I’ve previously looked at strategies for writing, but what about reading?
Here are some reading strategies inspired by “Learning Strategies in Foreign and Second Language Classrooms: The Role of Learner Strategies” by Ernesto Macaro.
- Don’t get anxious when you don’t understand: It’s not conducive to get flustered or anxious when you hit a roadblock when reading. Keep calm and keep working at it. Similarly, if you get stuck on a word or phrase, move on to the next part of the text, it may help you in understanding or contextualising the difficult section.
- Make inferences: Based on your knowledge and the content of the text, make inferences about the meaning of words which are unknown.
- Don’t get too cocky: Have doubts about your interpretation. Stop and think about it again to ensure you have understood.
- Use your knowledge of grammar and syntax: Use this knowledge to check your interpretation of the text.
- Divide the text in to chunks: This can make a long text seem more achievable.
- Use a combination of top-down and bottom-up processing strategies: Find a median between translating word-by-word (bottom-up processing) and using contextual information to make inferences (top-down processing). Avoid using the extremes of this scale such as spending all your time translating each word individually or making inferences which may be incorrect.
- Use your knowledge of the world: Ask the question – does this translation make sense?
- Look for clues: Is there a picture? What type of text is it? Is there a headline? All these things can give you more information and clues regarding the meaning of the text.
What are your reading strategies?