Selective Reading Meaning, Definition, Parts, Examples & Types

Selective Reading Meaning

“Selective reading is a process of reading with purpose. Instead of running through a text that might have no practical and esthetic value to you. Reading with purpose will mean only reading texts that keep useful information.

Selective Reading Definition

Selective reading is reading specific parts of a text, which is something concrete that what information you want is selected. The main goal is to get a general idea of ​​what the text is about. An example is, in a biography of Albert Einstein, reading only the titles of each chapter.

Selective reading or pre-reading is the first phase of reading (together with reading and post-reading) and consists of activities that prepare the student for the reading that will follow. Through these activities, the aim is to improve the comprehension of the text through the activation of the previous knowledge of the reader.

It also seeks to promote the formation of a general idea of ​​the text and the planning of ways to face the reading activity. In addition to improving comprehension, the selective reading phase and the activities within it improve reading speed and accuracy, reducing time and effort.

Selective reading also clarifies to the student the objective of the reading. The type of activity chosen for this phase will depend on the teacher‘s criteria, the characteristics of the students and the type of text to be read.

Some can be leafing through the text, identifying characteristics (title, author, photos, subtitles), or predicting what will be read, among others.

Selective reading characteristics

Selective reading activities are a kind of “warm-up” before reading, and they can be very different from each other. These activities can be differentiated by the duration and level of involvement they require from the student.

For example, showing students photos requires less involvement on their part than asking them to relate their experiences to what they think they will read. Using selective reading activities is helpful because:

  • Stimulates students’ interest in the text, using the motivational factor to improve reading comprehension. This can be done by showing sensory input related to the text (music, pictures, etc.) or talking about your own experiences related to that text.
  • Give a reason to read, as it is normal that students do not have an intrinsic motivation to do so. Through selective reading activities, readers may discover that the text can be read for pleasure, to search for specific information, or to discover something.
  • It prepares the student for the language that they will encounter in the text since it is normal that not everyone can fully understand the text, and this can make reading slower and require more effort. Because of this, selective reading activities can introduce key vocabulary, and discuss the context of the reading, or other resources.

Parts of a selective reading activity Selective reading definition

Selective reading activities are divided into two parts:

  • The part corresponding to the teacher
  • The part corresponds to the students.

For example, in a pre-reading activity, the teacher’s part may be to ask students about the information they have read before; And the part that corresponds to the student may be to remember something that he has seen recently and to identify some characteristics of that particular text.

Types of selective reading

  1. Graphic organizers
  2. Advance Guides
  3. History impressions
  4. Semantic mapping
  5. Identification of structure and relevant information
  6. Visual material analysis
  7. Identification of main ideas
  8. Presentation of the text

Selective reading examples

Let’s look at some examples of selective reading:

  • Read a single chapter of a didactic book.
  • Read only the subtitles of an article on a web page.
  • Read only a specific section of a web page. (To read only the examples in this section would be to do a selective reading).
  • In an article about the giraffe, read only the reasons why it is in danger of extinction.
  • In a book on global warming, inform yourself only about polluting gases.
  • In a book about social networks, inform yourself only about their disadvantages.
  • Read only the first few pages of a novel.
  • Read only the notes in a book.
  • Read only the index of a book.

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