Online Resources

Reading Skills Website

READING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM | READING SKILLS POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS | READING EXERCISE | READING QUESTIONS | ANSWER KEYS

WELCOME!
The Reading Skills website is a resource for Bloomfield College students to utilize in improving their reading skills in all content areas.

Reading well is vital to success in all college courses. Since college course textbooks require higher-level reading skills, students can utilize the links provided at this site to learn how to comprehend difficult materials in any discipline, analyze those materials, and evaluate them critically. This site contains resources for reading tutors as well, which they can utilize in assisting Bloomfield College students to succeed in any discipline.

Finally, for faculty we have recommendations for teaching reading across the curriculum.


 READING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

Recommendations for Improving Reading Comprehension in Your Courses

In my experience, very common problems in reading comprehension among college students are as follows:

  • The students believe they understand the assigned readings.
  • The students understand the readings at purely a literal level.
  • The students lack the necessary background information to interpret the assigned readings.
  • The students lack the ability to infer an author’s tone.

Based upon these observations, I would like to make the following recommendations:

  • Prior to having students read, provide information on the time and location in which the story or essay is set.
  • Provide biographical information on the author beyond what is included in the text.
  • Have students research some of this information themselves and share their findings in class.
  • Make sure students keep at least some form of reading journal. In class, have them share questions that arise regarding the stories or essays, which should be included in their journal entries.
  • Make sure students take notes during classroom discussions of the assigned readings. They don’t seem to be doing this.
  • Read some of the shorter selections together in class and guide the students throughout the reading. Show them how to infer that an author is being facetious, ironic, or humorous, instead of being serious.
  • If discipline-specific writings are included, invite a professor from that discipline into your classroom to give a lesson on the subject your students are reading about. For example, if works by Socrates are being included in an English course, invite a member of the philosophy department into your class to teach your students about Socrates, Plato, and ancient Greece.
  • Choose reading selections that are interrelated thematically. This will help students view the readings in context.

Some examples from my interactions with English 106 students are as follows:

 

  • In “University Days” one student thought the author was describing his contact lens when in fact he was writing about the lens in a microscope.
  • The same student couldn’t understand why the author wrote about his experiences at the university and suddenly shifted to his experience in the military. I had to point out to her that the military drill was part of the university’s requirements for students. This was stated in the story, but she needed some understanding that the author was attending the university during World War II. There were many differences in educational requirements during that time from the requirements of present-day higher education. Knowing this before reading the essay could have helped the student detect the author’s tone and enhanced her comprehension.

  • In “On Seeing England for the First Time,” one student took Jamaica Kinkaid’s remarks about growing up in Antigua, a former colony of Great Britain, as being sincere. She entirely missed the fact that the author resented the reverence with which her parents and teachers treated England and its culture. An in-class guided reading of this selection would have helped her and possibly other students make this inference. Background information about the history of Antigua and the environmental differences between England and Antigua would have helped her understand why it was ridiculous to practice English customs in a tropical climate.
  • In summary, read the assignments from the viewpoint of the students. Assume little or no prior knowledge about the subject and provide or guide students in finding all the background information necessary for truly appreciating and understanding the text.

ONLINE READING SKILLS PRESENTATION


 

READING SKILLS
PPT PRESENTATIONS

READING
EXERCISE

ANSWER
KEYS

Context Clues

Word Parts

Main Idea

Patterns of Organization

Signal Words

Drawing Inferences

Author's Purpose

Critical Reading

SQ3R

Reading a Math Textbook

Reading for a History Course

Reading an Essay

Synthesizing Texts

Context Clues

Word Parts

1. Main Idea
2. Extra Main Idea

1. Patterns of Organization
2. Extra Patterns of Organization

1. Supporting Details
2. Extra Supporting Details

1. Drawing Inferences
2. Drawing Inferences

Reading Practice

The Story of an Hour

A Rose for Emily

Thomas Edison

Arthur Conan Doyle

Context Clues

Word Parts

1. Main Idea
2. Extra Main Idea

1. Patterns of Organization
2. Extra Patterns of Organization

1. Supporting Details
2. Extra Supporting Details

1. Drawing Inferences
2. Drawing Inferences

Reading Practice

The Story of an Hour

A Rose for Emily

Thomas Edison

Arthur Conan Doyle

 


READING QUESTIONS