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Mastering Pre-Reading Strategies: Unlocking the Secrets of Reading



Pre-reading strategies refer to the techniques and methods that a reader can use to enhance their understanding and retention of information before they actually begin reading a text. These strategies are designed to help readers build a foundation of knowledge, activate their prior knowledge, and establish a purpose for reading. Pre-reading strategies can be useful for readers of all ages and skill levels, and they are particularly important for struggling readers and English language learners.


The development and promotion of pre-reading strategies is largely attributed to the work of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Reading Panel (NRP), both of which have emphasized the importance of pre-reading activities in improving reading comprehension. The IRA is a professional organization that promotes literacy education, while the NRP is a U.S. government panel that reviewed research on reading instruction.

List of pre-reading strategies:

  1. Previewing: Previewing involves quickly scanning a text before reading it in depth. This helps readers get an overview of the text and identify key information, such as headings, subheadings, and bolded words. Previewing can help readers establish a purpose for reading and activate their prior knowledge.

  2. Activating prior knowledge: This strategy involves connecting new information to what the reader already knows. This can be done through brainstorming, discussing the topic with others, or recalling past experiences related to the topic. Activating prior knowledge can help readers make connections and better understand the text.

  3. Setting a purpose: Setting a purpose involves identifying why the reader is reading the text and what they hope to gain from it. This can be done by asking questions, such as "What do I already know about this topic?" or "What do I want to learn from this text?" Setting a purpose can help readers stay focused and engaged while reading.

  4. Making predictions: Making predictions involves using clues from the text to make educated guesses about what will happen next. This can help readers stay engaged and anticipate what's coming next, which can improve comprehension.

  5. Visualizing: Visualizing involves creating mental images based on the text. This can help readers better understand and remember the information, as well as make connections to their prior knowledge.

  6. Summarizing: Summarizing involves briefly restating the main points of the text in one's own words. This can help readers clarify their understanding of the text and remember key information.

  7. Vocabulary building: Vocabulary building involves identifying and learning new words before reading the text. This can help readers better understand the text and improve their overall vocabulary.

In conclusion, pre-reading strategies are an important component of reading instruction and can be used by readers of all ages and skill levels. By using these strategies, readers can build a foundation of knowledge, activate their prior knowledge, and establish a purpose for reading, which can improve comprehension and retention of information.

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