Train skimming outside of FrontRead

One of the strategies that the FrontRead training is based on is skimming. That is, reading a text rapidly to get an overall understanding of its content.

Why is skimming so important? The ability to skim a text gives students a way to quickly review the content and judge the relevance of texts. In this way, skimming helps prepare students for a more thorough reading of the text later, where the awareness of what is waiting can deepen their understanding.

Skimming is an important strategy to acquire as in education and work we are confronted with an increasingly large number of texts. Thus, the ability to sort and assess the relevance can be crucial in many ways.

In the FrontRead program, the skimming speed is set based on our adaptive system. Skimming the text at a high speed prepares the student for answering the questions and primes them to push themselves to read faster.

Once a FrontRead course is complete, it’s important to know how to implement the new strategies and transfer them to general reading of fiction and non-fiction texts. Here are a few tips on how to do that.

How to train skimming outside of FrontRead

Use a speed card

The speed card, a piece of paper or cardboard that is placed over previously read text, is an ideal way to train skimming in analogue texts. The speed card helps the learner to keep up the pace and avoids skipping backwards.

Practice 3-3-3 minutes in analogue texts (also called minute reading)

Students find a text they want to practice with and set a 3-minute timer for each reading. With this technique, students first read for 3 minutes as fast as they can. Next, they skim the piece of text for 3 minutes. Finally, the finish by reading the piece of text normally for 3 minutes.

Make use of questions

Ask students to skim the text. After skimming, students are given four questions about the text before reading the text again. This way, you also work specifically on activating prior knowledge or preunderstanding, and the students are even better prepared to read the text again, as they now have a clear sense of what is important to focus on while reading.