Module 3: Success in Reading

Welcome to Module 3 — Success in Reading

Unlike listening and speaking, the skills of reading and writing are not acquired naturally as we grow up. These two skills, also called literacy skills, are crucial to success in school and later life. This module will discuss the skill of reading, which helps a student to improve various areas of language such as vocabulary, grammar and comprehension.

Reading is a complex skill involving several sub-skills and can be developed only through practice. Children who read actively from childhood have a wider range of vocabulary, can read faster and understand better, and find it easier to express themselves when they are adults. Children who do not have a habit of reading often find themselves unable to articulate their thoughts and feelings adequately. As they lose practice in reading, they begin to read more slowly. This is dangerous, because slow reading requires more effort, which makes it easy to give up. So here we have a vicious circle: we do not read because we cannot read fast, and because we do not read enough, we cannot improve our reading speed and reading comprehension.

In most parts of the world, people are deeply concerned about low literacy skills, which can result in an increase in school dropout rates. Parents and teachers of competent readers know that children have to be initiated into reading with loving care and patience; and interest and competence in it has to be nurtured and developed over many years.

This module will help you motivate reluctant or poor readers to begin to take an interest in reading by learning to use the sub-skills of reading. It will help you introduce students to the different strategies that efficient and fluent readers use to comprehend different types of passages. The module will also deal with some common reading weaknesses and how to overcome them, and should encourage teachers to conduct action research by taking a critical look at their classroom practices.

Is this module for you?

This module is intended for teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level.

Module objectives

The objectives of this module are to enable teachers to:


  • assess their students’ competence in reading and their motivation to read,

  • prepare and execute a reading programme for their students,

  • use a task-based interactive approach to enhance students’ understanding of the reading process, and

  • demonstrate the use of strategies that increase the efficiency and speed of reading.

Module outcomes

Upon completion of Module 3 — Success in Reading you will have:


  • used various activities and classroom strategies to build your students’ confidence in reading,

  • made students aware of the reading mistakes they should avoid,

  • created opportunities for your students to engage actively in reading,

  • trained your students to read silently with better understanding, and

  • equipped your students with reading skills and strategies they can use for effective learning across the curriculum.

Time frame

How long?

You will need approximately 15 weeks to finish this module — eight weeks for formal study and seven weeks for self-directed study — to complete all the activities recommended.

This is a distance learning programme, thus the time frame is flexible and largely self-directed.

Study skills

Study skills

As an adult learner your approach to learning will be different from that of your school days: you will choose what you want to study, you will have a professional and/or personal motivation for doing so and you will most likely be fitting your study activities around other professional or domestic responsibilities.

Essentially you will be taking control of your learning environment. As a consequence, you will need to consider performance issues related to time management, goal setting, stress management, etc. Perhaps you will also need to reacquaint yourself with such things as essay planning, coping with exams and using the Web as a learning resource.

Your most significant considerations will be time and space; that is, the time you dedicate to your learning and the environment in which you engage in that learning.

We recommend that you take time now — before starting your self-directed study — to familiarise yourself with these issues. There are a number of excellent resources on the Web. For example:

The “How to Study” website is dedicated to study skills resources. You will find links for tips on study preparation (a list of nine essentials for a good study place), taking notes, strategies for reading textbooks, using reference sources and coping with test anxiety.

This is the website of Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs. You will find links to tips on time scheduling (including one called “Where Does Time Go?”), a study skill checklist, basic concentration techniques, how to take control of your study environment, note taking, how to read essays for analysis and tips on developing memory skills (“Remembering”).

Another “How to Study” website with useful links to learning about time management, efficient reading, questioning/listening/observing skills, getting the most out of putting your knowledge into practice, memory building, staying motivated and developing a learning plan.

The above links are our suggestions to start you on your way. At the time of writing these Web links were active. If you want to look for more go to and type “self-study basics,” “self-study tips,” “self-study skills” or a similar combination.

Need help?


Contact your Google Group support email, SMS number or your tutor.

Group email: