Listen to this post: Stop Daydreaming and Start Reading
You sit down on your couch and begin reading your homework assignment. But before you finish the first page, you call a friend about a gathering later on. Then you refocus yourself and begin reading again. However, since you can not remember what you just read, you start reading again from the top of the page. For a moment, you look out the window: a red robin is perched on your window sill, children are playing soccer next door, and a neighbor is walking her dog. You are noticing everything around you except the words that you are supposed to be reading. Then you start reading the same page for a third time only to discover that you have a craving. Giving into your craving, you abandon your book altogether in search of something tasty. Thirty minutes have passed and you are still on page one of your reading assignment! Has this ever happened to you?
An underlying problem with this situation is that you are not able to concentrate when reading, so it is easy for you to be distracted. Additionally, you do not have a good reading system that will help you to remember what you have read. So how do you improve concentration and develop an effective approach to your reading assignments? Without an ability to concentrate and without an effective reading plan, you will not do well on the TOEFL iBT.
- You must do large amounts of extensive reading both from a text and from a computer screen in order to develop concentration.
- Do not translate all the words from English into your own language.
- Do not use a dictionary to look up all the words you don’t understand.
- Do not read slowly and translate each word.
- Do not try to understand all the words on a page.
- Do not approach every reading assignment the same way.
Remember that your goal, when practicing reading, is to read daily for 45 minutes or more without stopping or taking breaks. Reading nonstop daily for an extended period of time will prepare you for rigiorous TOEFL iBT reading passages.
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