What reading skills should students aquire?
Student need to be able to skim a text – as if they were casting their eyes over its surface – to get a general idea of what it is about, just as with scanning, if they try to gather all the details at this stage, they will get bogged down and may not be able to get the general idea because they are concentrating too hard on specifics.
Wheter readers scan or skim depends on what kind of text they are reading and what they want to get out of it. They may scan a computer manual to find the one piece of information they need to use their machine, and they may skim a newspaper article to get a general idea of what’s been happening. But we would expect them to be less utilitarian with a literary work where reading for pleasure will be a slower, closer kind of activity
Reading for detailed comprehension, whether looking for detailed information or language, must be seen by students as something very different from reading skills mentioned above, when looking for details, we expect students to concetrate on the minutes of what they are reading.
One of the teacher’s main functions when training students to read is not only to persuade them of the advantages of skimming and scanning, but also to make them see that the way they read is vitally important.