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Writing iii

How to improve Reading Ability


Common Reading Problems and their solutions
A
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A
N
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E
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BY

Name : Yusra Chairani Insyiira


Class
: XTS14 B
Nim
: 2143321044

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
FACULTY OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS
STATE UNIVERSITY OF MEDAN
2015
I.

INTRODUCTION

Improving your reading skills will reduce unnecessary reading time and enable you to read in
a more focused and selective manner. You will also be able to increase your levels of understanding

and concentration. This guide shows you common reading problems and their solutions and also how
to read with greater efficiency and effectiveness by using a range of different reading skills.

II.

DISCUSSION

COMMON READING PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS


Problem: New and difficult words
These might be the technical language associated with the subject you are studying or academic
language (more formal/less common words are often used).
Solution:
Read for what you do understand and not what you don't understand.
Technical language: make your own dictionary of new words. Check to see if your textbook

has a glossary. Buy a subject specific dictionary or find one in the library.
Academic words: check that you know the Academic Word List (the most frequently used

academic words). It is available in the Unitec Library and the Language Learning Centre.
Problem: Long, complicated sentences
These are very common in academic texts and can make it necessary to read and re-read a sentence
several times in order to get the meaning.
Solution:
Try to break the sentence down into smaller sentences.
See if you can paraphrase the sentence (put it in your own words).
Read around the difficult sentence to help you find the meaning.
Discuss the text with someone else.

Problem: Authors are often writing for other experts in the field
This makes it difficult for newcomers to the field. They may not have the background knowledge
which the author assumes the readers will have.
This can often the case with journal articles.
Solution:
Sometimes it may be necessary to try and find something easier to read on the same subject,

for example, an introductory text on the subject or an encyclopaedia. Then you can return to
the more difficult text and try again.

Problem: Academic texts are often culture specific


If authors don't explain cultural references and assume that readers are familiar with that culture it can
be difficult to understand the message.
Solution:
You may need to ask your lecturer to explain or make an appointment to discuss it with a

lecturer at TeTariAwhina. You can also talk with other students on your course.
Think about what you are reading in terms of your own experiences.

Problem:The amount of reading


Lecturers often expect students to do large amounts of reading for their courses.
Solution
You may need to focus on the required reading and do the recommended reading only if you
have time.
Have a clear idea of why you are reading a text. What's your purpose? Are reading to get an
overview? Or, are you looking for specific information to support a point in an essay?
Don't expect to understand every word. Getting the main idea of a text may be enough
--again, it depends

While reading sometimes we feel that we dont get the point of the text because we
lost our focus. So, how to overcome that problems?

Problems
Losing your place
You can lose your place two different
ways: you can lose track of what word you are on
at any point, or you can lose track of what line
you are on when moving from one line to the
next. Losing your place wastes time and can
inhibit your comprehension.
Losing your focus
How many times have you been reading
a passage, and realized halfway through that you
have no idea what you have just read? Instead of
paying attention to the text, you are thinking
about what you are going to do later, what some
friend said. This wastes time and energy, and
makes comprehension impossible.
Not getting the point
Even though the words and sentences
may make sense, you may not be able to put them
together to get the meaning of the passage.

Solutions

Take breaks*

Trace your place*

Take breaks*

Read aloud*

Take notes*

Take breaks*

Take notes*

Forgetting what you have read


Just because you don't have to memorize
all of the facts does not mean that you can
completely forget everything that you have read.
You still need to recall the main ideas of the
passages. If you come to the end of the passage
and cannot recall what it was about, you need to
improve your retention.

Take breaks*

Read aloud*

Take notes*

*NOTE:
Take breaks
Remember, cognitive fatigue can lead to all of the aforementioned problems, and to other
problems as well. If you do not rest your mind, you will likely get fatigued and it will cost you points.
Trace your place
You can mark your place either by pointing to each word as you read it, or by placing a sheet
of paper underneath the line you are reading. Pointing to each word with a pencil or your finger can
help your eye see where it should be reading. Placing a piece of paper under the line you are reading
can help you to move smoothly from one line to the next.
Read aloud
If you are in your own room, you can actually say each word aloud. If you must remain silent,
mumble the words to yourself, or at least mouth the words, and say them in your head. It is important
that you actually hear the sounds, even if you only hear them in your imagination. This multisensory
approach to reading allows you to see, hear, and feel (with your mouth) what you are reading.
Reading aloud should help you stay focused, understand better, and remember what you are reading.
Take Notes
If you are thinking about what is important enough to write down, you will pay more attention
to the reading. This will keep your mind from wandering, help you process the main point of the
passage, and improve the likelihood you will remember things. In addition, the notes you take are a
record of the passage that you can refer back to if you do forget elements.
Here are some things you should note:

The subject and thesis of the passage


A summary of each paragraph
Anything important that happens with regard to the subject of the passage
Anything that is discussed for more than a few sentences in long passages

SO, HOW TO IMPROVE OUR READING SKILLS MORE BETTER


AFTER WE HAD PASSED THE PROBLEMS ABOVE?
To improve your reading skills you need to:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Have clear reading goals;


Choose the right texts;
Use the right reading style
Use note taking techniques.

