Strategies for Effective Reading

Reading is a major problem in developing countries. There is a prevalence of poor reading habits, especially in countries like Nigeria for instance. Even university undergraduates have poor reading habits.

Most students read principally to pass examinations. Remember, the common saying that if you want to hide a treasure from a Nigerian, hide it inside a book African culture is rooted in oral tradition. Therefore, anything written was considered alien to our culture.

This became deeply seated even in our educational system. Does it not surprise you that schools in Nigeria exist without reading materials, no libraries and there are no significant conscious efforts to reverse this trend?

Read Also: The Reading Process and the Goal of Reading

How many undergraduate students in Nigeria would get pocket money and remember to buy books? How many professors have personal libraries? Which Minister of Education in Nigeria, has addressed this malaise seriously in primary, secondary, and tertiary schools? Lip service all through.

At a University in Nigeria, a Professor saw the Vice-Chancellor in the university library and said ‗oh Prof; you came to the library? And the Vice-Chancellor, replied, library? I am already a Professor, what do I need the library for? Just imagine that.

Do you think the library will develop with that kind of disposition? The Professor, the head of the institution, the Vice-Chancellor says he does not need the library anymore since he has attained professorial status. This is the mentality that contributes to poor reading habits in developing countries.

The environment of our schools, homes and reading rooms has contributed to the development of poor reading habits. Discouraging situations where there is noise and other distractions, a lack of a conducive atmosphere for reading, a lack of electricity and a lack of reading space is a collective experience of rural and several cosmopolitan city dwellers.


The trend of poor reading habits must be checked. You must consciously develop reading habits that will guarantee your success in life. This is part of the reason for this course. Reading strategies are essential for useful reading.

Read Also: Reading Materials and Sources of Reading Materials

In fact, effective readers use strategies to understand what they read before, during, and after reading. To read effectively, make use of your prior knowledge, make predictions about the probable meaning of the text, and preview the book by skimming and scanning to understand the overall content.

When you read, ask questions in your mind, and think and reflect on the ideas and information in the text. At the end of your reading, relate what you have read to your experiences and knowledge, clarify your understanding of the book, and extend your knowledge in critical and creative ways (Cross-cultural literacy, 2018: 21).

In summary, this article discussed the different types of reading, ranging from skimming to general and close reading. We also classified reading into sub-vocalization, extensive and intensive reading.

When you read, ask questions, understand the text, make inferences, visualize, make connections, think to read, find the main ideas and think about the text, reading will be meaningful and rewarding.
In the real world of contemporary times, you cannot achieve significant progress without being able to read effectively.

Rote learning and the regurgitation of facts without understanding and application earn you little gain in this life. You cannot get an edge over others, be better at your job, or be a solution provider if you are not an avid reader.

Your purpose for reading determines how you read. An author put it succinctly, how you read matches why you‘re reading. If reading sounds like hard work, it is. Reading at the university level is difficult. Several students will not read. That is what sets you apart.

Read Also: Definition of Learning and its Importance

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