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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Reading

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Reading is a complicated process. It involves your eyes, brain, and ability to decode symbols. When you read well, it seems effortless; however, a lot is going on behind the scenes to make reading possible. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about how people read:

1) People can be taught to read at any age

Children aren’t the only ones who learn how to read. Literacy rates have improved dramatically worldwide because adults who couldn’t previously read are now able to do so due to literacy programs throughout the world. With help from trained teachers or volunteer tutors, almost anyone can learn how to read given enough time.

2) Reading is complicated

Reading doesn’t just involve sounding out words in your head. Rather, you must use your eyes to decode symbols into sounds, and then combine those sounds to create words and sentences before using context clues to understand the text. Reading is a very complicated process that can be greatly helped by comprehension strategies.

3) People use their knowledge of language when reading

When people read, they use knowledge about how written language works (i.e., orthography) as well as how spoken language works (i.e., phonology). For example, readers expect certain letters or combinations of letters to make specific sounds, even if they’re not spelled that way (“gh” makes /f/ sound, but “night” isn’t spelled with a “gh”). We also know how words are spelled based on how they sound. For example, the “ea” in the word “bread” usually makes a /i/ sound as in “beat”, as opposed to a long /a/ sound as in “bead”.

The same logic applies to understanding sentences. Readers use their knowledge of grammar and syntax to help them process what they’re reading. They rely on their memory for common sentence structures and patterns so that when something unexpected happens.

4) Reading is automatic once learned

People often say things like, “I don’t know how to read music,” or “I can’t even read my handwriting.” These statements aren’t completely accurate. People who have learned how to read at some point could learn the skill, but for whatever reason (e.g., no access to education), they never developed this ability. While it’s true that you may not be able to read everything (e.g., music notation), once you’ve learned how to read one thing, other types of reading are much easier because the process becomes automatic. Once your brain learns that certain squiggles equal sounds equals words, then it will remember that pattern and apply it in new situations like reading street signs or restaurant menus.

5) There are numerous methods to interpret a text

Some people like to use their fingers or a pencil to guide their eyes across the page when they’re reading. This is called tracking. Other people tend to move their eyes in short, rapid movements (called saccades), which results in skipping some parts of the text and focusing on others. Yet other people tend to fixate or stare at one spot on the page (usually the beginning) while they process what’s around it. People typically settle on one of these styles as they grow older; however, when you read with someone else, you might find yourself following different types of patterns than your partner because you’re each using a slightly different technique.

6) Not all languages are written the same way

Some languages are written from left to right (e.g., English, French), while others are written from right to left (e.g., Arabic) or top to bottom and then right to left in columns going down the page (Chinese). The direction a language is written affects reading patterns. For example, English readers typically have a longer fixation duration when they process words that go from left to right compared with top-to-bottom languages because tracking tends to be easier when processing text that moves from left to right on the page.

7) People don’t always read every single word

It’s estimated that people only actively process about 25% of what’s read. That means if someone reads something out loud, and you were to record it and play it back, you would most likely be able to understand the general meaning even though the specific words may be mispronounced or skipped. Readers can usually figure out what is missing by using context (e.g., “I went to the store yesterday but I couldn’t find any bread so I had to go home empty-handed.” vs. “Yesterday I went to the store but couldn’t find any bread so I had to go home empty-handed.”)

8) Reading is a skill that needs to be developed

Many of us take it for granted when we sit down to read that our brain automatically knows how to do this task. However, in reality, this task has been slowly acquired by most readers throughout their lives and isn’t an innate skill like walking. The fact that even very young children can learn how to speak without having had any formal instruction in language shows us just how powerful learning through experience can be, and includes reading.

9) Not many people read aloud anymore

In most cultures, it’s acceptable to do things like eating or chewing gum when reading. This means that most readers can simultaneously speak what they’re processing out loud (e.g., “I went to the store yesterday but I couldn’t find any bread so I had to go home empty-handed”). Some people even talk while they read silently (e.g., “I went to the store yesterday but I couldn’t find any bread so I had to go home empty-handed”). This type of speaking is called subvocalization and most people will engage in it when they’re reading because there’s a motor program associated with vocalizing words. Some people even feel like they can read faster if they say everything out loud, though this isn’t true unless you train yourself to do it.

10) People don’t always read smoothly or continuously

If you were to record someone while he or she was reading and play it back, you would likely see some pauses at the end of each line, which means that readers also do something called line-by-line regression (e.g., “Yesterday I went to the store but couldn’t find any bread so I had to go home empty-handed”). This is why some people have a habit of saying, “Go on,” or “And then what happened?” when someone reads out loud–they’re trying to get their partner to move on from one sentence and regroup before going on to the next line.


In conclusion, people don’t always read every single word, the type of text that’s being read affects how people will generally approach it, not many people read aloud anymore, and people don’t always read smoothly or continuously and may even go back and repeat things when they don’t understand it the first time. Reading is a skill that needs to be developed over time, people make guesses about what’s missing based on context, and reading is generally easier if you read words from left to right.

Author Bio:

Sarah has been writing for a decade and now for the Quran teacher near me Website. She obtained her Master’s degree at the University of London. Her main objective is to write insightful content for those people who read and like it.





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