1) Reading goals
Clear reading goals can significantly increase your reading efficiency. Not everything in print
will be of use to you. Use reading goals to select and prioritise information according to the task in
hand.
Reading goals can be:

An essay or seminar subject;


A report brief;
A selected subject area;
A series of questions about a specific topic.
Use your reading goals to help you identify the information that is relevant to your current

task.

2) Choosing a text
You will need to assess the text to see if it contains information that is relevant to your
reading goals.

Check the date of publication. Is the information up-to-date?


Read the publisher's blurb at the back or inside sleeve for an overview of the content.
Check the contents page for relevant chapters.
Look up references for your topic in the index.
If the text does not seem relevant, discard it.

Once you have selected a text you can use the following techniques of scanning and
skimming to help you identify areas for detailed reading.

3) Scanning
Scanning is the technique you might use when reading a telephone directory. You pass your
vision speedily over a section of text in order to find particular words or phrases that are relevant to
your current task. You can scan:
The introduction or preface of a text;
The first or last paragraphs of chapters;

The concluding or summarizing chapter of a text;


The book index.

4) Skimming
Skimming is the process of speedy reading for general meaning. Let your eyes skip over
sentences or phrases which contain detail. Concentrate on identifying the central or main points. Use
this technique to:
Pre-view a selection of text prior to detailed reading;
Refresh your understanding of a selection of text following detailed reading.

5) Detailed reading and note taking


Once you have selected useful information, you can begin to read in detail. Note taking
techniques provide a useful aid to reading. Use:
Underlining and highlighting to pick out what seem to you the most central or important

words and phrases. Do this in your own copy of texts or on photocopies - never on borrowed
texts;
Keywords to record the main headings as you read. Use one or two keywords for each main
point. Keywords can be used when you don't want to mark the text;
Questions to encourage you to take an active approach to your reading. Record your
questions as you read. They can also be used as prompts for follow up work;
Summaries to check you have understood what you have read. Pause after a section of text
and put what you have read in your own words. Skim over the text to check the accuracy of
your summary, filling in any significant gaps.
These techniques encourage an active engagement with the text as well as providing you with
a useful record of your reading. Avoid passively reading large amounts of text, it does not make
effective use of your time. Always use a note taking technique to increase your levels of concentration
and understanding.

III.

CONCLUSION

So, there are many problem while reading a text but where there is a problem, there is also a
solution to overcome it. In conclusion, take your time when you are reading. Focus your attention on
each word and be sure that you read what is written. While you cannot eliminate every mistake,
breezing through the passages is sure to increase your mistakes.
When you come to the end of a complicated sentence, your first re-read should focus on the
words more than the ideas. Don't assume that what you read is what was written. Look carefully at
each word and don't let your first reading influence what you see in the second read-through. After
you are sure that the words you read are the words that are on the page, you can move on to re-reading
for content. And be patient to unfamiliar words.
And there are the things that you must pay attention to:
Have a clear focus for your reading. Set your reading goals.
Survey the text before you spend the time and effort involved in detailed reading.
Scan and skim to select the text for detailed reading.
Scan and skim after detailed reading to reinforce your understanding.
Use a form of note taking whilst reading in detail, to keep you concentrating, aid
understanding and provide you with a record of your reading.
Using clear reading goals and a variety of reading skills is more important than increasing
your reading speed.
To improve your reading speed, don't increase the speed of the eye across the page, but
increase the number of words the eye recognises in a single fixation.

If you face problems reading, you need to intervene with an effective remediation program. In
almost all cases, students do not outgrow reading problems on their own. The facts clearly prove
most struggling readers continue to face reading problems. The brain imaging research also shows
incorrect processing forms in beginning readers and persists unless direct effective intervention
occurs. We can achieve reading success!

REFERENCES
Acedemic reading: problems and solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved December 08, 2015,
from Unitec Institute of Technology: https://moodle.unitec.ac.nz/
Improving your reading skills. (n.d.). Retrieved December 08, 2015, from
University of Leicester: http://www2.le.ac.uk/