As a language learner, reading takes up quite a bit of time! Literacy is an extremely important skill to build fluency. By practicing mindfulness while reading, you’ll improve both focus and retention. Whether you’re struggling to pay attention while reading or just looking to have a more pleasurable experience, these tips can help you improve your strategies.
Try reading aloud
Did you know that reading aloud can be a good mindfulness practice? Maybe you’ve caught yourself reading out loud to yourself and didn’t realize it. That’s because reading aloud is actually a great trick to focus on what you’re reading. I’m not talking about reading aloud at school and being self conscious of others listening to you- I mean in the comfort of your own home and privacy!
This method of reading can help you stay grounded in the present, since you’re both speaking and hearing yourself, using 2 of your senses at the same time. If you do feel like practicing with a friend, reading to each other is a great way to get feedback on your skills, too.
Reign in your wandering mind
You know that feeling when you’re reading and need to re-read paragraphs because your brain just isn’t processing what it’s saying? That’s a sign that you’re having a tough time focusing, and need to center yourself. Pausing and taking some deep breaths and doing a little bit of meditation can help you regain your focus.
If you’re not retaining what you’re reading, you aren’t helping yourself very much. It’s best to be focused when you’re reading. If you’re thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, other homework assignments, or other tasks or issues, it’s hard to be present. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, and come back to reading when you feel ready.