The only way to improve reading skills is to read as much as possible. However, choosing the right material to read is also very important. Among the literature from which one will profit there are scientific and academic articles of different styles (both printed press or in the internet), fiction and non-fiction books, various journals and magazines.
There are 3 kinds of reading depending on the purpose of the reading process.
Reading to Find Information
• Scan through the text to find key words, phrases, dates and the most important information.
• Practice often, so that you reading rate and fluently constantly improve.
Reading for Basic Comprehension
• Constantly try to increase your vocabulary (flashcards can be helpful).
• Practice skimming skills, which involve reading a passage quickly through to get a general understanding of the main idea (without complete understanding of the meanings of every word or phrase).
• For the second time read the text more carefully writing down the main idea, major points, and important facts.
• Before translating the meanings of the unknown words with the help of the dictionary, try to guess what they mean using the surrounding information (words, phrases, possible synonyms, etc) in the text. Then check how correct you were.
• Find the pronouns (e.g., she, her, we, us, etc.) in the text and identify the nouns to which they refer.
• Try to make inferences and draw conclusions based on what is implied in the passage as a whole.
Reading to Learn
• Identify whether the passage is of a classification, cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution, description, narration, and so on type, and what organization it has.
• Organize the information in the passage:
- Create an outline of the passage to differentiate between major and supporting points.
- If the passage categorizes some information, create a chart placing the information in appropriate categories.
• On the basis of your charts and/or outlines, create an oral or written summary of the text.
• Practice paraphrasing separate sentences in a passage. Then, try to paraphrase an entire text.