The factors behind lack of reading skills

G’day, howz it goin mate? Today, I am going to talk about the factors behind lack of reading skills. Some people really don’t like reading because of what? I don’t think they hate reading itself, but there are some reasons or factors behind the detestation. Let’s examine.

First up, are you reading English articles from S(ubject), followed by O(bject)?

This is especially applicable to those who come from Asian backgrounds such as Japanese and Korean. This is due to the complete different nature of word order. We Japanese say S(ubject) and then O(bject), and at the very end V(erb). So, people tend to take much longer to read English sentences. If you do read like this way, then you might also be struggling to speak and hear English. Please try not to do so anymore. You need to discipline yourself in getting used to reading from the beginning to the end. It might take some time but it makes your English reading life so much easier and more effective. I reckon it’s good to hear and learn how simultaneous interpreters are working on their tasks.

Next, have you primarily understood basic grammar rules in the first place?

This is critical to boosting your reading skills. Unfortunately, without grammar knowledge, it’s going to be extremely difficult to get the hang of what it is about. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least you need to know some basic sentence structures that essentially help you to grasp a big picture of what it is about. Such as 5 W 1 H and 5 basic sentence patterns (SV, SVC, SVO, SVOC and SVOO). Other grammar rules like relative clauses, superlatives, etc. are fine, because, in fact, you can learn them from reading stuff. If you are not confident about grammar, I suggest going back to the basics of grammar first before jumping into reading practice.

Furthermore, are you learning new vocabularies by word-roots?

Many ESL students are trying to memorise one meaning of the word you want to learn. I am not saying this is a disaster. But, unfortunately, I have to say, this way is a waste of time. I know you could memorise and use them slowly and in the end, you’ll be able to utilise them in some ways. Nevertheless, the most important thing you should keep in mind is that there is a more effective and time-saving way to learn new vocabularies, which is learning from word-roots. I want to reiterate the importance of learning prefixes, suffixes and word-roots again here. Knowing one word-root, there will have a tenfold increase in the number of derivative or associated words, which seems to be a miracle thing, but it’s normal as long as you try to learn etymology. That’s how I’ve done in the process of my English learning journey.

Lastly, can you read between the lines?

This is another important point whether you could improve reading skills or not. You can hardly read between the lines if you are reading English sentences in a different word order, haven’t understood basic grammar rules, and don’t know any word-root. That is, you will have to have all the above elements before trying to read between the lines. So, this is the highest level of reading skills. But, as for a native-like skill, reading between the lines is just a standard one as pretty much everyone being educated until tertiary education has got this skill. This skill, in my view, tests your understanding of everything mentioned previously. So, it’s a very comprehensive skill. Not many people are endowed with this skill. This has to be learnt steadfastly and patiently.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.

Have a great day

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: