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How to keep your reading skills up to speed.

By 24 February 2018Language Tips

Maintain your reading skills

Do you love Reading as much as I do?

I’ve already shared with you my love of vocabulary. It won’t be any surprise then when I say this is probably a result of my being an avid reader. I’ve always loved reading but I’ve noticed more recently that it’s also an important way for me to relax and unwind. Escaping in a book for a little while helps me forget where I am and restore my sense of balance.

Why regular reading is important

Maybe you’re like me or maybe the complete opposite. Whether you’re a bookworm or someone who never picks up a book unless forced to, regular reading is an important way to maintain and develop your language level. Reading is also an important part of your work and keeping up to date with internal and external developments in your field is going to be required for professional development.

Practice your reading skills as you commute

So, what to read? The answer starts at anything. In the past, I have encouraged my students to read adverts on the train or tram as they commute and even food packaging items while they eat. This type of reading is really good for picking up new natural expressions such as burn and smart money. It’s also good for recognising how nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives form families. For an easy example: medicine, medicate, medically and medical but what about: determination, determine, determinedly, determined. Not all words have complete families but it can be a ‘fun’ way to pass a journey testing yourself on how many you can find.

Improving your reading skills can also be fun!

Another fun activity, I often encouraged my students to do regularly were wordsearches. There are heaps on the Prepare page or you can find your own online or even buy a book of them. Why wordsearches? Well, they are a really good way of improving your scanning skills. By regularly completing a wordsearch, you are training your eyes to quickly scan over irrelevant letters/ letter combinations until you find the one in the word you are looking for. Skimming and scanning reading skills are something you will need to use at work everyday to quickly find information you are looking for in the time available to you.

The reading content must be interesting to you

Of course, you’re going to need to read longer texts but I say, start with something that interests you and work from there. This could mean choosing a book you enjoyed in your own language which has been translated into English. It won’t be such hard work because you are already familiar with the plot but it’s still giving you valuable reading practice for a longer period of time.

Another suggestion is to research something of interest for you in English. This could be finding out more about something you heard in the news or a new kind of therapy you think will help one of your patients or even a language point that has puzzled you for some time about English. Whatever it is that you choose, if you have an interest in it to begin with, it’s going to help motivate you to persevere with reading the information to the end. This will build up your stamina for concentrating while you read in English.

Here are some links to get you started:

Free medical journals

Read for fun

News in levels