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Reading Skills

In order to understand the text clearly and learn new vocabulary quickly it would be useful to remember the core four exercises to be done before, during and after reading. All of them are aimed to help good comprehension of the text and learn new words quickly. They are: finding cause effects, making conclusions, putting broken text in order and context clues (which is very effective for new vocabulary learning).

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Finding cause effects is the exercise to be used during the text reading. While you are reading you can find sentence pairs which works on cause-effect model. Try to find some actions described in text and ask the question of why these actions have to take place. If there is no a clear statement leading to these actions, re-read the previous paragraph or sentence and try to understand their context which help you make your conclusion of reasons. For example, if one of characters makes conversation with another you can ask the question: Why are they talking about that? Try to find in the text the causes of choosing this topic for conversation. If the author does not give the clear reason try to find the reason by your own using the previous context.

Making conclusions requires good analytical skills. Thus, you should develop analysis before making conclusions. Good exercises for developing analyzing skills would be simple everyday conversations when you use ‘why’ and ‘because’ as much as possible. Here developing cause-effect model would be very useful. Start with analyzing your own problems, achievements, needs, interests etc. Try to fix the cause-effect chain. The skilled analyzer would manage to find at least twelve chain links for any cause-effect model! Use analyzing skills to make conclusion for each paragraph you have just read. Then, make your own conclusion for the whole text. Give your own evaluation for each action and conversation it will help make the final conclusion in brief.

Putting broken text in order is very effective exercise to understand the text. This skill would also be very useful to develop speaking and writing. Sequence exercises can be involved while teaching children to comprehend reading. Children like different charades and they would enjoy finding the first sentence, then the sentence which would come next and so on. It would be funny to mistakenly put the sentences in incorrect order where they cannot understand what they reading! Do not break the whole text. Put each three-four sentences in incorrect order. This exercise is better to be done before reading, it would intrigue readers and make them get interested in knowing the text.

Context clues exercise is one of the models used for new vocabulary learning. Comparing with new words listing, listening, watching and reading context clues can be adapted by any reader irrespective of his/her abilities and psychology. Moreover, finding context clues is the most effective way to remember new words quickly. It is proved humans remember things better if they can link these things with some action, gesture, environment, glance etc. Guessing the meaning of the new word using the other words which come before and after this word could also develop analyzing skills.

Reading SkillsBy Sharon White