Illustration of students improving Reading SkillsReading Skills

Do you want to improve your English reading skills? Better reading can help you understand more, learn new words, and think more clearly. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a professional, or just like reading for fun. Getting better at reading can make a big difference in your life.

English stands as the most widely used language for reading and communication, with over 1.2 billion users for reading or writing purposes.

(Source: Ethnologue, 2023)

We’ll share practical tips and strategies for improving your English reading skills in this article. Let’s get started and find out how you can become a better reader in English!

Around 14% of the world’s adult population (824 million individuals) lack basic reading and writing skills.

(Source: UNESCO, 2023)

Start with the Basics of Active Reading Skills

Engage with the text

Readers can engage with the text by asking themselves questions or making predictions. Taking notes while reading is helpful for understanding and remembering the material.

It’s effective to jot down important points, summarize paragraphs, and write down questions. Visualizing the text by creating mental images of events, characters, or concepts can aid in understanding and retention.

Take notes

Taking notes while reading can be done by underlining or highlighting key information, writing summaries of paragraphs or sections, and jotting down questions. This helps the reader engage more actively, leading to better comprehension and retention of information.

By processing the information more deeply, readers can better understand the text. Organizing notes can make it easier to reference later on.

Summarize what you read

Summarizing what you read can help improve your English reading skills. It allows individuals to break down complex information into manageable pieces. By summarizing, they can identify the main ideas and key details, making it easier to understand and remember the content.

Taking notes while summarizing is important because it helps readers jot down key points, aiding in retaining important information and referring back to it when needed.

Summarizing and comprehension techniques both emphasize extracting and understanding the most important aspects of a text. Engaging with the material at a deeper level through summarizing can enhance overall comprehension and retention of information. This skill can be applied to various types of texts, including articles, stories, and textbooks, making it valuable for improving English reading proficiency.

Learn New Vocabulary

Learning new vocabulary can be fun and easy. Just use context clues to understand unfamiliar words while reading. Identify surrounding words and phrases to figure out the meaning of the new word.

Creating flashcards with the word on one side and its definition on the other can help with memorization. Try to use the new words in daily reading and conversations to reinforce learning. Word games and puzzles, like crossword puzzles and vocabulary quizzes, can also make learning vocabulary engaging.

These practical techniques can help expand English reading skills and enrich vocabulary in a meaningful way.

Visualize the text

Visualizing the text can help readers understand and remember what they read. One way to do this is to form mental images of the characters, setting, and events in the text. Another technique is to create a mental movie of the story, picturing the scenes and actions as if watching a film.

Focusing on descriptive details can also help construct a vivid mental picture of the story. Visualizing the text engages the reader’s imagination and enhances their overall understanding of the material.

Actively picturing the content as they read helps individuals stay engaged and absorb the information. This can be especially helpful with complex or challenging texts, aiding in deciphering and retaining the material.

Know Simple Grammar Rules

Understanding simple grammar rules is important for improving English reading skills. It helps with subject-verb agreement, proper punctuation usage, and basic sentence structure. For instance, knowing the difference between “their,” “there,” and “they’re” can prevent confusion.

Simple grammar rules lay the foundation for language comprehension and fluency, enabling readers to accurately interpret sentences. Without this understanding, readers may struggle to grasp the intended message.

How to Improve English Reading Skills by Reading More

Read aloud

Reading aloud is a great way to get better at English reading. When you read out loud, you practice saying words correctly and with emotion. It also helps you learn new words and understand what you’re reading. This can make you feel more sure of yourself and better at speaking and reading. Doing read-aloud every day can give you many benefits. Your speaking and writing will get better, you’ll remember things more, and you’ll be a better listener.

To do read-aloud well, choose things you like to read and that aren’t too hard. Try using different voices and read slowly, emphasizing important words. If you have trouble saying words right, practice with someone who can help you.

Set a Daily Reading Goal

Setting a realistic daily reading goal is important for improving English reading skills. For instance, aiming to read for at least 20 minutes a day can be a good starting point. This habit can enhance vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. To stay motivated, using reading apps can help set goals, track progress, and receive reminders. Keeping a reading log to monitor daily progress is another effective strategy.

By consistently meeting a daily reading goal, individuals can steadily improve their English skills and build a strong language foundation.

Strong reading skills are associated with higher income levels, educational attainment, and overall well-being. 

(Source: OECD, 2023)

Read a variety of materials

Reading a variety of materials can improve your English reading skills. It exposes you to different writing styles, vocabulary, and sentence structures. By reading different materials, you challenge yourself to understand different perspectives, enhancing your critical thinking skills.

You can read novels, short stories, newspapers, magazines, academic articles, and online blogs. This variety enhances reading comprehension and vocabulary. It helps you gain a deeper understanding of different topics, cultures, and ideas.

Reading a variety of materials exposes you to a wider range of vocabulary, enabling you to better express your thoughts and understand the meaning of words in different contexts. The more you read, the better you can adapt to different writing styles and improve your overall language proficiency.

