What strategies do you use to get the most out of your reading?
Self evaluation: Do any of these apply to you?
Do you read advanced texts infrequently?
Do you track with your finger along the line?
Do you read aloud under your breath?
Do you start reading before you have worked out what you need to know, or what you are looking for?
Do you keep checking back along the line, re-reading what you have just read?
Do you read difficult sections before you have worked out the general gist of the text?
Do you find that the words seem to jump up off the page or that the text moves or glares?
Can you remember what you have read?
Are you an active reader? How do you engage with the text (i.e. How you do check your understanding and record important aspects for review/recall later?)
(from: The Study Skills Handbook by Sara Cottrell, 1999)
What is involved in reading? READING Content vocabulary Content knowledge Reading well (with understanding- Effective reading) Reading fast (Efficient reading) Understandingtext type and language features Understanding text structure (cohesion and syntax) Purpose
What happens when you read a paragraph?
How do your eyes move to take in the text?
How long does it take you to read one line of text?
Do your eyes move in a continuous straight line across the text, like this:
In reality, of course, eye movements across a line of text are not smooth.
Slow readers take in one word at a time; that is, the number of ‘fixations’ or stops/pauses is much higher than for fast readers. Fast readers take in groups of words (the art of ‘clustering’ or ‘chunking’) at a time.
Slow readers may also lose concentration and wander to other parts of the text.
Slow readers may also back track to re-read something to check understanding or the meaning of an unfamiliar word.
Clustering is grouping words into meaningful clumps or chunks of two or
The eye can bounce from one group to the next, picking up the
sense from clusters of words, rather than just looking at every single
Learning to read in clusters of words takes practice, but it can speed
up your reading considerably and improve comprehension.
“ The art of becoming wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.“ -William James
Read the passage below, timing how long it takes Time: ____
The standard design of the bicycle has been in existence for about 100 years. But in the past 10 years there have been more changes than during any other decade. Bicycles, and especially racing bicycles have much in common with aircraft: both are designed to minimize wind resistance maximize energy efficiency, respond instantly to the demands placed on them, yet weigh very little without losing strength. So, much of the technology used in aerospace has found its way into racing bicycles. The heart of the bicycle is its frame. I t must be strong, light, flexible enough to absorb bumps, but not so much that it wastes energy the rider transmits by pedalling. (112 words) -Text source: Glendinning, Eric H. and Glendinning, Norman. (2000). Oxford English for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Oxford: Oxford Unversity Press. P 67
Activity: Clustering/Chunking ( second reading)
Now read the text again. Try to read the clusters of two -five words in some places - (separated by /) in one fixation and note time taken. Did you read faster? Did the clusters improve understanding?
The standard design of the bicycle / has been in existence / for about 100 years. / But in the past 10 years /there have been more changes / than during any other decade. / Bicycles, and especially racing bicycles / have much in common with aircraft: / both are designed / to minimize wind resistance, / maximize energy efficiency, / respond instantly to the demands / placed on them, / yet weigh very little / without losing strength. / So, much of the technology / used in aerospace / has found its way / into racing bicycles./ The heart of the bicycle / is its frame. /I t must be strong, / light, / flexible enough to absorb bumps, / but not so much that / it wastes energy / the rider transmits by pedalling. / (27 clusters)
It’s NOT all about speed .
Your first aim should be to read well.
( read with understanding)
Speed without comprehension is a futile exercise.
Learn some strategies to read more effectively.
Now view Reading Skills 2 to learn some effective reading strategies to get the most out of your reading for study purposes.