The IELTS tests are widely recognized by universities across English speaking jurisdictions as a sufficient accreditation of a candidate’s fluency in the language. When you sign up for an IELTS course in Singapore, the main focus is to help you comprehend English texts and conversations.
Reading comprehension is vital because it supports listening, writing and speaking abilities. Pre-reading activities are important in your journey to improve comprehension. Below is an explanation of how pre-reading helps to boost your comprehension along with a few pre-reading activities that you can do.
How Pre-Reading Activities Help Language Learners
As someone who’s learning a new language, you may find it hard to understand some texts without any background information. There are also certain topics which may be completely unfamiliar with. Language teachers generally agree that for a learner to comprehend a text or a conversation, he or she must be 90% familiar with the topic. Otherwise, a learner may read but fail to comprehend the content. Signing up for an IELTS course is an excellent idea if you are preparing to sit for an IELTS test. The tutors will introduce you to topics that are commonly featured in the tests.
Building Mental Images
To comprehend the context and content of unfamiliar texts, learners need to build mental images of the character, events or settings in a text. For instance, if the text is set up during winter, pre-reading activities such as watching pictures of snow or short videos of the season will help to develop the necessary background information. These activities will also help you create mental images and enhance your comprehension of the text.
Connecting the Text with Personal Knowledge
Before reading a text, an IELTS tutor will enquire from the learners what they already know about the topic and this could form a brief discussion before the class starts. You can also do the same with fellow learners before indulging in a text. For instance, if it’s a text about a safari in Africa, you may talk about wildlife. When you read the text, the earlier discussion activates what you already know about wildlife. This will help you to connect with the content of the text. This connection enhances your comprehension and improves your ability to draw inferences.
Running through a list of vocabulary words that are regularly used in a particular topic will enhance your fluency and comprehension tremendously. For instance, you may be familiar with the idea of visiting a doctor for treatment. However, terminologies such as surgery, consultation, injection, and prescription may be unfamiliar to you. When you run through a list of common vocabulary words in a particular topic, you can read more fluently and connect ideas easily.
Ultimately, expanding your vocabulary will enhance your comprehension. This is especially important for the IELTS exam preparation since the tests are timed. Your ability to understand a word the first time you read it or hear it is vital.
Sharpen Your General Knowledge
Lastly, learning new topics and sharpening your knowledge about familiar subjects before reading also boosts comprehension. It works in the same way as familiarizing yourself with vocabulary. However, this time, you acquaint yourself with the subject that is being addressed.For instance, sharpening your knowledge about the concept of autocracy before reading a text about the ancient Roman Empire or the former Soviet ruler Stalin, will help you to think as you read. You will ask questions and get more insight about the topic at hand and this will, in turn, enhance your comprehension.