Dear Gaila - How to Read a Text?

Dear Gaila,

How do I read a text? It is not only hard to read, but is dense with information. How do I get through it?

A Student

Dear Student,

I don't know if English is your mother tongue or not, but I will talk about both cases. First of all we assume that texts have several difficult or unknown words for the reader. Therefore we need to overcome that:

When learning English as a foreign language we need to identify the difficult words. Each difficult word should be used in a short phrase of 2-5 words depending on the reader's level three to four times. Read and translate or explain the phrases. Thus, when you go back to reading the original text you will find that the words have been internalized and the text can now be read easily.

If the text is simply difficult because it is a a high level professional text the trick is to read the headlines first. This can be the titles or subtitles in the text. Then go back and read each paragraph and summarize each one. Now go back once again and read first the headlines and the summary of the 3 main points of each section. This should now be easy chunks for you to read and comprehend.

Good Luck!

Gaila

Gaila has over 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at ahava.org@gmail.com or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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