could be a novel, magazine or any other text.
Reading provides an opportunity to connect with people easily. Starting a conversation becomes easy as you are open to new information and vast knowledge about a lot of things through reading.
But never try to show off because people get disgusted by that act.
- Reading boosts your self-confidence
Students who read regularly tend to be fluent, knowledgeable and confident. They do not get scared to express themselves. Reading helps to boost your confidence and this in turn improves your self-esteem.
For instance, a student that has read ahead of the class will have a lot to contribute to the teaching and will be willing and able to respond to any question that is being asked.
You become bold because you have knowledge of what is being taught.
- Reading helps you relieve stress
One thing you should know is that reading is not stressful. It is an activity that helps free the mind and helps you relax. It helps take your mind off worries and anxiety and keeps your mind healthy and young.
Studies have shown that 5-6 minutes of reading helps to release muscle tension, slow down heart rate and also relieve stress. Reading is done quietly and at your own pace.
- Reading helps you improve academically
It is so evident that students that read and read effectively are academically sound. Reading goes a long way in boosting your academic performance. When you cultivate the habit of reading as a student, you become exposed to a vast knowledge.
It increases your ability to comprehend easily and consistency will keep you academically sound.
- Reading is entertaining
Everyone knows that reading is very important for learning but you should also know that reading can be entertaining also. Have you ever read a novel and imagined yourself as a character in the story? This is the fun that comes with reading.
It allows you to create images of what you are reading. A good book is fun, entertaining and interesting
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR READING SKILL AS A STUDENT
Like we have laid emphasis in this article that reading is very essential for every student and developing an effective reading skill helps you to become a better student. You have seen the importance of reading and having a sound reading skill and how it can positively affect your individual development.
We are going to be looking at some ways to develop and improve your reading skill so as to become a better reader and a smarter student. These tips are not a hundred percent guarantee for your improvement but they will surely help you improve your reading ability if you put them to use.
So let’s get to the point…
- Why are you reading?
This is one way to channel your mind towards reading books. You have to know why you are reading. What is your purpose for reading? For someone who is reading a novel, you know that you are reading for pleasure especially when you are reading it at home.
Understanding the purpose of reading will help you channel your mind and focus and motivate you to read. We all read for different purposes depending on the text you are reading.
- Understanding what you are reading
Knowing the purpose of reading is important but you also have to understand the text you are reading or about to read. The way you will read a novel will be quite different from how you would read you English text book or study your mathematics text book.
You have to understand the text you have in front of you so as to know how to read and the time you can allocate to it.
- Set out time to read everyday
For you to become a fluent reader and improve your reading skill, you have to set out time to read everyday. A constant practice helps you develop reading as a habit.
Reading becomes fun when you don’t see it as a boring activity. Take out 20-30 minutes each day to look at a text. It might not necessarily be your school book, it could be a novel, magazine, new article, creative book or any text; it will help you practice and improve your reading skill.
See reading as a hobby and you would enjoy reading.
- Scan the text you want to read
You have to preview the text you want to read for a few minutes as it is very helpful. Doing this will help you see and understand how the text is structured and outlined.
Scan the text to see the title, subtitles, table of contents and also keywords. This will help you understand the text better even before reading. With this, you get an idea of what the text is about and it can also help you set your reading goals or objectives.
- Set your reading goals or target
Understanding the purpose of reading and what you are reading will help your set your reading goal and target. The goals you set will go a long way to motivate you even when you feel tired and lazy to read.
You set goals to learn vocabulary words from every text you read. This will help you build your vocabulary and improve your other skills like writing, listening and speaking skills. Your reading goal helps you understand the importance of reading.
- Set questions before you start reading
After previewing the text you want to read, do well to set questions for yourself that you would answer after reading. These questions will help you evaluate yourself and what you have read. It will help you see if you really understand what you read or not.
