READING / reading strategies
Academic Reading Strategies
What are reading strategies?
Key Reading Strategies
- Looking over the text title, headings, pictures and diagrams to anticipate what the text will be about based on the reader’s prior knowledge.
- Looking over the text to see how it is divided into sections: abstract, introduction, graphs, data, conclusion, reference lists and further reading.
Text genre recognition
- What type of text is it? Case study, SWOT analysis, report, argument, overview of recent and past findings.
- Reading the text / section quickly to gain the basic idea; this can be done in a number of ways:
- Reading the first two sentences and last sentence of each paragraph.
- Reading 2-3 words of each line down the middle of a paragraph.
- Reading the introduction and conclusion.
- Reading the abstract.
- A combination of all the above.
- This is looking over a text for key terms / data or dates. Skimming through a text quickly to look for the important key information.
Guessing unknown words
- Some words can be easily guessed from context, and this means you do not have to keep checking your dictionary. For example, ‘a university degree offers a decorous job and entry to a middle-class lifestyle’. ‘Decorous’ is an unknown word. BUT from context you can guess its meaning; ‘respectable, refined, formal, higher quality’.
Reading for detail
- This is in-depth reading – understanding exactly what the section / text is saying. Taking your time to read, checking meaning and difficult vocabulary.
- Your process of making notes around a text. Some students use highlighters to mark key points, others write notes in the margins.
Main idea / subsidiary ideas
- Quite often the main idea is expressed in the topic sentence / first sentence of a paragraph (but not always). Then usually this will be followed by support (subsidiary ideas) and examples. Learning how to identify main points and support is a key skill for summary writing.
Credible / limitations / evidence
- This is looking at the evidence (examples, data, research) and judging how reliable it is. Asking questions about whether it is trustworthy. Is there bias? Could there be any limitations? See critical reading strategies: https://academic-englishuk.com/critical-thinking
- What side is the author arguing? Are they for or against? How do you know? Where are the examples in the text that highlight this?
- Are you convinced by what you have read? Do you agree with the writer’s ideas and evidence presented? Is there anything in your experience that you question about the text?
- Can you verbally summarise the key points you have read? Do you understand what the main premise and argument is?
Key reading strategies
Information sheet: This document identifies the key reading strategies associated with reading a text (surveying, skimming, scanning, main ideas, subsidiary ideas, writer’s stance, credibility, etc..) and defines each one. This sheet supports the two reading strategies lessons. Level ***** [B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Reading Strategies Downloads
Reading strategies 1 [new 2021]
This lesson helps improve students’ awareness of the key reading strategies. It practises prediction, surveying, skimming, scanning, guessing unknown words, reading for detail and summarising. It includes a 480-word text. Worksheet example Time: 60mins. Level ***** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Reading strategies 2 (leadership styles text) [updated 2021]
Topic: Leadership & Management Styles.Use and practice a variety of reading strategies to understand how to read journal articles efficiently. 5-page worksheet on all reading strategies (scanning, skimming, genre analysis, reading for detail, summaries) & 8-page reading document. Level ***** [B2/C1] Example / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
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Reading Skills Downloads
Text exploitation: how to exploit a text to facilitate learning [new 2020]
This lesson / worksheet helps improve students’ independent learning skills. It includes 6 tasks (vocabulary, grammar, cohesion, summary, paraphrase & referencing) on how to use text to facilitate learning (see worksheet example) Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]
Reading lesson: Improve your vocabulary
A great reading lesson on how to improve your vocabulary. The lesson starts with a discussion followed by a reading text with test type questions. The lesson includes teacher’s notes, question sheet, reading text and research website links. Example. Words: 500. Lower-levels ***** [B1/B2],
Critical thinking – reading text analysis
A great lesson for developing and practising critical thinking skills. It is a 400-word text on ‘going to university’ with over 15 possible problems. Students use the higher level thinking skills of analysis and evaluation to examine, question and critique the text. Example. Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1]
Reading Questioning Worksheets
Critical Thinking: cheat sheet infographic
This is a simple infographic offering questions that work to develop critical thinking on any given topic. Whenever your students discover or talk about new information, encourage them to use these questions for sparking debate and the sharing of opinions and insights among each other.TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Critical Thinking: a linear question sheet
This information sheet shows the development of an argument: from description to analysis and evaluation. It sets out a linear model of guiding questions that lead into each level of thinking (Plymouth University).TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP