Improving Reading For IGCSE English Language I Oxford Open Learning
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Improving Reading For IGCSE English Language


It probably goes without saying, or is at least obvious, that reading is an important life skill. If you are studying for an IGCSE in English Language, it is particularly important. You may be struggling with reading the different fiction/poetry and non-fiction texts in the Pearson Edexcel anthology. Perhaps you panic a little when you see the different types of questions and what they are asking of you. Well, fear not because with some clear and simple steps, you can prepare yourself for what is required – so, read on and follow these top tips:

Reading Widely: For IGCSE, you are largely reading for a purpose – to write about texts in an examination scenario. But the more you read, the better. Try dipping into different non-fiction texts, such as quality newspaper articles or features from magazines – you could even try personal writing, such as extracts from an autobiography. Be critical: what is a text’s purpose? Who is it aimed at?

Revise: When it comes to the anthology, you will be reading different non-fiction and fiction/poetry texts. You will need to read them several times, though, to be familiar with them. They won’t all be assessed for TMAs so even if you haven’t written about one, you will still need to know it. Perhaps focus on different skills when reading – look for language devices, or narrative viewpoints. Remember: in the examinations, you will only be assessed on one of the non-fiction texts (plus an unseen text) and one of the fiction or poetry texts.

Recap: It is useful to write summaries of different texts. If you are partial to using a highlighter, look for key words – things that will help you with remembering the main points of the text. If you are creatively minded, you could represent your ideas more visually, such as through pictures. Basically, anything to help you with your recapping skills. You could even skim (to get an overview of the text) and scan (to focus on more specific detail).

So, there you have it. Essentially, the more you read, and the more critical you are of what you read, the better your understanding will be when it comes to examinations. Happy reading!

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