Improve Your English Reading Skills


Make a habit of reading regularly. Read as many English books, newspapers and magazines as you can get your hands on. You need to read materials from many different topics and disciplines. The reason is so simple: because every topic or discipline has its own terminologies. Don't try to read "the classics" straight away. Save them for later, start with contemporary short stories.

In British English, for example, there is a series of books called the Oxford Bookworms Library. These come in seven levels. To read a 'starter' book you need to know around 250 words of English vocabulary.


A detailed reading and note taking

 – Underlining & highlighting

 – Keywords to record the main headings as you read.

 – Questions to encourage you to take an active-approach to your reading.

 – Summaries to check you have understood what you have read.

Increasing your reading speed

 – The average reading speed is about 240-300 words per minute. For the average reader, the eye fixes on each word individually.

 – To improve your reading speed, don’t increase the speed of the eye across the page, but increase the number of words the eye recognises in a single fixation.

Try reading things more than once

 – Reading something and then read it again a few weeks/months later. You should find your understanding as improved.


Try to discuss a book you’ve enjoyed with other people

– You can even discuss books on forum/online book clubs. You can also write book reviews.

Use a form of note taking whilst reading in detail, to keep you concentrating, aid understanding and provide you with a record of your reading.

Have a clear focus for your reading. Set your reading goals.