February 21, 2023

As an educator teaching English in a non-English speaking country, you likely face the challenge of helping your students improve their reading speed in English. Here are seven tips to help your students read faster and more efficiently.

7 tips for non-native English speakers to improve their reading speed

Practice regularly

Just like any other skill, reading speed requires practice. Encourage your students to read in English as often as possible, and set aside time for regular reading exercises. You could start with short articles or stories and gradually increase the length and complexity of the reading material as their skills improve.

Improve vocabulary

A strong vocabulary can significantly improve reading speed. Encourage your students to read and learn new words every day. You could also provide them with a list of high-frequency words and encourage them to practice using them in context.

Eliminate subvocalization

Subvocalization, or silently pronouncing words as you read, slows down your reading speed. Encourage your students to focus on phrases and chunks of words, rather than individual words. They can also practice using their peripheral vision to take in more words at once.

Use a pacer

A pacer is a tool that helps readers keep a steady pace. Encourage your students to use a pacer, such as a finger or pen, to guide their eyes and help them read more quickly. This will also help them avoid regression, where they go back and reread previous words or lines.

Learn to scan

Scanning is a reading technique that involves quickly scanning a page to find specific information. Encourage your students to practice scanning to help them read more quickly. They can start by looking for keywords or phrases and gradually move on to larger sections of text.

Minimize distractions

Distractions can significantly slow down reading speed. Encourage your students to read in a quiet, distraction-free environment. They can also use noise-cancelling headphones or white noise to block out external distractions.

Use technology

Technology can be an excellent tool for improving reading speed. The myON platform, for example, provides a wide range of digital books and resources, along with tools to help students improve their reading skills. Features like audio narration and highlighting can help students improve their comprehension and reading speed. The myON platform also includes assessments that provide valuable insights into your students’ reading abilities, allowing you to tailor your instruction to their individual needs.

By incorporating these tips into your instruction and using the myON platform, you can provide your students with the tools and resources they need to improve their reading speed and comprehension in English. With regular practice and the right techniques, your students can develop the skills they need to succeed in their academic and professional endeavours.

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