‘Active learning’ approaches form a key alternative. Simply put, active learning is the process of learning via engaging with the content. It means students are interacting with the material in any way that can promote active thought, via ‘activities’ for learning or via re-framing the note-taking process to encouraging thinking about the material rather than transcribing the content.
Active reading takes place when students are proactively involved in the reading of a text. Active reading is about more than reading words in black and white and answering questions afterwards. Student engagement is important in order to optimize learning, so when you, as the teacher, get your students involved in what they are reading, they are more likely to better understand the meaning within the text.
Why Active Reading Is Important?
Active learning fosters understanding rather than memorization of facts; it encourages students to apply learning to different problems and contexts; it gives students more autonomy over their learning; and it helps students learn how to learn.
We live in an age in which infinite information is only a web browser away. And this is exciting. However, when it comes to the availability of information, more isn’t always better.
Often it’s hard to separate the garbage from the good stuff, the truth from spin. Actively reading a text, watching a newscast, or listening to the radio means to not passively accept what someone tells you as gospel. Instead, you’re in charge of your own education, your own truth making.
The Benefits of Active Reading:
• Gain a better understanding of the course materials as well as methods to read material for daily life.
• If you study smartly, you won’t have to take the extra time later when you try to cram for a test.
• Know your instructor’s expectations and purpose for the reading assignment.
Active Reading Process
There are four steps in the active reading process: previewing, marking, reading with concentration, and reviewing.
Previewing a text is an important part of the pre‐reading process because it activates the reader’s schema or background knowledge on a topic by helping the reader make connections to the article before they read it.
Underline or marking important words and phrases as you read. When you return to it later on, you can easily see which points you identified as important.
Read critically by asking questions of the text. Who wrote it? When? Who is the intended audience? Does it link with other material you’ve studied in the module? Why do you think it was written? Is it an excerpt from a longer piece of text?
Review passages that are difficult. Now that you’ve read the text, can you more easily identify the meaning of difficult passages? What can you look up that might help you dissect the text’s meaning.
How to start active reading for your preparation ?
Do this to summarise points, raise questions or challenge what you’ve read.
Find Faults when you read
Ask questions of the text: who wrote it? When? Who is the intended audience? Does it link with other material you’ve studied in the course?
Mark key words and phrases to help you understand the text
Phrases like ‘most importantly’, ‘in contrast’ and ‘on the other hand’ show where an important point is being made that you shouldn’t miss. This is useful if you don’t have much time to read a text thoroughly.
Summarise and Read the text to someone else
Explaining what you have read helps to fix it in your mind, and will also reveal parts that you haven’t understood as well as you thought. If you don’t want to explain aloud to another person, you can write a short explanation.
Make Active Reading a part of your Daily Routine
Active Reading for 15 minutes, just three times a week makes a huge difference in preparing for any exam and enhance reading ability Active reading can be done anytime, just make it a habit and you will get use to it.Also, that boosts your GK and current affairs preparation.
Many people recognize that each person prefers different learning styles and techniques. Learning styles group common ways that people learn. Everyone has a mix of learning styles. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well.
Reading not only has tremendous power when it comes to fueling the development of all aspects of language ability, its importance to the entirety of a human life in this day and age really can’t be overstated.