Empowering Reading Skills
Tips and tricks on empowering receptive skills.
English has been divided into four macro skills and categorized as receptive and productive skills. In order to produce meaningful language, students need to build up their knowledge through receptive skills which are reading and listening. The following paragraphs will spot the problems with learning before providing tips and tricks on empowering receptive skills.
At the very first stage as learners, we undergo the first few years when we learn to distinguish letters, sounds, and, most importantly, how to write correctly. Later we start to learn how to construct proper and meaningful sentences. As our English Proficiency increases, we tend to realize that we make so little progress. Therefore, we no longer find English fun as we did when we were kids. To regain the satisfaction in learning, we need to make progresses both minor and major. Students need to update themselves with all the subjects they can grasp. To do so, receptive skills must be the forefront of goal setting.
To begin with, the importance of reading will be addressed, and students will learn how to build reading habit. There are two types of reading skills: extensive and intensive reading skills. Intensive reading refers to a type of reading done in order to perform well in class, for it involves academic, difficult, and advanced texts. On the other hand, extensive reading covers any type aside from academic purposes, or, in other word, reading for pleasure. Intensive reading boosts our understanding on subject matters, whereas extensive reading builds our reading habit. Basically, extensive reading paves the path for more challenging tasks found in academic contexts. Extensive reading is crucial; it is the foundation any learner should possess. As young children, we used to take up longer and complex reading texts. Therefore, the formula is we start with something easy before we are able to perform difficult tasks. Surely enough, following our field of interests determines and sustains our motivation. For instance, if reading novels is of our interests, we shall start with graded reading until we manage to comprehend the original, longer ones. Later, we shall take up more complex texts (news, articles, or journals) to broaden our general knowledge. It is believed that the more we read, the more we know; in addition, the more topics we are exposed to, the better.
Becoming a habitual reader is a crucial step, yet reading effectively is of another importance. To become an effective reader, you may consider the following steps. Firstly, you need to be selective, for there are lots of texts available especially online resources. Secondly, you shall predict the text through heading, subheadings, pictures, etc. In addition, you need to highlight main ideas that you come across. Highlighting or note-taking is a key skill in catching up main ideas presented. Generally, there are one or two main ideas in a paragraph. However, the main ideas do not always appear in the beginning of the paragraph or text. At this stage, you may ask yourself a few questions like, “What is the text about? Why is it written?” After that, you may write a short summary of the text. Lastly, most of your reading should be followed by reflections. Reflections could be as short as phrases/sentences, or as long as paragraphs/essays; it might include a brief summary as well. Reflections help you form meaningful understanding, or serve as a source which you could come back for revision. Teachers or students who read often have better ideas when it comes to discussion.
In conclusion, reading is the foundation skill in learning language. Reading can be fun and interesting when the readers pick the right materials, and to do so, one must start with the basic before advancing to complex texts. Reading is extremely important for teachers to help push students beyond the boundary of classroom knowledge. For students to become readers, teachers need to be role models, who like reading, learning, and sharing what he/she has learnt.
Written by Noeum Lina