Post-Reading Activities to Improve your English Reading Skills
It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Once you have read a text, you may feel like you are done, but if you want to get the most out of it, there are a few different activities you can do. You can write your answers, but if you are short on time, you do not have to. Say them out loud to yourself, or to your study partner.
Think About the Characters more Deeply
If you are reading fiction, here are some ideas to think about the characters more deeply. This will help you understand the text as well as predict in future reading.
- Make a fact file about the main character. Some information you can include: appearance (What colour eyes does the character have? Hair? Is their hair curly, wavy, or straight? Long or short? Is the character tall or short? How old is the character? Who is in their family?
- Compare and contrast two main characters in the story. How are they the same? How are they different?
- Think of a situation that is not in the book. What would the main character do in that situation? Why do you think so?
- Usually, the main character in a story changes in some way by the end. How did the main character in the story you have just read change? How were they at the beginning? What was different at the end? What caused them to change?
- Consider one scene from a different character’s point of view. In English, we say every fight has three sides: your version, my version, and the truth. This is because all of us see the same event in different ways.
Think about the Plot More Carefully
Thinking about the plot more carefully will also improve your reading comprehension skills. Here are some ideas to help you consider the storyline more deeply.
- Make a timeline of important events in the story. How does one event lead to another?
- Where does the action occur? Make a list of important locations in the story. Would the story be the same in any location? Why or why not?
- When you read a book in English, write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Let the world know what you thought of the book.
Reading to Improve Grammar and Vocabulary
Of course, you can use reading to improve your grammar and vocabulary. As you read, circle or highlight any unfamiliar words. Use context clues to help you guess the meaning as you read. When you are finished reading for the day, add these words to your personal dictionary along with their definitions.
Even more English Reading Activities
Some other activities you can do to improve your English reading are:
- Write the sentence from the story with the definition, so you have an example of the word being used.
- Choose a part of speech you want to work on, such as adverbs. Find 10-15 examples of that part of speech and write them down. Again, you may want to write the entire sentence as an example.
- Look for metaphors and similes. Choose one scene, and find all of the metaphors and similes. What two things are being compared in each?
Like this English Reading Tip? There are 70 More!
If you found this English reading tip useful, then you’re going to love this book on Amazon, 71 Ways to Practice English Reading: Tips for ESL/EFL Learners. This tip about using post-reading activities to improve your English reading skills is straight from that book. There are 70 more tips just like this one.
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