Join a book club or online reading community

Joining a book club or online reading community can help improve English reading skills. Engaging in discussions and gaining exposure to diverse perspectives can enhance comprehension and vocabulary. Analyzing literary works can also develop critical thinking skills.

Literacy rates worldwide have risen significantly in recent decades, reaching 86.3% in 2015. However, significant disparities exist across regions and demographics, with adult literacy rates below 50% in some countries.

(Source: UNESCO, 2023)

Feedback from others can identify areas for improvement. To find a club, research local libraries, bookstores, or community centers. Online communities can be found on social media, forums, or dedicated websites.

Consider the types of books and meeting frequency when choosing a community.

Mix Up What You Read

Mixing up what you read can help improve your English reading skills. By reading different materials like novels, newspapers, and magazines, you can enhance your vocabulary, comprehension, and overall language skills.

English is the most widely used language in the academic and professional spheres, making strong reading skills crucial for success in various fields.

(Source: British Council, 2023)

Reading diverse genres and styles can also help you understand various writing techniques and perspectives, ultimately improving your reading abilities. It’s important to read a variety of materials to avoid getting stuck and to broaden your exposure to different types of language use.

Varying reading materials ensure you’re exposed to different vocabularies, writing styles, and content, leading to a well-rounded understanding of the language. Try reading different genres such as fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, and mystery.

Incorporating newspapers, biographies, and poetry into your reading routine can also expand your language skills.

Pick Quality Material

To improve English reading skills, start by picking high-quality reading material. Look for texts at the right reading level, well-edited, and written by respected authors. Quality material exposes you to proper grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure while providing engaging content. It helps you practice comprehension, which is crucial for improving English skills. It also offers challenging yet achievable content, encouraging you to build vocabulary and strengthen reading comprehension.

Find Books You Enjoy

Finding books you love is easy. Start by considering your interests and hobbies. Explore genres like history, mystery, or fantasy. Trying different authors and styles can expand your reading preferences. Get recommendations from friends, family, or teachers. Also, browse bookstores, libraries, or online lists. By broadening your literary horizons, you can discover hidden gems that cater to your tastes.

Enjoying books is important. It fosters genuine interest in reading and encourages you to read more. This improves your vocabulary, comprehension, and overall literacy skills. It makes you a more proficient and confident reader.

Read Articles Online

Reading articles online can improve English reading skills. One way is by actively engaging with the content. Asking questions, summarizing key points, and making personal connections can help with comprehension. It can also enhance vocabulary and understanding of different writing styles. Memory techniques like visualizing information and creating mental associations can aid in improvement. Taking brief notes while reading is also helpful.

These methods can enhance English reading abilities for academic, professional, and personal growth.

Develop Reading Habits

To develop better reading habits for understanding and remembering, try these strategies:

  • Ask questions about the text.
  • Visualize and summarize the information.
  • Connect the text to your own experiences.
  • Break the reading into smaller sections.
  • Practice skimming and scanning.

For improving English reading skills and vocabulary:

  • Read every day.
  • Play word games.
  • Use a dictionary or thesaurus.

To diversify reading material:

  • Read novels, articles, and non-fiction.
  • Expose yourself to different writing styles and subjects.

To enhance memory and understanding:

  • Make associations.
  • Create mental images.
  • Take notes.

By using these strategies, you can improve your English reading skills and better understand what you read.

Use online resources

Improving English reading skills is easy with online resources like e-books, audiobooks, and reading platforms. These offer a variety of materials, including fiction, non-fiction, news, and essays. Interactive exercises, quizzes, and vocabulary-building apps help expand vocabulary, while grammar websites enhance understanding of grammar rules.

Standardized tests like PIRLS, PISA, and TIMSS assess reading comprehension skills in different age groups and across countries.

(Source: IEA, 2023)

Online forums, book clubs, and social media groups focused on literature and language learning allow individuals to discuss and analyze texts, strengthening their reading skills. Take advantage of these resources to develop and enhance English reading skills.

Comprehension Techniques

Skimming and scanning

They are two different reading techniques. Skimming means quickly reading to get a general idea, while scanning is looking for specific information. These techniques help improve English reading skills by making the reader quicker and more efficient in understanding written information. They also help in finding the main ideas and important details effectively, which improves overall comprehension.

For instance, when skimming, readers might look at headings, subheadings, and the first and last paragraphs. When scanning, readers focus on keywords or phrases relevant to their purpose. By using skimming and scanning, learners can become better at understanding and interpreting English text.


When you want to get better at reading in English, summarizing what you’ve read is important for understanding. To summarize effectively, you need to find the main idea and the most important points, and then make the information shorter. Summarizing helps you understand the material better and remember it. It also lets you focus on the main points and important details, making it easier to recall and understand the material.

This skill helps you connect different readings, leading to a deeper understanding and better reading skills overall.


