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Reading varies according to the purpose of reading, nature of reading material and speed of reading required. The reading types include prediction, scanning (search reading), skimming (surveying), and study reading.

Someone reading at the park

(a) Prediction: This means making intelligent guesses about what a book, a section or chapter of a book contains. This judgment is based on one’s assessment of a small sample of the book. This skill is particularly important when choosing what to read. Prediction works better when we know a lot about the subject in question. This is because it is easier for us to make predictions when we can relate the samples of new text to our existing knowledge. On the other hand, when our knowledge of the subject is limited, we will have to stretch our predictive ability in order to predict well.

(b) Scanning: This is one of the reading skills you require to locate information quickly. To locate specifically required information you need not read the entire text closely. You should use the technique of scanning, that is, glancing rapidly through or running your eyes over a text rapidly to locate specific information. Such information could be a date, name, a country in a map, a word in a dictionary, or encyclopedia, addresses, topic, or subject matter. Scanning is also known as search reading.

The index of the textbook is a useful place for information retrieval through scanning. Most information can be found in an index. However, the important thing here is to find the information as quickly as possible. With practice, you can become faster at scanning by narrowing the area you scan.

(c) Skimming: This is also known as surveying. It means reading to obtain a general idea of the content of the material. Skimming benefits from good sampling, that is, knowing where to look. This reading skill does not require that you read everything and so depends on good prediction skills.

When you want to buy a book from a bookstore or borrow a book from the library, you will need to sample portions of it to get an overall impression of its content; except where it is a book you are very familiar with. This survey is useful so you can discover as quickly as possible its organization, the topics covered, its level of difficulty, any special features, how up-to-date it is, as well as other publication details. The table of contents of a book is a good place to begin the survey.

(d) Study Reading:  While the other types of reading require rapid reading, study reading is done at a slower pace. It is neither fast nor slow because the student is careful to achieve accuracy and comprehension. Where the subject is unfamiliar or the language is beyond the level of the reader, there is considerable reduction in reading speed. When reading for an examination you engage in study reading. This type of reading requires that the reader takes notes, sometimes copious notes.

(e) Pleasure/Leisure Reading: This is the type of reading done as a hobby. An example is when you read a novel not for academic or study purposes but for entertainment. In leisure reading, the speed is much faster and one does not take particular note of many events. The idea of reading here is purely for enjoyment and fun. The usefulness of this kind of reading when the material is written in Standard English lies in its ability to foster vocabulary development and good writing skills. <br /> Sorry, you need inline frames to fully see this page.<br />

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