Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Everyday English 1

1.2 Why do you read?

The reasons for reading something affect how you read it. For example, you probably ignore most road signs if you know where you’re going, but if you are looking for somewhere in particular you pay more attention.

Some things have to be read more carefully than others. They may take longer to read. You may have to read them in a set time if you are taking a test.

These could be things like:

  • a textbook on a subject you are studying
  • a job application form
  • a letter from a car insurer
  • instructions for recording a TV programme
  • a passport form
  • a rail timetable.

Sometimes you can read things more quickly. You don’t need to read every word really carefully. You may just be reading for pleasure.

These kinds of texts could be:

  • a football report in the newspaper
  • an advert in a magazine
  • a chapter of a story
  • a letter from a friend
  • a text message on your phone.

Activity 3 Why you read what you read

Allow about 5 minutes

In Activity 1, you noted down the things you read on an average day. Try to briefly explain why you read each of them in the box below.

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Here are some examples:

  • Newspaper or news website: to get the news for the day
  • Text message: because it has come from a friend, family member, colleague
  • Facebook post: to see what friends are doing

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus