Do you want to improve your reading skills? Do you want to do so without spending a dime?
If the your answers to the questions above are yes, then this article is just for you!
4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Reading Skills
1. Set a schedule
Many people do not read because they can’t find any time in their busy schedule to read. But the truth is that you need to read often to improve your reading skills. As simple as it sounds, the more you read, the better reader you become. Setting a specific time each day to read is the best way to improve your reading skills.
You might say that you don’t have hours each day to spend on reading because you have other priorities in your life. That’s perfectly OK because you can increase your reading skills by reading 20 minutes daily. You can read just before you go to bed or after you have finished your dinner.
The most important part is that reading needs to be a habit. If you set a schedule and read every day, your reading skill will be improved greatly.
2. Read according to your English level
Sometimes, students are motivated and try to read books that are too difficult for them. After reading few chapters, they completely give up because the books are uninteresting. To prevent this, it is important that you read books that are your level.
When you are starting to read, you should read books that are easy to comprehend. This will help you to make reading a habit and enjoy them at the same time. After a few easy books, you should start to read more difficult books one at a time. Reading difficult books will help you to comprehend harder books and to broaden your vocabulary.
3. Memorize vocabulary by making flashcards
As you continue to read and make it a habit, you will read many vocabularies that you do not know. To increase your reading skills, it is important that you memorize these vocabularies. In my opinion, flashcards are the best way to memorize vocabulary, and you can use any of these two ways to memorize them.
Flashcard Apps (Quizlet)
Flashcard Apps such as Quizlet allow you to make digital flashcards. You can use these apps to memorize vocabulary by reviewing, testing, even playing games! These are great tools to memorize your vocabulary on your mobile devices in your spare time.
If you are not tech-savvy, you can use traditional paper flashcards to memorize vocabulary. You can cut 3 x 5 notecards into two, write the word on the one side, and the definition on the other.
4. Read High-Quality Materials
Finding high-quality materials to read is probably the most difficult step for international students. You should read combination of books, newspaper articles, and scientific papers to increase your reading skills in variety of areas. I will recommend three free resources to find high-quality reading.
This is an essential app to increase your reading comprehension. Kindle App is allows you to access Amazon’s Kindle Store which contains millions of electronic books which are also called ebooks. Most of them are paid, but there are thousands of free ebooks also. Just by downloading the Kindle App, you can access over 10,000 ebooks that are completely free.
Most of the free ebooks are classics, which are books that have stood the test of time and are accepted as exemplary and noteworthy. Since the classics were written long time ago, their copyright expired which is the reason that they are free.
Some of the classics that you can download in Kindle App include:
- Moby Dick
- Oliver Twist
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Tale of Two Cities
- Pride and Prejudice
- Les Miserables
- Scarlet Letter
- David Copperfield
- Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea
- Christmas Carol
To read this free classics, you can either download the Kindle App on your mobile device or read it in your browser on desktop. Also, you need to have an Amazon account.
New York Times
New York Times is one of the best news sites in America that covers a variety of topics in politics, international, and finances. The articles are written by accomplished writers with years of experience writing. Reading The New York Times is a great way to broaden your vocabulary, improve your reading skills, and also be informed of current issues.
There are many other excellent news sites including USAToday, Foxnews, and CNN.
Popular Science is a science magazine containing excellent articles written by accomplished writers. There are many interesting articles about technology, science, and health which are both informative and practical. At the same time, you will improve your reading comprehension by reading these articles.
Other excellent science magazines include Science, Discover, and National Geographic