- Make notes in your own words when reading
Most articles will tell you to take notes when reading. Well, that is true and good but a better tip would be to make notes while reading. But you don’t just make notes, make notes in your own words as it will help you understand the text better and also remember what you are reading better.
Always keep a note close to you to jot down important information and keywords you come across when you read. If you come across what you don’t understand while reading, write it down and come back to it later.
- Write down new words and challenge yourself to give the meaning
Learning new words while reading will help in building your vocabulary. Always write down new words you come across while reading and before you look them up in the dictionary, challenge yourself to get the meaning of the words. This will help to make your reading interesting.
If you still find it difficult or you are not convinced about the meaning you guessed, you can look them up in the dictionary and study the meaning of the words.
- Try reading in a conducive environment
If you really want to concentrate and focus when reading, then you have to be in the right environment, that is, a quiet and well-lit place. This will help boost your level of concentration.
Distractions make it hard for you to focus and makes reading difficult and frustrating. So it is very important to read in a comfortable environment as it helps to make reading an interesting activity.
- Try reading intensively
Intensive reading involves reading with full concentration and complete focus. With intensive reading, you are not about reading books after books, it is about understanding what every line, sentence or paragraph in a text is talking about.
As a student, it is very important that you develop intensive reading skill as it will help you understand information better. Reading intensively means you go deeper into the text to understand the purpose of the information and make proper sense of it.
With this, you sharpen your ability to comprehend, strengthen your vocabulary and speaking skill.
- Read in bits and segments
Most times trying to read a long and complex text can be frustrating as you find it difficult to comprehend and get tired too. One way to deal with this is to read in bits or break down your reading into segments.
Doing this will help you retain information and understand the text better. If you are having difficulty understanding a text especially a long and complex text, you should break it down into portions and segments.
- Read out loud to practice pronunciation
This is a very good mechanism for practicing pronunciation. You should try to read out loud or call the words out loud. It will help you remember the words and also the pronunciation.
With this, you get used to the words as you use your eyes to look at the words and your ears to listen to the pronunciation.
- Read with a friend(s)
Reading with a friend(s) has its own benefits especially when you read with serious friends. Reading with your friends will definitely help you remember what you have read. You get to discuss on the text, share ideas and also ask yourselves questions.
Reading with a friend can be fun and it makes reading interesting. Studies have shown that having a group reading or reading with friends helps to improve your reading skill, helps you assimilate better and helps you remember what you have read.
So if you are having a hard time reading or reading for long, try reading with a friend(s) today.
- Try summarizing all you have read
Summarizing what you have read can help you improve your reading skill. After reading or even during the course of reading, stop and write a few lines in your note to summarize what you have read.
Like we have said earlier, you should make notes in your own words, also your summary should be in your own words; it will help you remember the main ideas of the text and help you check if you really understand what you read.
Do well to write your summary in outlined form which is preferred to writing in full sentence. You can also do this verbally as it can help you remember what you have read.
- Take a break to rest the brain
You should stop reading when you are getting confused and exhausted. Take a break to rest your head so as to boost the brain. When you are beginning to get exhausted, you shouldn’t force yourself as nothing would go in.
Take a break as this will help you assimilate what you have read and prepare your brain and mind for when next you want to read.
Eat when you are supposed to read and also stay healthy. Eat healthy food so as to keep the brain healthy and ready.
Reading is very important for all students and also having an effective reading skill will help you become a better student. For you that sees reading as a big deal and can’t see yourself sitting for hours reading, you can start by reading for 20-30 minutes. Constant practice will help you develop that habit and challenge you to read for longer hours.
Reading is fun and you should see it as that. It makes you standout in class and also in your career. You become a vessel of vast knowledge and information. So you should always read. Consistency will help you to become a better reader.
Study the tips we gave you in this article and see how to will out them to use to improve your reading ability and skill. We hope that your reading skill becomes better. You can also read books on improving your reading skill.
When your reading skill is improved and sound, all other skill (writing, listening and speaking) tends to improve too.