at the Right Level
the most out of your reading, you need to read material that
is appropriate for your reading level. If you are reading
material that is too hard, you will have trouble understanding
what the writer is trying to tell you.
main problem is that you will use too much time and energy
trying to find out the meaning of the words. In order to
fully understand what you are reading, your focus should be on
understanding how the pieces fit together, and not on figuring
out what the pieces are.
comprehension can be broadly grouped into three categories:
literal, interpretive, and applied. Understanding at the
literal level means that you are only getting the surface
meaning of what the writer tells you.
to the higher levels, you have to be good at reading between
the lines. For example, the writer does not have to tell you
his character is rich if he is shown driving around in a new
Mercedes. However, our inference changes if he is shown
driving around in his rich friend’s new Mercedes. A higher
level understanding of the reading might mean that you not
only know what the character does and why he does it, but also
what he would do in other, similar situations.
the big picture, you need to understand at least 80% of the
words. If you cannot read the sentences at a normal talking
speed, the reading is probably too tough for you. This is
also true if the sentence construction is too long or
complicated for you to follow.
Newspapers vary widely in their readability index. The free
local community papers are usually the easiest to read, with a
grade 5-6 target readership. The Province is slightly
higher at 6-7, the Vancouver Sun is roughly at 8-10,
and the Globe and Mail even higher at 10-12.
also check out the readability index of any piece of writing
by typing a paragraph or two into Microsoft Word and pressing
the F7 key. (If this doesn’t work, make sure that the “show
readability statistics” option is checked in the Spelling &
Grammar tab under Tools > Options.) By the way, this article
is rated at 9.8.
Remember to start at a comfortable level and work your way up.
your reading comprehension here.
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