Constructive Reading

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Dixya Poudel

In the vast world of literature, there are those that purport to increase one’s reading speed and up the numbers of books one can read. Some of such books are named How to Read a Book in an Hour. Yet, it seems a bit dubious in its outlook. Reading a book is about relishing its many nuances, particularly with the literary ones. Most seasoned readers would prefer to take their time reading books whether they are novels, stories or nonfictions rather than speed reading them in an hour. However, books aren’t always literary i.e. prose and poetry; there are also academic books required for students to read and teachers to teach. 

In this instance, it might be helpful to work on the effective strategies that students can apply. As such, reading can be both intensive and extensive. While extensive reading is about exploring one’s horizon through reading in leisure, intensive reading is about excelling in memorising, learning and retaining the subject material in a curriculum. Intensive reading occurs in an instructional setting where students are introduced to different materials and contents and are asked to answer comprehensive questions. 

Beginning readers in English, for example, learn by identifying as well as differentiating the varied vowel and consonant sounds. Next, they decode the text where they associate sounds to letters so they can pronounce written language. It then leads to a better understanding of literal and figurative meaning of complex words, phrases and sentences. With practice, readers can gradually increase their reading speed. There are further various stages of reading from an elementary and intermediate stage to an advanced stage. 

While it may seem simple for advanced readers who have mastered a language, those at the beginning level really struggle with the grasp of the language whether it is in unfamiliar vocabulary, intricate grammar rules or in chunking passages together for an effective understanding. It falls upon the tutors or teachers to lead the students towards such challenges in reading. Here, comprehension exercises are extremely advantageous. Students are instructed to read short passages or texts and answer the questions based on the passages. These are particularly common in intensive reading. 

Through the use of reading techniques such as scanning and skimming, comprehensive questions can be answered appositely.  Likewise, students can also improve their reading ability by extensively reading in leisure. Here, fictions are convenient and they are often quite entertaining with interesting subject matters. Further, since they are diverting, they can be a break from the academic books. Most bookworms will agree that novels, stories and non-fictions such as poetries, memoirs, and biographies are highly gratifying. Such books introduce readers to imaginative prose, historical accounts, mythical stories, and so on.

Moreover, in extensive reading, one can put to use a critical aptitude. Critical reading is about thoroughly exercising judgement on books as it is essential to try to identify the writer’s purpose, opinions and rhetoric. Then there is the strategy of synthesising which is about constructing and manipulating the meaning of a study material or a book during and after reading. Unless one is at the throes of an exam, or a deadline, reading is to be treasured with time. And it is with continued reading whether extensive or intensive that a reader excels at the art of erudition.

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