Visualization helps improve English reading skills. When a reader creates mental images of the text, it becomes easier to understand and remember the information. For instance, in a passage about a beach, one can picture the sand, waves, and seagulls, making the scene come alive. This enhances comprehension by providing a clearer picture of the setting and story details. To practice visualization, start with a simple passage and try to picture the events and details in your mind.

With practice, this skill helps readers become better at creating mental images while reading, leading to improved English reading skills.

Asking questions

Active reading is important for improving English reading skills. By engaging with the text, readers can better understand and remember the material. One way to do this is by asking questions while reading. This helps readers interact with the text and think deeply about the content.

For example, readers can ask, “What is the main idea?” or “How does this relate to what I know?” Another way is to predict what will happen next or summarize after each section. Asking questions while reading is vital for developing strong English comprehension skills.

How to Improve English Reading Skills with Memory Techniques

One way to get better at reading in English is to use memory techniques. These techniques help with understanding. There are a few ways to do this, like visualizing, making connections, and breaking information into smaller parts. When you picture the characters and places in a story, it can help you remember important things. Also, making connections between new words and words you know can help you remember them. It’s also good to read different kinds of stuff to practice these techniques.

This way, you’ll get better at remembering and understanding all kinds of things you read, like stories, news, and school stuff. If you use memory techniques and read different things, you can improve your English reading.

Vary Your Reading Material

Improving English reading skills involves reading a variety of materials. This helps expand vocabulary, develop comprehension, and enhance overall reading abilities.

Reading fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, and online articles exposes individuals to different writing styles and perspectives. It also contributes to a more well-rounded understanding of the English language.

To diversify reading material, individuals can explore different genres and subscribe to various publications or access digital platforms. These strategies can help them continuously challenge themselves and develop a more comprehensive English reading skill set.

Use Tricks to Improve Reading Skills

To improve reading skills, you can use memory techniques such as chunking and visualization. Chunking involves breaking text into smaller sections, while visualization encourages mental pictures of events or concepts. These techniques can enhance memory retention and comprehension.

Another helpful trick to improve reading skills is practicing effective comprehension techniques. This includes summarizing sections after reading, making predictions, and asking questions.

By using these tricks and techniques, you can enhance your English reading skills and become a more proficient reader.

Don’t be afraid to reread

Rereading is an important skill for improving English reading comprehension. It allows the reader to pick up on details and subtle nuances that might have been missed during the initial reading. Rereading the same text multiple times also aids in enhancing memory retention and a deeper understanding of the material.

One practical way to effectively reread a text is by breaking it down into smaller sections or paragraphs, focusing on one at a time. This allows the reader to absorb and comprehend the material more thoroughly. Another strategy is to take notes while rereading, jotting down key points or questions to revisit later.

These strategies can significantly contribute to an individual’s overall comprehension and retention of English reading material.

Final thoughts

To improve English reading skills, follow these steps:

  1. Practice reading different types of material, such as fiction and non-fiction.
  2. Increase your vocabulary by reading challenging material and looking up unfamiliar words.
  3. Take notes and summarize main points to improve comprehension.
  4. Consider joining a book club or discussion group to engage with others and deepen understanding.

Future Trends of Reading

  1. Personalized learning: Educational platforms and resources are increasingly employing adaptive learning and individualized instruction to personalize reading practice and cater to diverse learners. (Source: Knewton, 2023)
  2. Interactive storytelling: Digital technologies like augmented reality and immersive multimedia formats offer new possibilities for engaging and interactive reading experiences. (Source: The Guardian, 2023)
  3. Focus on critical thinking: Reading comprehension will move beyond just factual recall, emphasizing critical analysis, information evaluation, and problem-solving skills. (Source: Common Core State Standards Initiative, 2023)

FAQs about reading Skills

What are some strategies for improving English reading skills?

Some strategies for improving English reading skills include setting aside dedicated time for daily reading, practicing active reading techniques such as summarizing and making connections, and gradually increasing the complexity of reading materials. Additionally, using tools like online dictionaries and reading comprehension exercises can be helpful.

Are there any specific techniques for increasing reading comprehension in English?

Implementing strategies such as summarizing passages, asking questions while reading, and visualizing content can help improve reading comprehension in English. Additionally, practicing active reading by annotating and discussing texts can enhance understanding.

How can I expand my vocabulary while reading in English?

Look up unfamiliar words, make flashcards, and practice using them in sentences. Reading different genres will expose you to a wider variety of words. For example, if you enjoy fantasy novels, try reading science fiction or mystery for a change.

Are there any recommended books or genres to help improve English reading skills?

Yes, recommended genres include literary fiction, non-fiction, and young adult literature. Books like “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “1984”, and “The Catcher in the Rye” can help improve English reading skills.

Are there any online resources or apps that can assist in improving English reading skills?

Yes, online resources like Grammarly, Duolingo, and Newsela, as well as apps like Scribd and Kindle, can assist in improving English reading skills.

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

Leave a Reply