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IELTS reading

What are you reading?

Are you reading a good book at the moment? How much time do you spend reading every day? Do you ever read in English when you are not studying English? Many of my students ask me how they can improve their reading but they seem unable to make the connection between improving their reading and actually reading on a regular basis. It’s great to read in class and to answer IELTS style comprehension questions but a lot of improvement in reading speed and comprehension can be made if you read for pleasure.

Buy a novel in English and read at least a page every day. What about buying a magazine or a newspaper and reading it on the train or bus on the way to college or work? You don’t have to buy one every day (unless you read a lot!) It’s not necessary to look up words you don’t understand every time. Just get used to reading in English.

What to read

There is so much free English reading material out there on the Internet. Read what you are interested in but try to read about other things as well – don’t forget that this is a fantastic way to enrich your vocabulary. Read this to learn about skim reading.

Read read read

One way to improve your English is to read as much as you can. When reading, you are exposed to a great amount of English. Reading shows you grammar in action and vocabulary used in context. IELTS students that read in English on a regular basis get higher IELTS grades.

Skim reading a text

Many IELTS students fall in to the trap of trying to understand every word in a reading text and their reading speed suffers. Many students seem to be trained to start reading at the first word of the reading text and continue word by word until the end is reached. These students set themselves the target of understanding every word and every sentence of the reading text – they are not satisfied unless they can reach this level of understanding. (more…)