ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learning to Read

Updated on June 12, 2012

How I Learned to Read Books

“Reading is so boring!” Or so I used to think.

I learned to read at a very young age. My mother used to read me stories every night before going to bed. I enjoyed it. I even read all the Bernstein Bears books after I learned to read on my own. It wasn't until around 4th grade that reading books and reading stories became extremely boring.

In school, we were forced to read well renowned books in the literature world such as The Red Badge of Courage. I actually hated this book as a kid. There were so many other stories that we had to read like that one and I couldn't stand it. Coincidentally, my reading comprehension skills were average. I wonder why...

As I continued my journey from the 4th grade until junior year in High School, my reading skills and comprehension skills plateaued and remained average at best. Reading had become a chore. I had to sit there and concentrate on all of those words on those endless pages. Reading a book seemed like an endless task. It felt like an eternity to finish reading one page. I hated it. I believe that it was my annoyance of reading that contributed to my mediocre reading and comprehension grades.

Reading Books is Fun!
Reading Books is Fun! | Source

Reading Books

Reading books remained a big chore for me until I was a junior in High School. I was fortunate to have an English teacher that changed my life forever. He inspired me to read books. He taught me how to read. How did he do it? Well, he did a few little things that any teacher could do. It certainly didn't work with all the students in my class. But if it worked for me, I'm sure there are other students out there that would reap the same benefits.

Looking back on that class, I realized that I didn't know how to truly read until then. In this hub, I'm going to share with you what we did in this class that taught me how to read the right way. I went from an average student with basic reading skills, (a B or C in reading comprehension), to an A student who excelled in reading, writing, and vocabulary.

Reading Class Strategies

My English teacher broke down our literature class into three main areas: vocabulary, writing, and reading. Everyday we had to learn 5 new vocabulary words and we were quizzed on them. Think about it, five words a day is so easy. It took me 10 minutes to memorize them. These vocab words also showed up in the books we were reading. My teacher said that if you see a new vocabulary word five times in a book, you will permanently memorize that word. This memorizing strategy worked for me.

Then we had to write one paragraph every night about a particular topic. Each paragraph would be part of a larger paper that included a thesis. The class would analyze and correct our writings during class together. The teacher had an old school projector that he would show on the wall so we could all see the paragraphs that we had written. This writing strategy of breaking down a paper into smaller steps was effective and allowed me to concentrate on my writing skills without being overwhelmed.

And finally, we had to read a certain number of pages every night from a fictional work that he assigned. Here is the list of books that we read in my class: Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Hobbit. These books completely changed my opinion about reading.

In literature class the next day, we would take a vocabulary quiz, we would analyze our writing skills, and we would take a reading test. The reading test was based on a chapter in one of the books above. Usually just five questions on the content of the story.

Teacher reading to class
Teacher reading to class | Source

Reading Activities

At the end of class, my teacher conducted a reading activity in which he would read out loud to us. It was reminiscent of being read to as a child. It was still effective even for teenage students!

He would read out loud to us the books that we were assigned. He would read them out loud with passion and express the nuances of the words. It was kind of theatrical in nature. This brought the stories to life as I heard him read them to us. After he did this reading activity a few times, something just clicked within me. From that point on, I could not stop reading and I improved my reading comprehension skills dramatically. It was a way of challenging us to use our imaginations when we read. It was the most effective reading activity from my experience.

Another reason I improved my reading comprehension was because the literature that my teacher chose was much more imaginative and creative. I discovered that I could recreate images in my mind as I read the books. For those of you who need help with reading, this could be a very good reading comprehension strategy for those of you that need improvement.

I found myself craving to open a novel and read what was inside. The summer after my junior year I read 11 works of fiction! The greatest benefit of my literature class was that I became a reader for life.

If you're not reading anything interesting in school, but you want to improve your reading comprehension skills, I would recommend that you start by reading a book that was used as a basis for a movie. If you know the movie well, you can use those images from the film to help you begin using your imagination when you read. It's kind of like reenacting the movie in your mind as you read the book.

What I Learned about Reading

Reading books opened up a whole new world to me. I learned that anything that you want to know about can be found in a book, (or the internet, but books came first). Anything that you want to learn how to do, can be found in a book and then put into practice in “real life.” Reading is a portal between the mind and matter. What I mean is that the mind intellectually learns and understands what is read, and matter is the tangible physical result of what you intellectually learned.

Learning to Read

Learning to read is one of the most important skills you can have. Without it, you'll miss so many opportunities in your professional and personal life. And besides, reading is pleasure.

Reading is pleasure
Reading is pleasure | Source

"Learning to Read" Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TheMusiconomy profile imageAUTHOR

      TheMusiconomy 

      6 years ago from New York City

      Thank you Annart! Yes indeed. Learning to read and read well is greatly determined by the teacher. I was deeply inspired by my literature teacher to read. I hope that my contribution to the education of others is a way of paying back the gift of reading that I've received.

      Even if other students have trouble with reading comprehension and never have the opportunity to have an inspiring teacher, I hope this hub will provide some useful tips that will help.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 years ago from SW England

      Great hub with an interesting slant on study by reading. It's so often down to the teacher; unfortunately, s/he can make the difference between success and failure. I'm glad you found such joy in reading and you're right that you can learn so much from books. There are many ways to help increase vocabulary and improve reading, and this is a good one, but it's the inspiration and involvement that makes the difference. You were lucky to finally come across such a good teacher. Great to share this so that others can benefit too! Voted up, interesting and useful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)