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What are the types of reading in English?

The development of reading skills plays a big role in learning English. Tasks to check the formation of this skill are included in various exams developed to obtain the certificate of proficiency in English.

Most often, the understanding of the main content of what is read, the extraction of the necessary information from the text and a complete understanding of what has been read are checked at such exams.

Therefore, this article will be useful to those who learn and improve their English for their pleasure, and those who are preparing for the exams.

Reading modes

There are different reading modes and each of them has its own peculiarities. Those are scanning, skimming eyes, extensive reading and intensive reading. Also, reading modes are classified by the degree of involvement — active and passive.


This reading mode is aimed only at finding the necessary information in the text. It does not mean a complete immersion in the text and a deep comprehension of the facts, analysis of grammatical constructions. Often in this mode, the text is viewed for the presence of unfamiliar words, so that after their translation it will be more easy to read the text fully. This type of reading is also called «diagonal reading».


This reading mode is used to get to know and understand if this information is useful to you (you are viewing a book in a store or a magazine on the shelf before buying it). In this case, the text is also viewed quickly, but not as carefully as in the previous case. The goal is not to search for specific facts, but to evaluate the text for complexity, interest and a general storyline.

Extensive reading

The purpose of this type of reading is to get acquainted with new information. In this mode, people read art or scientific literature, without being distracted by new, unfamiliar words, if their meaning can be approximately understood from the context.

This type of reading implies the mastering of the general image and the receipt of new, unfamiliar information. It will be necessary to form and express your opinion about what you read or answer the questions.

Intensive reading

Typically, this type of reading is used in the study of English in order to intensively parse the proposed short, teaching text. With this type of reading, grammatical constructions, unfamiliar words and phrases are intensively examined.

Why should you give time to each of the reading modes mentioned above?

Because each of them provides different involvement in the text, different ways of perception and different time you spend thinking about what you have read. However, they all contribute to the improved understanding of written speech.

In addition, mastering all types of reading, you expand your vocabulary, learn grammatical constructions better and practice your spelling with the help of visual memorization.