Better readers understand better! Reading is the activity or skill of understanding written words, which is actually one of the ultimate aims in language acquisition. It instills you the structures of the target language unconsciously. The researches on reading clearly propose that more reading activities result in better comprehension abilities and reading turns out to be the best way to acquire a language if it’s performed in the correct way. It may seem interesting but reading helps you develop all of your basic language skills.
That is, we cannot exclude even the listening skill from this equation. So, the questions are: What and how should we read? It is important that you choose to read an interesting text so that the reading would be voluntary. Your desire to know and enthusiasm will help your comprehension.
Enjoyment is no guarantee of effectiveness. It is, however, insteresting that there is a strong evidence that free voluntary reading is very enjoyable (Krashen, 28).
You should be willing to read and learn about the text. The text should be compelling as well. That is, the text had better be a bit challenging for you to understand. Improving your competence through reading is like walking up the stairs so the next step ahead should be your target level. When choosing what to read there is a leverage point that i should recommend here. There shouldn’t be more than ten unknown words per page. You should be able to figure out the meanings of these words so that your pleasure reading would not be distracted by the looking ups of these words.
For better inferences!
As a before reading activity; first we should set a purpose for reading then we should preview the text and activate our background information. It would be better if you make predictions before you start.
As for a while reading activity; you should check your standpoint in the text at certain times. Do your predictions go along with the real text? Reread when necessary and think about the explicit and implicit connotations. And as for an after reading activity, you should retell or summarize the text. You can discuss or share your views with your friends or write to support your understanding.
“Consciously learned rules have very limited functions: We use them to edit what we say and write, but this is hard to do, and sometimes they can help make input comprehensible, but this is rare.” (Krashen, 43)
Language acquisition actualizes in a certain process of time. Reading is the major component in this process. More reading will result in better understanding. So we need not bother thinking the futility of our efforts as every second counts in this process.
- Krashen, Stephen D. , The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research, Washington, D.C.: 1985
- —.The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. Beverly Hills: Laredo.Georgetown U. Press
- Nagy, W., R.Anderson, and P.Herman.. Learning word meanings from context during normal reading. American Educational Research Journal 24: 237–270. 1987
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