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Prereading Strategies to Help Increase Reading Speed

Using Prereading Strategies Will Help Increase Reading Speed

Do you sometimes have learners who feel their reading speed is too slow? Would you like to help them to speed up? Well read on because here are 5 tips to read faster.

Before getting your learners to practice these reading tips, it is important to choose the right kind of text. I would recommend carefully selecting a text for your class when they are starting to practice reading faster. Start off with a simple text, one that uses only words your readers can understand. A graded reader might be a good idea. You can increase the difficulty of the text when they start to get used to the techniques below. In addition to this, I would suggest beginning with something not too long. Also, pick a text that you feel will interest and engage the class. Finally, when you have a suitable text, and if you’re assigning the text as out of class work, encourage them to find a good place to read it. This should be somewhere not too noisy and without distractions. It should also be somewhere they will be comfortable reading.

Before they start to read the text, I would suggest implementing some pre-reading strategies. If you are interested, my previous blog for EFL Magazine highlighted 10 useful pre-reading activities. Certainly, what the learner brings to the text will affect how she or he understands what they read.

Okay, here are five top tips for faster reading and hopefully more enjoyment of reading.


Read in chunks

Reading a text word-by-word slows your reading down. Also, if you are just concentrating on individual words you might not understand the meaning of the sentence or phrase. Reading in chunks is reading blocks or groups of words together. Start off by reading words in groups of two or three. As you get used to it try to make these groups bigger. Once you master this, you’ll soon start reading faster.


Don’t look back

Try not to go back to words in the sentence you might not have fully understood. Also, try not to go back and re-read whole sentences. Try to keep the flow of your reading going. If you understand the general meaning of the sentence, keep going. Sometimes it is not necessary to know 100% of the words in a text to understand the meaning. Again, if you can do this, your reading speed will soon start to speed up.



I mentioned above the importance of finding a suitable place to read. Also, try to find a suitable time. If you try to read just after you’ve had an argument with a friend, it will play on your mind and you won’t be able to concentrate. Problems like this are likely to frustrate you and they will certainly slow your reading speed down. Find a good time to read, clear your mind, and you will definitely start to read faster.


Don’t jump in

Before you start to read the main text, take a look at the other things on the page. If there is a title, read it and try to think what the main text will be about. Think about what kinds of words might appear in the text. If there are pictures, take a close look at them and do the same. You can do the same with any headings within the text. This will prepare you better for faster reading.


Relax when reading

I think many students these days have incredibly busy lives! It can therefore be difficult to find time to read. This often leads to rushing through a reading text and many times not fully understanding it. My suggestion is that more haste equals less speed when it comes to reading. Try to make time for yourself. Make yourself a cup of tea and grab a couple of cookies and enjoy what you are reading. Learning to love to read will really help your reading speed in the long run.


What do you think? I hope these tips were useful. There are many strategies to increase reading speed. I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. The real key to improving the speed of your reading is to keep practicing. Follow the tips above, and keep practicing. You could even time yourself reading the same text a few times. This might give your motivation a little boost when you discover you can read faster. Good luck!

Once again, if you are looking for free graded reading materials, please check out my website – We now have more than 500 free reading lessons on there!

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