Reading is one of the best ways to increase your vocabulary and to become a better writer, but of course you probably know this already. So what can you do to make the reading process more productive, learn more vocabulary, and increase your understand your reading comprehension? I suggest you try some of the reading strategies listed below. Additionally, you might want to try some of the vocabulary tools here. If you are feeling like reading something different to your usual academic texts, please check out the sites I've recommended below.
Make a KWL Chart
KNOW: Before you begin reading, skim the title, subtitles, and any captions. What do you know about the topic already? make a list.
WANT to KNOW:
What questions do you have about the topic? Asking yourself a few questions before you read will help you stay engaged with the text.
After you're done reading, take a moment to review your 'know' notes and your 'want to know' questions.
Can you answer your questions now?
What would you change from your original statements?
Use a Highlighter
Both on paper and online, highlighting helps readers focus and spot main ideas and supporting details. You can also use two different highlighters to differentiate between key ideas and examples.
One useful tool for online reading is Diigo -a free app that can be installed in your browser and allows you to highlight, take notes, and even create tags.
Use Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers are a great tool to process the information you have read and create connections to your writing or your research.
Nowadays, there are several websites offering great graphic organizers. Popplet.com is one of them. Personally, I actually prefer to organize thoughts on paper and do not find it so useful to make graphic organizers on the computer. However, you might want to try it out and see if it works for you.
It is important to not get overly distracted by unknown vocabulary while we are reading. Instead, you should focus on trying to understand the meaning from context and skip unknown words if you get the general idea of what is being expressed by the author. However, if you run into the same words many times, it is a useful idea to look up its meaning and get examples of how it is used.
Simple tips to increase your vocabulary
-Keep a vocabulary journal on paper, your phone, or your computer can be a useful way to review these words later.
-Use a monolingual dictionary (English-English). If you are reading this, you probably don't need to translate everything and you will get exposed to more vocabulary by using this type of dictionary more often.
-Install a glossing tool on browser When reading online, you can select any word and get the definition without having to open a new window or tab. Glossing tools are free and easy to use. Here are a couple recommended ones:
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