Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ways to Improve Your Reading Comprehension 加強閱讀文章的理解力

The primary obstacle my ESL students face in reading is understanding and combining the overall idea. They read every sentence carefully, look up each unknown word diligently, yet, at the end of the essay, they still have no clue what they had just read.

Their problem is this. Although they know the definition of each word, they do not have the skills to put the pieces together correctly. Reading doesn't have to be this challenging. Look at it like a puzzle, each word is a piece that fits somewhere.

First, understand the English grammar thoroughly, know the part of speech of the vocabulary you are unfamiliar with. Second, find the definition of the words according to their parts of speech. Lastly, put the words together, sentence by sentence, and summarize in your own words. Most importantly, before you even pick up a dictionary, read the entire paragraph by ignoring or guessing the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Try reading this paragraph (an excerpt from Studio Classroom Nov 2006 issue):
Even though Lin didn't choose a career in politics, he still lives up to his name. He serves society both culturally and socially. In 1999, he founded Cloud Gate 2, a dance group that fosters the talent of young choreographers.

career - noun; foster - verb; choreographer - noun; live up to - idiom

You should understand this passage without any difficulties. Try reading short novels and newspaper articles to improve your reading comprehension.

**Answer to vocabulary challenge: aquatic ~ aqua: water, -tic: relating to; defintion: relating to water


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