Session 2: Reading
Reading is important in all areas of life. We now have to take in a lot more information compared to 50 years ago and so reading is becoming more, not less, important. In education, reading well is a skill needed for all subjects. At work, it is often necessary to read a range of material for a range of reasons.
Everyone needs to be able to read in order to cope with everyday life, but for Functional Skills English Level 2 and Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 2, you must also be able to read well. This means being able to:
- read quickly
- say why what you are reading has been written, i.e. recognise its purpose
- recognise other people’s opinions in what you read
- take the information you need from what you read
- make judgements about what you read.
As you work through this session, remember that reading well will come with practice. It may feel like a slow process when you are first trying out your new reading skills, but you will definitely improve if you practise.
Throughout this session, you will be reading about ‘texts’. In this course, a ‘text’ does not refer to a message you send on your phone but to any piece of writing, long or short. A text can be a newspaper article, a letter, a leaflet, a report, a poster, an email, an advert, a text message or anything else that can be read.
If you are doing this course to prepare for either the Functional Skills English Level 2 qualification or the Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 2 qualification, remember that reading skills are an important part of both programmes.
For the Functional Skills English Level 2 qualification, the reading assessment asks you to read and answer questions on two different but related texts. These could include job adverts, newspaper articles, formal letters and reports. You get marks for your ability to identify and interpret information, as well as how well you can read for meaning and your ability to detect bias.
For the Essential Skills Wales Communication Level 2 qualification, your reading skills are assessed in both the controlled task and the confirmatory test.
For the controlled task, you are asked to read, understand and summarise information independently from at least two different documents about the same subject. You need to use the information you obtain from the source documents to prepare for and take part in a ten-minute discussion and to plan a piece of writing.
For the confirmatory test, you are given two texts to read and you answer ten questions based on each piece of text. The questions assess various reading skills and test your knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar at this level.