Reading Strategies – Scanning and Skimming

Scanning and skimming

Reading strategies are used to develop reading skills. Reading is fundamental to acquiring knowledge, information, increase vocabulary and facilitating interpretation.

Reading is not only based on the decoding of codes and symbols, therefore, to use the dictionary at all times, when you don’t know the meaning of a word, it becomes tiresome and unproductive.

Reading means extracting knowledge from a particular text. For this, when reading a text in English, it is not necessary to know the meaning of all words, but to understand the idea of the text.

Now we will see some strategies that can help you when reading a text:

SKIMMING

The Skimming reading strategy is a quick reading of a text, taking a fast look at it  to identify the idea or main theme of a given text. For example, when you open the newspaper, check the headline news and take a quick look over the story. When you do that you are applying the Skimming reading strategy.

If the text interests you, then you will read more carefully. By applying this strategy, you read the text without stopping in any specific word that you do not understand. You already apply this strategy in your native language texts, especially when the number of information and reading options are bigger. Now it is the time to do it in English too, when there is a need to know what a particular text is about.

See the text below:

Reading Strategy WhatsApp logo

Reading Strategies WhatsApp Description
 
Available: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8 [Acessed 16 April 2017]

“WhatsApp Messenger is a FREE messaging app available for iPhone and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to let you message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, and Voice Messages. “

Reading quickly through the informative text above you probably have an idea of ​​its main theme. If you were asked about the general idea of ​​this text, what would your answer be? Whatsapp application? That’s it. It was not necessary to know the meaning of each word to answer the question.

SCANNING

After applying the Skimming strategy, it is time to use the Scanning reading strategy. Scanning is a type of reading you do with more attention to details to find specific information in a certain text. Let’s continue using the previous text. You already know that it is the Whatsapp application. If you have the following question: In addition to messages, what else can we send and receive through Whatsapp? How much does it cost to download the app?

 

Reading Strategy WhatsApp logo
Reading Strategies WhatsApp Description Highlight
“WhatsApp Messenger is a FREE messaging app available for iPhone and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to let you message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, and Voice Messages. “

When asked, you need to go back to the text and look for specific information to answer the questions. Reading to look for specific information is what we call scanning.

 

TYPOGRAPHIC

Typographic can be defined as visual attributes of written language. They are marks that catch the attention of the reader and can be in form of numbers, symbols, drawings, tables and so forth. In the informative text we read above, which describes the Whatsapp, we could see the application symbol, which is a speech bubble with a phone inside. Anyone who already uses the application has already an idea what the text is about because of the drawing. So it is important, in addition to reading the text, to look for additional information that might help you  to understand what you are reading.

 

COGNATES

Cognate words, also called friends words, are words in two languages that have similar meaning, pronunciation and spelling. Many words, especially in the field of computer science, are cognate and help in understanding a text. However, we must take care with false cognates, or false friends, which are words with similar spelling and pronunciation in two languages, but they have a totally different meaning.