As a reader, I have access to an innumerable number of newspapers, books, magazines, websites, tweets, SMSes, recipes…the list is never-ending. Imagine being able to read well in more than one language. The possibilities immediately multiply.
As a child, when I realised that I could read, the world took on a new meaning, and I had access to information I hadn’t even realised was out there; and the fascination has never stopped.
However, understanding the words on a paper or screen is not enough. When we read, we need to be able to skim an article to find out if this is relevant, to decide whether to read the whole thing, or not. We may need to find out the departure time of a particular train. In this case we do not read the whole time-table, but scan it for the piece of information that we require. The same goes for an encyclopedia – we look up a particular entry and get the information that we need.
This may seem very obvious, but these reading skills we pick up in our native language. When it comes to learning a second/foreign language, especially as adults, these reading skills need to be taught to us; we need to be introduced to strategies to transfer these skills across languages. As young learners we acquire these skills without a second thought. When we reach adulthood, we tend to forget that we do not read everything in the same way.
Think of yourself reading a novel for pleasure, a website to find out the news, and a bus schedule to plan a trip. Many language learners will say that although they are quite confident in English, they will not read the news in English, for fear that they will not understand everything. My question is: do you always focus on understanding everything you read, or do you read to answer a particular question? When you read for leisure, do you really focus on understanding every grammatical structure, and every word, or do you focus on the story?
As learners of a foreign language we tend to forget what we do in our native tongue, and put added pressure on ourselves to do what even native-English readers don’t. With the professional help of Elite Learning’s very experienced trainers, your English reading experience will be enhanced, by helping you to improve your reading fluency and increase your comprehension. Allow yourself a whole new reading experience.